Editor’s note: The following is an exclusive interview with Carl Stover, Diverse Manufacturing Solutions, LLC, in which we learn about the revolutionary E3 Safety Gate solution.
- “You can never leave it open” is the motto or tagline for the E3 Safety Gate. How is this made possible?
The tag line is an eye catcher for anyone who works in Safety. Every Safety audit inevitably finds a slide gate, a chain or a bar door gate intentionally or unintentionally left open. In fact, you can never leave our gate open because… “You do not open it.” This response will get the conversation rolling.
Technically, The Levelizer® E3 is a compliant safety rail that allows the user to set freight into an area without a gate that opens.
- Can you elaborate on the design inspiration for this safety gate? What was the original thought process behind this design—what needs did you see this gate as able to fulfill?
The design was inspired by our customers having old-style chains, slide gates, etc., that could be left open. Some customers had even upgraded to clamshell gates or some other door system that took up work area on the mezzanine or platform, and in many cases required electrical or some other source of power. Also, our customers had electrically classified areas (explosion-proof areas) where no electrical-powered equipment is allowed without great expense.
The Levelizer E3 allows the user to have complete freedom on the platform and takes up no additional space than the product/freight requires. This gives more freedom to the associate on the platform. Also, since the Levelizer E3 uses springs to open and close the fork pockets, there is no power required. And it all is done within the hand-rail system footprint.
- How was the E3 Safety Gate designed with no air, electronics or hydraulics? What benefits does this concept bring to DMS’s customers?
Like most of our products, necessity facilitates invention. I have been tasked by a customer to make a gate. Two previous generations were designed that worked, but each had unique problems. [I made] observations of these gates, and it was a “Ahaaaa moment!” The restriction was for two 5in forks, not the freight. 24 hours later, the Levelizer E3 was completed. No space required on the platform (check); no power requirement (check); cannot be left open (check); meets OSHA 1910.23 (check)…winner, winner chicken dinner!
- Was the gate designed for a specific setting or are multiple settings/uses applicable?
Any industry that works on platforms, mixing decks or mezzanines that needs to put freight into an area with a fork truck is a candidate for Levelizer E3. The limiting factors are you must have height above the hand rail (42in + Load height + Clearance), and the fork truck must reach high enough to clear the hand rail.
And, of course, if you do not have this height ,we have a solution: the Levelizer E4,E5 and E6.
- Take us through the operation of the E3 Safety Gate.
We take advantage of the space between the mast and the load on a fork truck. The operator sets the pallet over the Levelizer E3 rail, and the compliant vertical members open as the fork truck operator lowers the load; the skid can be set on the platform.
The reverse process allows the load to be removed from the platform.
- What are some of the other ergonomic solutions offered by DSM? Are there any upcoming projects or releases you can tell us about?
The Levelizer Self Leveling Tables and Stretch-wrap System makes the product easy to palletize or de-palletize by maintaining a constant working height. We also have Levelizer Delivery Systems that can support a train or Mother/Daughter delivery concept. The Levelizer Work Bench allows the operator to manipulate the height of the work piece, while working on it.
These benches are available in The Levelizer RND: a round work top that acts as a carousel, a transfer cart, and a sitting and standing work center. Recently, we introduced a Levelizer Work Platform that will manipulate the associate up and down with articulating stairs. The purpose is to set the workforce at the proper height of stamping presses, [as in] line side applications, where we cannot adjust the equipment or product. [So], we adjust the operator!
Yes new products are on the way, but we will save that for another press release.
- What is the concept of “egonomics” and how does it work for your customers?
Ergonomics is the science of human interaction. Our primary concerns are safety and efficiency, by considering the human factors and the interaction with the process preformed. This makes a safer, happier and more productive work force. It will decrease work-related injuries and keep the greatest company asset—its people—in the best condition, now and well into the future. Our Levelizer brand of products are specifically designed to help meet these goals.
- Does DMS work directly with its customers to come up with specific, individualized safety solutions?
Yes, many of our products, like the Levelizer Kegavator®, were developed specifically for beer distribution companies to reduce injuries, and now we are a “best practice” in the industry. If the reader has a problem and would like a fresh set of eyes to review their needs, we would be glad to give them an assessment.
- Tell us a bit about DMS’s patented Levelizing technology.
Self-leveling occurs because the springs move without the touching of button. I sometimes call it “forced ergonomics,” because you do not have to rely on the operator to maintain a height. Our patented guidance system allows the Levelizer to be side-loaded with the unit binding up. The QEST (Quick Exchange Spring System) allows for load changes without the removal of a panel. WMHS