Pannkoke: solving special glazing demands

Looking back on more than five decades of production of vacuum lifters the name Pannkoke has been synonymous with specialist vacuum lifting equipment for large and heavy glass panes. During this period of time the German company has continued to manufacture its devices with more specifics, able to solve the continuously higher weight, size and thickness of today’s high-rise buildings. In this article, we are taken through some of the company’s case studies, and give a preview of the products on show at Glasstec.

On the Maastoren in Rotterdam some windows had to be replaced on the top floors. Things to know: there was no crane, just the window cleaner bucket and a winch. The windows weighed about 950 kilos and were 4 x 3.5 metres and 50 millimetres thick. The work had to be done in 167 metres height. The glazing was done with the Pannkoke battery-operated KOMBI 7211-DS3 device for turning and tilting, carrying up to 1,000 kilos. The outside of the windows was really busted, so the pane had to be attached to the lifting device on the inside of the building, lifted out and then picked up with the winch on the roof.

Ninety roof panes made from ESG12 with a SZR16 and VSG20TVG sun filter and screen printing weighing 700 kilos and measuring 4.47 x 2.00 metres were glazed at Dresden’s main station with the same device. It is constructed very flat and can be equipped with up to 6 extension arms for such glazing work. The actual glazing of a glass pane only took around 10 minutes.

Combined with the Pannkoke counterweight unit BALANCE the KOMBI 7211-DS3 was used for angular glazing of more than 5,000 square metres coloured laminated glass panes on a curtain wall for a major German furniture company’s new outlet store. The BALANCE has a movable counterweight so glazing under a ceiling projection of up to 1.5 metres is possible.

At the tower of the Munich Airport insulating glass panes of 5.0 x 2.3 metres made of double laminated glass 16 millimetres thick and weighing 925 kilos were installed at a height of up to 45 meters and 18 millimetres thick enamelled special glass plates for the tower facing in 9° upward-sloping position. For this glazing work Pannkoke supplied their battery-powered device KOMBI 7211-CeDe for 1,200 kilos carrying capacity for turning through +/- 90° and the counterweight unit BALANCE assuring glazing at angles of 80 to 100° under roof projections with a maximum projection of 1.5 metres.

At the Nieubouw Chinees Zakenhotel in Delft a round arch was glazed with glass panels of 2.38 x 0.68 metres with a radius of 3,900 millimetres to 2.38 x 3.74 metres and a radius of 4,190 millimetres weighing up to 490 kilos were glazed with the same Pannkoke standard device. For this work the KOMBI 7211-DS3 was equipped with special conversion kits so that curved panes of different radius could be safely and trouble free turned and tilted.


One gigantic shop window pane of 12 x 3 metres large float with a thickness of 22 millimetres and weighing nearly 2,000 kilos was glazed in Tokyo with a specially designed Pannkoke Vacuum Lifting Device.

For the replacement of a broken insulating pane at Reuchlin house in Pforzheim/Germany Pannkoke adapted its standard 7201-CeDe two circuit vacuum lifting device designed in accordance with safety standard EN 13 155 to the customers glazing requirements. The glazing work was completed within 2 hours. Dimensions and weight: 8.91 x 2.95 metres, double 10 millimetres float, 1.300 kilos.


At this year's Glasstec Pannkoke presents their new generation of devices, the 4-circuit vacuum systems for glazing work on construction sites within the EU.

These new vacuum lifters achieve higher device security with a lower number of suction cups. The EU safety standard EN13155 requires that in the event of failure of a vacuum circuit, the remaining vacuum circuits must hold the nominal load with 2-fold safety. The number of failing suction cups can be reduced through division into four vacuum circuits, so that less suction cups are required than in traditional 2-circuit vacuum lifting devices.

Following this we will present the new KOMBI 7441-DS from our wide range of equipment, with which is possible to turn up to 1,800 kilos heavy panes by motor and swivel hydraulically. The large number of possible suction cup configurations makes this unit extremely versatile.

Furthermore, we will also display the KOMBI 7411-DSG5. This new technology can make a difference, especially with curved glass panes.

We also will present the proven 2-circuit vacuum lifting device KOMBI 7211-DS3, with its unique latching mechanism for easy tilting of heavy loads, as a modern four-cycle vacuum lifting device, with which you can now move up to 1,200 kilos with a reduced number of suction cups.

New items in the Pannkoke program are our lifting trolleys, that can lift your loads to heights of more than 4 metres, yet are easy to hold and can even be transported in a van. Additionally to the lifting trolleys we can offer the suitable Pannkoke-2-circuit vacuum lifting devices for your work, with all their benefits.

The two-circuit technology is now also available for in-house vacuum lifting devices for insulated glass and window production, providing many new features. Together with light cranes or swivelling cranes, these vacuum lifting devices boost your production and improve safety.

Our 7225-MDS4/E is of particular interest, since safety in production should also be a key topic in your establishment. Many safety features have been integrated into this device to avoid accidents at work. The device design is based on accident evaluations of a large glass processor, with which an answer was found for nearly every accident risk. The special features when moving three-fold insulation glass were also taken into account.

Photos: Pannkoke
Last review: October, 2010