Air Caster Technology Makes Loads As           Light As Air
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Air Caster Technology Makes Loads As Light As Air Terry Pitsch, Engineering Manager PowerPoint PPT Presentation


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Air Caster Technology Makes Loads As Light As Air Terry Pitsch, Engineering Manager. How It Works. Captures air inside a bag (air caster) to lift and move objects, like a puck moves on an air hockey table. How It Works.

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Air Caster Technology Makes Loads As Light As Air Terry Pitsch, Engineering Manager

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Air Caster Technology Makes Loads As Light As Air

Terry Pitsch, Engineering Manager


How It Works

  • Captures air inside a bag

    (air caster) to lift and move

    objects, like a puck moves

    on an air hockey table


How It Works

  • Supports up to 5000 tons of weight by moving pressurized air under an object

    • The air is inside a thin ‘fluid film’ air caster

  • The fluid film (caster) bends and flows over the surface like a Hovercraft

  • Increased air pressure over a larger area makes it possible to lift a heavier load


History of Fluid Film

Technology

  • 1950 - General Motors

    • “GM Style Bearing”

  • 1960 - Boeing Aircraft

    “AeroGo Torus Style Bearing”

  • 1967 - AeroGo founded


Prior to inflation, the load is solidly supported on landing pads


When air is applied to the Aero-Caster, the torus bag inflates, creating a seal against the floor surface and raising the load.


When the pressure within the chamber is sufficient to offset the load’s weight, air evenly escapes between the flexible torus bag and the floor. The load is literally floated on a thin, nearly frictionless cushion of air,

.003 to .005 inches (.08 to .13mm) thick.


Why Use Fluid Film Technology?

  • Extremely low friction

  • Typical friction factor 0.001-0.003 vs. 0.06 for typical wheel

  • Allows medium weights (500-5000 pounds) to be moved by a single person

  • Allows heavy weights (10,000 – 6,600,000 pounds) to be moved with greatly reduced drive systems


Why Use Fluid Film Technology?

  • Omni-directional movement

  • Unlike wheels, movement in all directions is easy

  • Provides means to precisely align equipment - whether 500 or 5,000,000 pounds - without constant repositioning

  • 360° rotation


Why Use Fluid Film Technology?

  • Low surface loading

  • Typical maximum surface loading of 50 psi

  • Allows extremely heavy loads to be transported over standard floors

  • Will not damage floors or coatings

  • Built-in lift feature

  • Can be used with or without other lift mechanisms

  • Greatly reduces cost and complexity


Air Caster Benefits

  • Low surface loading

  • Built-in lift

    • Low profile

    • Low friction; no floor damage

    • Economical and reliable

    • Flexible for a variety of applications

    • Easy omnidirectional multi-positioning

    • Precise positioning without floor damage compared to traditional material handling equipment methods

    • Ergonomic - reduces lift hazards

    • Utilizes existing compressed air

    • Aero-Casters meet ASME specifications


Variety of Configurations


Used in Combination


Used by Many Industries


Usage by Industry


ASME B30.1-2009

  • Applies to Jacks, Industrial Rollers, Air Casters and Hydraulic Gantries

  • 1-3 Air Lifting Bags

  • 1-5 Air Casters

    • Design:

      • Design and Proof Tested 2X Rated Load.

      • Air Pressure Regulation.

    • Periodic Inspection:

      • Inspect Prior to Each Move

      • Do Not Attempt to Repair Torus Bags

    • Operating Practices:

      • Safety First – Have a Plan

      • Maintain Control of the Load

      • Maintain Visibility and Communication


Operating Surfaces

Optimum: Smooth, flat and nonporous

* Don’t worry! It is possible to put a temporary overlay over ‘bad’

surfaces, so you can still use air casters to move heavy loads.


  • Surface Specifications

    • What can I do if my surface is bad?


Application: Power Generation

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Application: Power Generation

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Application: Lean Manufacturing

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Application: Lean Manufacturing

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Application: Nuclear

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Application: Nuclear

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Application: Roll/Reel Handling

<Photos Here>


Application: Clean Room

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Application: Clean Room

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Application: Marine/Shipbuilding

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Application: Marine/Shipbuilding


Application: Aircraft/Aerospace


Issue: High Center of Gravity

Recommended 2:1 or less.


Issue: Overhanging Load

Recommended 4:1 or less.


Issue: Poorly Constructed Floors

Prep and prime.


Issue: Rough Seams or Transitions

Smooth and seamless transitions.


Issue: Unevenly Distributed Load

Air bearings require a minimum load.


Issue: Small Load Footprint

Air bearings require a rigid support structure..


Issue: Ramps and Slopes

Air bearings require a smooth transition.


Issue: Changing Loads

Pressure and flow must change with the load.


Issue: Insufficient Air Flow or Pressure

Look for leaks, pressure drops, poor floors.


Questions?


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