That’s because they offer two key innovative features that make the glazing robots truly ground-breaking in terms of their design and capability.
Hird is the UK and Ireland authorised distributor for Winlet glazing robots, which are designed and manufactured in Denmark.
They are proving a bit hit with glass and curtain wall installers across the UK, as well as manufacturers looking for new ways to lift and move impervious panels in factories.
Winlet glazing robots combine industry-leading lifting, carrying and glass manipulation capability with a compact design that boosts productivity, sustainability and cost-effectiveness of glass installation.
Two features, in particular, are generating a Winlet Wow Factor.
Precision glass manipulation
A feature that operators really appreciate on the Winlet 575 glazing robot is the fully automated movement of the glass load. This is combined with linear side shift and gyroscopic control in the vertical plane.
Side shifting of the load is controlled by a hydraulic ram that keeps the load perfectly aligned with the aperture into which the glass is being placed. The load moves in a flat vertical plane.
Less advanced glazing robots move the load from side to side using their front wheels. So, the load travels through an arc. This means it moves out of alignment with the aperture.
The operator either has to adjust the position of the machine, or is likely to need manual handling support from colleagues to place the glass safely.
This adds to injury risks, increases the time taken to place glass sheets, and increases costs.
The Winlet glazing robot also has a gyroscopic function that allows the operator to hold the panel at exactly the same angle as the machine’s boom is moving up and down.
Again, this means the load can be positioned perfectly, with confidence, without having to reposition the glass, or to get help from additional operatives to manually handle the glass as it is guided into position.
Hird Director John Wilding said: “These capabilities are central to the additional benefits Winlet delivers in terms of manipulating and safely controlling loads.
Manual handling is reduced, fewer operatives are needed, reducing costs, and health and safety is demonstrably improved.
“Curtain walling clients are finding this very much impresses their tier one contractors who are demanding the highest health and safety standards, and who set their business.
Vacuum valve safety
The first relates to the glazing robot’s vacuum valve system. The machine has excellent reliability, but the worst case scenario risks need to be considered.
One of these would be a catastrophic failure of the vacuum system. If this were to happen, the vacuum valves on Winlet glazing robots are designed to stay open.
This means there is no loss of suction and the load will continue to be held. The glass panel will not drop – so there is no risk of damage, or injury.
John Wilding said: “Winlet is a pioneer in this sort of technology, certainly in the UK. Other manufacturers are beginning to offer this safety function on their lifters, but Winlet has demonstrated its determination to lead the field in glass lifting safety.”
Winlet glazing robots are available for hire across the UK, via Hird’s three regional operational centres. Vacuum lifter hire and mini crane hire options, along with access to a full range of powered access and lifting equipment are also available.
Hird can also provide fully-qualified and highly-skilled glazing robot and mini crane operators – and glass lifting training, if required.