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  • Susan Griepsma

    Whew. I just took a look at the Gorbel calendar for the next few months. Lots of good stuff going on in the world of Crane Technology and Ergonomic Lifting. The big things I want to talk about today are our upcoming webinars. Sign up early to get a good seat! (Kidding - you can enjoy them all, right from your desk...which I hope, for your sake, comes with a good seat).

    First up on April 17, we're partnering with EHS Today Magazines to present "Lighten Your Load: New Lifting Technology Maximizes Safety, Ergonomics, and Productivity." Our very own in-house expert on Intelligent Assist Devices, Mark Grandusky, will be talking about how the technology developed and why it exceeds traditional lifting technology for certain applications.

    On May 7, Gorbel's Kevin Duhamel will partner with OHS Magazine to present "Understanding Fall Protection Regulations: What You Really Need to Know."

    Then on May 13, Mark will partner with ASSEMBLY Magazine to present "The New Age of Lifting: How Intelligent Lifting Devices are Changing the Game."

    Interested? Click on any of the links above to register, and learn more about the great technologies Gorbel has to offer.

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  • Susan Griepsma

    We have a new addition to our literature library - a brand spanking new Work Station Crane brochure. The new brochure replaces the separate Free Standing and Ceiling Mounted work station crane brochures we used to have.

    Miss the detailed dimensional information we used to have in there? No worries! We have a separate dimensional guide, available here.

    Ever stopped and wondered, "Why DO people choose bridge cranes over I-Beam cranes?" Well, it's simple, really. Work station bridge cranes allow more of your workforce to safely handle heavy loads than I-beam cranes do, and allow your workforce to be more productive. Want proof? We've got it! Our Ergonomic Study details the tests done to prove this (and bonus - we've got a fresh new version of the study available online).

    There you have it. It's Friday. Grab a coffee, put your feet up, and do a little light reading about Gorbel Work Station Cranes.

     

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  • Susan Griepsma

    What's the connection between Sigourney Weaver and Gorbel's G-Force? Find the answer in this great article about Intelligent Lifting Devices in the March issue of EHS Today, written by our own Mark Grandusky.

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  • Susan Griepsma

    Will you be in Atlanta next week for MODEX, the greatest supply chain show on earth? Gorbel will be there in Booth 7928, assuming this latest round of snow doesn't ruin our travel plans. Stop in to meet some of our Sales and Marketing team, learn more about what we've got going on, take home some of our new brochures, AND get your hands on our G-Force Intelligent Lifting Device and try out some of the cool tooling we have for it.

    You can still register for the show for free here.

    Looks like there are still hotels available if you haven't made plans yet. Check here for more info.

    And here's some general info and a schedule of what's going on all week at the show.

    Hope to see you in the ATL!

     

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  • Susan Griepsma

    Falls are among the most common causes of serious work-related injuries and deaths. Worker safety is an imperative, and developing and implementing a fall protection program not only prevents injuries, but could save lives as well.

    The first step is determining whether or not fall protection is needed.  The 4’ rule as mandated by the Occupational Health & Safety Act (OSHA) requires fall protection be provided at: 4’ in general industry; 5’ in shipyards; 6’ in the construction industry; 8’ in longshoring operations; or any height when working over dangerous equipment and machinery. If you have workers working at or above these heights in the circumstances described, then you’re legally required to implement a suitable fall protection system.

    Once a fall hazard has been identified, there are essentially two options: eliminate the hazard or protect against it. In some cases, it is possible to eliminate a fall hazard by changing the working environment or prevent a fall using guardrails, scaffolds, handrails or barriers. When this is not possible, personal fall protection is the next consideration. Personal fall protection may consist of a restraint system to keep the worker from reaching an area where a fall hazard exists, or a personal fall arrest system that enables a worker to perform their duties from the height required, while tied off to the system. When possible, restraint is the preferred fall protection system as a fall is completely avoided. However, there are many environments where it’s not optimal leading to the use of fall arrest systems.

    Custom-designed and professionally-engineered, fall arrest systems stop the fall in a controlled manner. In fall arrest there are two types of systems: those that use a wire rope to support a worker and those that use a rigid rail. Rigid rail systems, while slightly more expensive in initial installation, are a superior choice for several reasons.

    Rigid rail fall arrest systems, like Gorbel's Tether Track systems, eliminate any sag, stopping the fall in a much shorter distance than wire rope. Injuries occurring after the fall, such as swinging into obstacles, are minimized with a rigid rail fall arrest system, which stays firm and minimizes the total fall distance. Tether Track rigid rail fall arrest systems allow for longer distances between supports, reducing both material and installation costs. Lastly, in the event of one worker’s fall, the rigid rail system will not bend or deflect like a wire rope system, allowing other workers on the system to continue to move freely and safely.

    While the name might imply otherwise, rigid rail systems are the most flexible forms of fall arrest. Ideal for environments where there is limited clearance between the working level and lower level or obstruction, these systems provide a shorter free-fall distance and a reduced risk of secondary injury due to impacts during the free fall or sudden deceleration. Tether Track rigid rail fall arrest systems are the perfect solution for permanent applications and can easily be customized to fit every situation.

    Tether Track fall arrest systems are now available in multiple configurations, including various track profiles and support center distances, and can be easily customized to fit every budget and application. If you have determined a fall protection need, add fall protection to your company’s overall health and safety plan. A written site-specific program should be developed, including detailed work procedures to protect your employees. The fall protection portion of your plan should state what measures are to be used, how they are to be used, and a rescue plan, as well as the individual responsible for overall supervision and training.

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  • Susan Griepsma

    One of my favorite things to do for the blog is dig into our archive of Cleveland Tramrail pictures. Unfortunately, it's tough to caption them because we don't have much information on where they're from or what's going on in them, but I hope you enjoy looking at them as much as I do!

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  • Susan Griepsma

    Want to be part of a great team? Gorbel is hiring!

    Here's a sampling of the positions we currently have open:

    • Controls Engineer
    • Manufacturing Engineer
    • Materials Analyst
    • Programmer

    Why work at Gorbel? Well, in addition to the opportunity to be part of a great team of people committed to providing top quality products, we also offer important stuff like:

    • Competitive salaries
    • Generous paid time off
    • Employer matched 401k retirement plans
    • Health plans

    We like to throw in a little fun along the way, too, which is why we also have:

    • On-site fitness center
    • Company sponsored functions
    • Outdoor recreation center (can't wait for volleyball season to start up - just need to figure out how to get all that snow off the courts...)

    Interested? Click here for the most up to date list of positions we have open, and click here for some more great reasons to come work for Gorbel.

     

     

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  • Susan Griepsma

    With the Winter games starting this week in Sochi, we talked to some Gorbel employees to get their thoughts on the games, past and present.

    Your favorite memory of watching past Olympic games:
    "Even as a kid I was intrigued by the fact that athletes from all over the world were competing against each other yet there seemed to be an air of comradery among them. Maybe they were just proud to be representing their country and felt others were, too." - Joe Bia, After Sales Service

    "Watching Michael Johnson destroy the 200m time in 1996 at Atlanta. Just unbelievable." – Joe DeMott, Regional Territory Rep
    "One of the most vivid memories of Olympics that I have is being a 10 year old and watching with my family as the USA hockey Team beat the much larger Russian hockey team in the 1980 Olympics." –Jen D’Alessandro, Web Publications Specialist
    "I have an uncle who is a professional swim coach. One of his swimmers made the Olympics in Athens 2004. His swimmer was a long shot who basically only qualified because he had a grandparent from some Caribbean island, but watching the early heats that year was my favorite personal Olympic memory." – Chris Adams, Regional Territory Rep
    "Watching with both of my parents.  My father is no longer with me, so it is great memory for me." – Stacey Clark, Senior Technical Customer Service Rep
    "My sister and I spraying the kitchen floor with Pledge and then trying to “ice” skate in our socks after watching the ice skaters in the Olympics." –Alicia Carter, Technical Customer Service Supervisor

    What are you most looking forward to seeing at this year’s Olympics?
    "I’d like to see more records broken regardless of which country does it." – Joe Bia
    "The national pride that comes about every Olympics. U-S-A!! USA! USA!" – Joe DeMott
    "One of my favorites to watch is the figure skating - singles and pairs" – Jen D’Alessandro
    "Snowboarding" – Stacey Clark
    "Any and all skiing events" – Alicia Carter

    What event should the Olympic Committee consider adding?
    "I’d like to see 'Wipeout' become a medal competition." – Joe DeMott
    "Ice boating" – Stacey Clark

    What about you? What are your favorite Olympic memories? What events should be added to the next Olympic games?

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  • Susan Griepsma

    Our G-Force Intelligent Lifting Device is one of those products that you have to see to understand. That's why we bring it to every trade show we do, and we've set up our sales force to be able to do on-site demos for end-users. But if neither of those options work for you, we have something that will let you learn about the G-Force from the comfort of your computer - a library full of videos showing the versatility of our G-Force technology.

    What is G-Force? It's a lifting device. But so are hoists and chain balancers. So why is G-Force different? This video showing a G-Force vs a chain hoist helps show the difference.

    We put a lot of thought into our handle design to make it ergonomic and comfortable for users. Check out some of its features here.

    Float mode is one of the biggest differences between the G-Force and other lifting devices. Don't know what it is? Find out here.

    Lots of end-users have found that the G-Force is a great addition to their processes. Check out videos from these happy customers:

    Turbine manufacturer

    Cylinder handling

    Glass handling

     

    Next time? We'll show you videos of our different handle options to offer even more versatility in the G-Force.

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  • Susan Griepsma

    It's no surprise to us, but a recent article in Safety + Health Magazine shows that Fall Protection was #1 on the list of OSHA's most cited standards in 2013.

    Some companies simply don't realize that they have employees working at heights that require fall protection. OSHA enforces regulation 1910, Subparts D and F for general industry, which require fall protection be provided at anything over 4’ in general industry. Surprised? If that tidbit opened your eyes to the need for fall protection at your facility, fear not! Gorbel and our Tether Track line of fall protection products can help.

    Here are some resources to get you started, and remember, call our Customer Service team at (800) 821-0086 for help with any questions you might have:

    Don't be intimidated by the idea of finding a fall protection solution for your workers. Gorbel can help you find the right solution for your application and your budget.

     

     

     

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  • Susan Griepsma

    January's Application of the Month comes to us from our new case study guru, Beth Lane:

    When an automobile manufacturer decided to build two different automobile models at one assembly plant in Turkey, they knew they needed to improve their processes. The cockpit installation is one of the most critical parts of the assembly process, and because there are two different cockpit designs, each with different weights and dimensions, workers had to be on their toes.

    The workers needed to be able to switch between designs very quickly as the assembly speed required install of  nearly 50 cockpits/hour. A solution capable of adapting to the constant changes in the assembly process was crucial. Originally, the company had been using a pneumatic arm manipulator but the poor speed, lack of control, and difficulty adapting to the changing weights of the cockpits left workers frustrated and slowed production considerably.

    The company decided on a 660lb. G-Force IQ Intelligent Lifting Device from Gorbel. A custom end tooling solution was created consisting of a G-Force powered, rigid column manipulator with a linear rail for automotive cockpit loading.

    The G-Force IQ provides the workers with superior control and speed during the assembly process, and the ease of lifting decreases ergonomic issues that can occur in such a fast paced environment.

    The workers response to the G-Force has been extremely positive and the company is so satisfied with the increase in productivity, they have added a second G-Force as a “spare” to insure that they always have this critical device on hand.

    Check out the video here

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  • Susan Griepsma
    As 2013 draws to a close, we'd like to extend best wishes to you and yours for a very Happy New Year!
    Thanks for being part of all we do here at Gorbel. We're looking forward to more wonderful things in 2014.

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  • Susan Griepsma

    It's been another great year here at Gorbel. We've had our struggles, but we've also had some great things to look back on this year. So here's our 2013 blog year in review:

    We started out in Chicago at the blustery cold ProMat Show where we got to see the material handling and supply chain worlds were thriving.

    Flashback February took us way back, all the way back to some old school Cleveland Tramrail pictures. Some were classics, but one was a pic from a 1970's trade show booth. Not that old, but still back in the days when trade show booths were more than just video monitors and fabric draped walls.

    In March, we looked at manufacturing from a woman's perspective, in particular, some of the women from Gorbel.

    In September, we learned more about Gorbel's founder, Dave Reh, from his son and current Gorbel President, Brian Reh.

    October brought around a great topic - the Top 5 coolest overhead lifting solutions by Gorbel

    That's just a few of our favorite posts from the year. We hop 2013 brought you peace, prosperity, and personal growth. Thanks for reading Uplifted - we're looking forward to a great 2014!

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  • Susan Griepsma

    What?? How can it be that Christmas is only 12 days away? Did we lose a week here somewhere? While I desperately try to get my Christmas shopping completed, please enjoy this letter we wrote to Santa back in December of 2010:

    Dear Santa,
    In the movies, your workshop is a happy place, the elves never age, and your sleigh is always magically loaded without a toy ever being dropped or damaged.  But I think that behind the magic and Hollywood glitter, you're probably in desperate need of some ergonomic help. In my shameless attempt to get off your naughty list, I’d like to recommend a few additions to your shop:

    1. You guys have been manually loading that sleigh for years, and I bet you’ve got an army of burnt-out elves with aching backs and sore shoulders, plus a back room full of broken toys that were dropped.  A Gorbel Pivot Pro® Articulating Jib Crane or even an Easy Arm® Intelligent Lifting Arm would be a great help in loading the sleigh.  Either one will keep the elves happy and healthy and keep the toys in one piece.

    2. The reindeer have been dragging that sleigh around for a really long time.  Maybe it’s time to think about giving them a rest and retrofitting the sleigh to run on batteries.  An overhead crane in the garage is just what you need to pop those heavy electric battery packs in and out.

    3. Rumor has it you had to carry a blitzed Blitzen home from the Christmas party last year.  How about a Cleveland Tramrail® system, so that next time he overindulges you can hook him up to a hoist and send him home by monorail?

    4. A Gorbel Tether Track™ Fall Arrest Anchor System.  Steep rooftops.  Slippery shingles.  Need I say more?

    Give us a call once the holidays are over and you have some downtime.  We can find a rep in the North Pole to come out and recommend the best solutions for you.  Oh – and if you have room in your bag for a new laptop for me, that’d be sweet.

    Thanks!

     

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  • Susan Griepsma

    There has been a lot of news regarding Veterans and employment this month. We’re very proud of the Veterans that work here at Gorbel and we’re excited to share some of the news we’ve found.

    Here’s a great article about Veterans filling the skills gap in US manufacturing plants. Industrial companies struggling to fill jobs in their factories are finding success with Veterans.

     

    Have you heard about the Get Skills to Work program? It’s a program from GE and other major manufacturers that aims to prepare Veterans in long-term careers in advanced manufacturing. This blog post from the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs explains it well.

     

    It’s not only the manufacturing sector trying to make sure our Veterans find jobs. Did you know Starbucks just made a commitment to hiring Veterans and their spouses? Earlier this month, they announced a “strategic commitment to develop a comprehensive hiring platform for Veterans and active duty spouses in response to record growth and in anticipation of a 500,000 person future global workforce.”

     

    Do you know a Veteran looking for work? Check out the list of employment workshops and hiring fairs put on by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Hiring our Heroes program and being held around the country.

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  • Susan Griepsma

    Today we're going to tackle some frequently asked questions. Got more? Put them in the Comments and we'll dig up some answers for you!

    Where did the Gorbel name come from?
    Gorbel was started in 1977 by David Reh.  But wait - isn't there a Mr. or Mrs. Gorbel out there?  Maybe...but they have nothing to do with our company.  The Gorbel name honors Dave's parents, Gordon and Isabel, whose photos are proudly hung in the lobby of our Technology Center, not far from the office of their grandson, Brian, our current President. 

    I want a Gorbel crane! How do I get one?
    Gorbel® products are sold through an extensive network of distributors across North America and in major markets throughout the world. Call us at (800) 821-0086 or (585) 924-6262 and we'll help you find a Gorbel® distributor in your area.

    How do I order parts for my Gorbel® Crane?
    In order to get the correct parts you will need the Serial Number off the Gorbel® Crane System. You may either contact the dealer that sold the equipment originally or contact Gorbel® at 800-821-0086 for other options or if you cannot locate the serial number. 

    Where do I find the Serial Number of my Gorbel® Crane?
    Our serial number can be found on the crane itself, on the front of the installation & maintenance manual, on the general arrangement drawing, and on the order verfication. The serial number is a six character sequence: 123456 - View a sample order verification... 

    When is customer service available?
    Our customer service department can be reached Monday - Thursday 7am-7pm and Fridays from 7am-5pm Eastern Time.

    If I know nothing about your products, how do I find the best options for my application?
    Well, talking to one of our experienced dealers is probably your best bet. They can look at your application and help you with a solution that addresses your whole process, not just your material handling needs. We also have an Application Wizard that will take you through questions about your application and point you in the right direction.

    I'm an Architect / Engineer looking to specify Gorbel® products. Where do I find CSI Specifications?
    We love architects and engineers so much that we created a part of our website just for you! There you can view and download 3 part architectural specifications in either .doc or .pdf format and configure a crane complete with drawings and loading information. Click here to register.

    I just bought a Gorbel® Crane. How do I register the warranty?
    You should have received a warranty registration form with your order. You can either fill that out and fax it back to us at 800-828-1808 or fill out the form online here.

    So that's that. What else do you want to know about Gorbel, our products, or the people who bring you the blog every week?

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  • Susan Griepsma

    UTC Retail is a Western New York company that specializes in multichannel enterprise software, point of sale hardware and software, and hardware depot services.

    The company received a large order for point of sales systems for a large chain of home improvement stores. In this work cell, workers take fully assembled cash registers weighing 100 lbs, slide them down a conveyor to a banding station to be banded, then lift them onto shipping pallets.

    Before the big order, they were using 2 people to move units from the banding table to the pallets. To meet the production needs of this larger order, they went from 3 full time production employees to 2 assembly lines of 18 people each, all of whom are temp workers who rotate in and out of different parts of the assembly line, so they need to know how to do each part of the assembly process. Their production goal was 300 units per shift – meaning 1 unit comes off the conveyor every 3 minutes.

    To further increase efficiency, they bought a Gorbel Work Station Jib Crane to move the 100lb boxes from the banding table to the pallets, making what was once a 2 person job into a 1 person job.

    The Gorbel Work Station Jib Crane was an ideal solution. The ease of use of the jib with the vacuum lift made it perfect for this work force. With workers rotating in and out of different jobs along the production line, the company needed something that was easy to use and easy to learn.

    "People pick it up within the first 15 minutes and they're off and running with it", said Dave Lyon the Production Supervisor.

    With the addition of the Gorbel WSJ, UTC Retail was able to hit production goals and improve safety goals.

    Check out video of the application here.

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  • Susan Griepsma

    Gorbel's New York headquarters gets a variety of woodland visitors throughout the year. We have cats and deer and the occasional fox roaming our campus. We even had a momma raccoon and her babies make a rather stinky home in the storage trailer that houses our trade show display.  But perhaps the most terrifying visitor we've had is the spider that recently took up residence in our Marketing department this week:

    Here it is attacking Regional Territory Manager Joe Demott. Don't worry - we saved Joe before he was devoured by the hungry spider.

    It's all part of our Halloween festivities here at Gorbel. Each department was challenged to a Halloween decorating contest. This "little" guy and his web were built by the Marketing Department during lunch hours this week.

    What does your company do to celebrate Halloween?

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  • Susan Griepsma

    We're just about one month out from the FABTECH 2013 Show. Billed as "North America's largest metal forming, fabricating, welding and finishing event", the FABTECH show comes to Chicago from November 18 - 21.

    Are you going to be there? Stop by the South Hall to see Gorbel in S2061. You can say "Hello" to some of Gorbel's finest - we're sending Mark Grandusky, Kevin Pearce, Jeff Carpenter, Chris Adams, and Jeff Daugherty out to man our booth and answer your questions about material handling, overhead cranes, and intelligent lifting. Plus, you can check out our smart solutions for sheet handling and press brake loading applications.

    See you in Chicago!

     

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  • Susan Griepsma

    September means a lot of things here in Western NY – the kids are back in school, the leaves are starting to change colors, and it’s Carnival of Caring time here at Gorbel. Our Carnival of Caring is an annual event where Gorbel and our neighboring company, Retrotech, do a bunch of activities on our lunch hours that bring us together as a company to have fun, but also give us a chance to raise money for a great cause.

    This year, we raised money for the BackPack Program of our local Foodlink Food Bank. The BackPack Program provides nearly 1800 children per week in 29 local school districts with nutritious foods they can take home with them over weekends and school holidays.

    This year’s Carnival spanned the entire month of September, and included activities like a kick-off breakfast put on by our IT and Product Development departments, because really, isn’t everything better with bacon? We also had a Battle of the Bands, featuring Gorbel and Retrotech employees showing off their musical talents; our always popular Dodgeball competition, where we again failed to dethrone the reigning champions; a cook-off where we got to sample yummy treats made by employees, and a trivia game where we got to show off our knowledge of random information. We’ll be posting the total raised when all the events are finished, but early totals have us already up over $2500 raised. Just $160 feeds one child for an entire school year, and we are so happy that we can help at least 15 kids take home nutritious foods this year, because kids have enough to worry about without having to wonder about where they’ll get their next meal.

     

     

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