FIPA in practice: Workers effortlessly move planks weighing 160 kg (353 lb)
FIPALIFT tube lifter stands the test of the wood industry


More than 50 years of experience in building, restoring and renovating stairways – Krieger Treppen GmbH from the town of Traben-Trarbach enjoys a good reputation. Customers of this local business appreciate its high-quality, customized solid-wood stairways. Their basic material are rough-sawn wooden planks straight from the sawmill. These planks, which weigh up to 160 kg (353 lb) were previously moved by muscle force – heavy labor that keeps up to two workers busy.

The task: Ergonomic handling of wooden planks

The business from the wood processing industry sought a solution which would allow a single worker to handle the heavy planks. The solution would need to relieve workers of heavy physical labor, increase production efficiency and stay reasonably affordable.

The features of the FIPALIFT tube lifters and FIPA’s high expertise in the areas of vacuum, gripper, lifting and crane systems convinced Krieger Treppen GmbH. FIPA was tasked with developing a customized lifting solution.

The challenge: Uneven workpieces with different lengths

The wooden planks were not just rough-sawed, but also uneven and partly contained large fissures. The different plank lengths with different centers of gravity further complicated the task.

The solution: FIPALIFT Expert with custom cross-beam

The high combination capacity of FIPALIFT tube lifters facilitates the development of custom lifting solutions; they can be combined with nearly all FIPA vacuum and gripper system components to find a perfect solution for the handling task.

FIPA suggested the FIPALIFT Expert tube lifter with a custom cross-beam as a solution for this demanding handling task in the wood processing industry.

Four slidable suction cups make this 3 m long custom cross-beam easily adjustable to the different plank lengths. The suction cups’ sealant foam evens out the uneven plank surface and reliably prevents vacuum loss. The supporting parts of the vacuum cross-beam are made of tried-and-tested components from FIPA’s modular profile system.

Your advantages: Lower burden, higher efficiency

The FIPALIFT lifting solution was installed for Krieger Treppen in August 2015 and successfully started operating. The FIPALIFT Expert tube lifter with custom cross-beam visibly eases the burden on workers, the company profits from significantly raised efficiency.

This application is an example for FIPA’s custom lifting solutions to difficult handling challenges. An in-house construction team, a large range of standardized components for vacuum, gripper, crane and lifting systems and expertise for developing special components allows FIPA to offer affordable custom solutions.