About air cushions
Air cushions are an amazing technology that offers new possibilities for material handling. Unlike conventional equipment such as a crane or forklift, they allow us to handle loads in ways that standard equipment does not.
Therefore, they enable completely new, more efficient solutions for inter-operational transport, storage or complete production technology.
To give you an idea, you can move a 1000 kg load with a force of just 10 N!
In our company we use high quality air cushions from a renowned manufacturer, the Dutch company Aerofilm Systems B.V.
How do these transport systems work?
The object to be moved on the floor is supported by air cushions. The cushions are connected to a source of pressurised air. The air escapes between the cushion and the floor and is formed into a very thin layer or film.
Thanks to this air film, the contact between the cushion and the floor is negligible and the object "floats" with minimal friction and can therefore be easily handled. Air cushions can also be fitted with various handling equipment for specific applications.
What are the advantages of air cushion transport systems?
Using air cushion technology, you can manipulate the load very easily, rotate it in all directions and settle it to within one millimetre.
And do air cushions have any disadvantages?
There are no disadvantages to air cushions.
They only need two things to work properly - a suitable floor and a source of pressurised air. These are the two basic characteristics that make air cushions move at all.
Where will air cushion systems find application?
Wherever you need to handle large or heavy loads easily and accurately.
- moving machines or cars in the showroom
- quick change of forming tools
- single-purpose load handling equipment
- rotary tables
- gantry cranes
- special conveyors and platforms
- remotely operated transport platforms
- systems for explosive environments
- rail vehicle repair shops (with the system it is possible, for example, to drive under the vehicle and use the air to raise the engine, which can be accurately charged)
- repair of earth moving machinery
- handling paper rolls in paper mills
- cable reel handling
- handling sheet metal coils
- rapid replacement of entire sections of production lines
- setting up and moving machines and lines
- moving auditoriums in halls
- stage and theatre technology
What are the requirements for the functioning of the air cushions?
It must be flat, impermeable and with minimal roughness. Suitable flooring is, for example, epoxy, linoleum, impregnated concrete. Untreated concrete flooring is less suitable. Completely unsuitable and unusable is, for example, asphalt. Some defects in the flooring can possibly be technologically modified so that cushion operation is possible on it.
The amount of compressed air consumption depends on the type of cushions and the quality of the floor. The pressure in the cushions (depending on the type) ranges from 1 to 4 bar. The amount of air required depends on the type of cushion, the number of cushions, the weight of the load and the quality of the floor.
Basic system features
- minimum floor load
- easy movement in all directions including rotation
- positioning accuracy within 1 mm
- low construction height
- system load capacities in the order of 100 tonnes
- low investment requirements
- minimum maintenance requirements
- easy to operate
- working pressure 1-4 bar
- extremely low friction, coefficient of about 0.001
Individual cushion types
Have the lowest air consumption and a wide range of load capacities, up to 12,000 kg per cushion). They are mainly used for permanent installation under machines.
Suitable for transporting heavier loads, up to 80,000 kg per cushion.
Durable cushions, suitable for poor quality floors, allowing expansion joints or cracks to be bridged. Load capacity up to 10 000 kg per cushion.
Extremely low risk of contamination, lowest possible air consumption. Load capacity up to 12,000 kg per cushion.
Ideal for integration into handling platforms. Load capacity up to 3,000 kg per cushion
Water is used as a medium instead of air and are mainly used in the marine industry. Load capacity up to 80,000 kg per cushion.
What can we offer you?
We offer special one-off equipment for specific applications, complete moving air cushion kits, individual air cushions and accessories.
We also provide a Machinery and Equipment Moving service, please see our Services section for more information Services.