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The Ups and Downs of Tool Balancers

It doesn’t matter how much you bench—if you lift even a ten-pound weight ten thousand times, it will take its toll.  Assembly tools, such as pneumatic, impact and electric screwdrivers are useful versions of ten-pound weights. Some are even heavier. Without support, employees tasked with operating these tools over time will be increasingly likely to be injured.  Fortunately, these injuries can be prevented with the addition of a quality tool balancer. Tool balancers, also called spring balancers or load balancers are an ergonomic way to negate the weight of a tool or piece of equipment thus unburdening the operator performing a repetitive task in a production environment.  Tool balancers are either classified as “zero gravity balancers” or “spring retractors”. Understanding the difference on how these two types of balancers work is critical in selecting the correct tool balancer.   Below describes the differences between the two types:

    • Zero Gravity Tool Balancer can be identified by their conical cable drum, which ensures that the force required to lower or raise the load remains constant throughout the full cable travel. As a result, the position of the tool can be retained or adjusted to allow the load to slowly drift up and away from the work piece.  The advantage of these types of balancers is that they allow a load, however heavy(several hundred pounds) to virtually float at any place within the cable length of the balancer.  The load applied to the balancer is easily adjustable with a simple tool.

                                             

    • Tool Retractors behave in a completely different way from zero gravity balancers. Though they use a spring to carry the load their drum is not conical and a certain amount of force is required to position the load to the work piece.  They are used as a less expensive alternative when a load/tool needs to move in and out of the operators work area.  However, as the video shows, if not adjusted correctly for the load they can be dangerous to the operator.   

                    Example of a misapplied  tool  retractor;      

                                                   OUCH!

 

Factors to consider when purchasing a tool balancer:

  • The weight/load required
  • cable stroke/length needed
  • is the spring tension adjustable
  • Enviroment the balancer will be in

Excel Assembly Solutions offers the largest selection of tool balancers and we are dedicating to making sure you purchase the right product.

Tool Balancers click

 


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