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Alum-a-Lift has years of experience providing material handling solutions for the Converting industry and offers the largest known assortment of roll handling lifts, roll inverters, roll manipulators and roll handling carts and racks available. These compact lifts raise, move, and rotate rolls, core shafts, core plugs, dies, cutting heads, slitters, and anything else too heavy for the unaided human. These end-effectors can be scaled to fit your application and installed on a roll lifter that has been optimized to interface with your packaging equipment.

Handling Rolls By the Core

Alum-a-Lift has a number of options to lift pressure-sensitive rolls without touching the product material.

For through-shaft applications, a roll handling lift can approach the roll from its side and lift the shaft with a set of notched forks or cradles.

Lifts approaching a roll from the end will usually feature a mandrel matched to the core diameter. To ease sliding, many of these are configured as roller booms, with embedded rollers or ball transfers. For very heavy loads, a powered pusher module may be integrated to allow an operator to slide a roll onto a destination mandrel without exerting any manual effort.

Rolls supported from the core may also be mounted on powered winder/unwinder or idler modules, allowing the handling device to serve as a mobile payoff stand, reducing handling steps.

When rolls are transferred to or from pallets, they must often be rotated between the core vertical (eye-to-the-sky) and core horizontal positions. Expanding mandrel lifts feature a rubber probe that expands to grip a roll from its core so it may be rotated in the front-to-back direction. Expanding mandrel lifts can be offered with both 3” and 6” expanding tips, which may be interchanged on the fly without using tools.

Handling Rolls Externally

A roll handling lift can clamp and rotate rolls by engaging or gripping the outside diameter. The simplest solutions involve a pair of forks or prongs, or a rubber-lined v-trough to cradle a roll from underneath. These can be mounted on a swiveling, lazy-susan bearing, to change roll orientation or payoff direction.

One of the most useful Alum-a-Lift end-effectors, our powered clamp has a number of differentiating features. Every powered clamp features adjustable force-limiting, for safe, repeatable roll engagement. Rotation can be provided about multiple axes using either a “trunion” or a “wrist” module. These are offered in both manual and powered options, and our roll handling systems will always avoid uncontrolled or unsafe motion.

Converting Tools

In addition to the rolls themselves, core shafts, core plugs, dies, cutting heads, slitters, and other tooling must often be handled. Alum-a-Lift offers platforms, booms, fork sets, grippers, articulated arms and thousands of other end-effector designs to meet your specific needs.

Alum-a-lifts are versatile and eliminate the need for forklifts. Typical battery powered lift systems for the converting industry are compact, lightweight and mobile. Factors such as push / pull forces are analyzed when designing the lifting device with the goal of minimizing overall system weight for ease of use. When push / pull forces do exceed industry standards, clean electric powered drive lifts are available. If clearance for forward protruding legs is unavailable, counterbalanced lifts are available.

Alum-a-lift designs address real-world off-center loading conditions which are the largest contributor to failure in a light-weight lift system. Single mast systems cannot withstand side loading and will ultimately fail. Utilizing dual mast construction in standard lifts or linear rail construction to withstand heavier side loads or dynamic side loads, a rigid drive system is incorporated resulting in a much more reliable lifting device. Every lift and end-effecter under-go rigorous factory testing simulating actual use and extensive QC inspections are performed prior to shipment.

Roll handling lifts manufactured by Alum-a-lift are in daily use worldwide in over 20 countries. Lifts can be constructed that are CE compliant or to other required standards. Factory trained representatives are available to assist you in gathering the necessary information so a lift and end-effector can be configured for your unique lifting requirement and to provide local support and operator training.


Please contact Alum-a-Lift by phone or submit an application on-line to discuss your roll handling application or for more information.