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SERVICES – Installation – Vertical Reciprocating Conveyors (VRCs)

Vertical reciprocating conveyors (VRC) are freight moving machines; they are not elevators or dumbwaiters. They are used exclusively for moving material from one floor to another vertically. Personnel are not permitted to ride on a VRC. These machines are very much like a “dumbwaiter on steroids” since both may not carry personnel and both move material vertically. However, unlike a dumbwaiter, a VRC can be engineered and built to carry any type of load. The best analogy is the feather and lead lifts; the feather lift has a rated load of 1000 pounds and a 10 foot square platform and the lead lift has a four square foot platform and a rated load of 10,000 pounds.

A typical VRC has a steel platform with two or three 48" high steel walls and is moved vertically by two hoist chains connected to a motor driven reducer by sprockets and drive shafts. They are typically loaded at floor level by hand, hand truck or pallet jack. Fork lifts can be used  to load a VRC but special precautions need to be taken to allow for the extreme weight a forklift places on the edge of the platform. 

Control is often very simplistic; typically either a full call and send operation or single automatic pushbutton operation. "Full Call and Send" operation is where momentary pressure on a pushbutton will dispatch the machine to a landing where it will stop automatically. Single Automatic Pushbutton operation is where the machine accepts one call at a time and refuses additional calls while in motion and for a short time after the machine stops. This allows personnel at the destination to open the door before someone else calls the machine away..

Vertical reciprocating conveyors are often used in manufacturing plants and integrated with robots and automated loading/unloading devices.

Hoistways are not required but all sides of the lift must be guarded to a height of 72" at each landing. Landing gates are electrically and mechanically interlocked to prevent operation with a gate open and prevent opening of the gate without the presence of the lift at that landing.

VRC’s are not subject to the ANSI A17.1 – the National Elevator Safety Code; the applicable code is ANSI B20.1.

For more information on VRC’s please follow this link to Pflow