Huco’s Flex P couplings keep walk-behind forklift stackers turning

19/11/2019 09:53:49
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ImagesClick Image for 300dpi jpg fileHuco’s Flex P couplings keep walk-behind forklift stackers turningHuco’s Flex P couplings keep walk-behind forklift stackers turning

Walk-behind forklift stackers keep stock moving around the warehouse with minimal strain on workers. In a busy warehouse the reliability of these machines is especially important for operational efficiency. A particular area of mechanical stress is the steering column, as the forces of both steering and load test the assembly. To safeguard forklift steering reliability and avoid costly recalls, OEMs must specify durable and flexible couplings. These are inherent features of Huco’s Flex P coupling, the steering coupling of choice for the largest global manufacturer of multi-directional forklifts

Walk-behind forklift stackers are designed to be compact to fit the confines of the warehouse. They typically feature a tiller with a push button control, which allows the operator to move to the side of the unit while placing or picking in narrow aisles. The consequence of this compact packaging is that reaching the steering column to carry out a repair is difficult and time consuming.

An improperly specified coupling will serve to weaken a steering column. High loads exacerbated by the alternating directional forces of steering place great stress on couplings, which brings durability to the fore. Angular misalignment is another operational condition to consider, so steering couplings must be able to accommodate it reliably. Excess vibration can further shorten the service life of the steering assembly, so a level of damping is also preferred. A coupling must be able to fit into an optimised design too, so a compact footprint is beneficial. If the selected coupling cannot offer these specialisations, it will probably fail prematurely.

Premature component failure for an OEM is unacceptable. If a coupling fails under warranty, the onus is on the OEM to carry out repair. Walk-behind forklift stackers are produced in large numbers, so if an improper coupling is specified for a production run, the OEM risks a large-scale recall. Not only is this damaging monetarily, but also adversely affects the reputation of the brand. The emphasis is therefore on the OEM to select a coupling that is as compact, reliable and flexible as possible. One such OEM approached Huco, a brand of Altra Industrial Motion Corp., to offer a solution.

Andy Bargh, EMEA Sales Director for Couplings at Altra, explains: “We were approached to provide couplings for the steering columns of an updated line of walk-behind forklift and reach stackers. The OEM design engineers had identified the steering assembly as an area to develop, with the aim of minimising any potential reliability issues and subsequent recalls. We suggested our Flex P coupling, which offers reliability, flexibility and compact design. Our proven quality levels and four decades of experience in couplings were key advantages in our selection for this order.”

The Flex P is a double-loop, two stage coupling. Its defining feature is a moulded Hytrel® flex element which is permanently swaged to steel or stainless-steel hubs. Inherently compact, the flex element in the coupling ensures reduced vibration to safeguard reliability. It also accommodates radial, angular and axial misalignment due to its exceptional flexibility. An angular misalignment capacity of up to 15° was particularly suited to the steering application. To further ensure longevity and enhance working conditions, the Flex P operates with minimal friction, wear or noise. Minimal individual parts further bolsters overall reliability. The simple yet innovative design of the Flex P delivers a coupling solution that is flexible, compact and reliable.

“Since utilising the Flex P, the OEM has reported no recalls due to coupling failure,” Andy continues. “We are experienced in providing specialised couplings in high quantities to OEMs, and we have a track record in forklifts due to our experience with the Oldham range of couplings. The global quality and service level we can provide as a leading brand of Altra ensures we can deliver these solutions to leading OEMs reliably and tailored to requirement.”

Image Captions:

Image 1 : The flex element in the Huco Flex P coupling ensures reduced vibration to safeguard reliability. It also accommodates radial, angular and axial misalignment due to its exceptional flexibility.

Image 2 : To safeguard forklift steering reliability and avoid costly recalls, OEMs must specify durable and flexible couplings.
(Image Source: AdobeStock - markobe)

About Huco

With more than 50 years of innovation, Huco Dynatork is recognised as a world leader in precision coupling and piston air motor technologies. Backed by extensive application experience, utilising the most advanced materials, Huco Dynatork designs and manufactures innovative power transmission solutions that meet the most demanding customer requirements. Huco Dynatork manufactures a comprehensive range of precision coupling types including beam, Oldham, Uni-Lat, bellows, rigid, flex membrane, jaw and double loop. A full line of highly efficient piston air motors and air motor/worm gearbox assemblies is also offered. Reliable Huco Dynatork products can be found in a variety of key markets including food processing, energy, textiles, medical, packaging, metals, machine tools and material handling on applications such as stepper & servo drives, dynamometers, scanners, pumps, fans & blowers, mixers, conveyors and compressors.

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Editor Contact

DMA Europa Ltd. : Philip Howe
Tel: +44 (0)1562 751436 Fax: +44 (0)1562 748315

Company Contact

Huco Dynatork : Marie Kerdoncuff
Tel: +33 (0)6 83 99 84 08 Fax:

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