Vertical Reciprocating Conveyors (VRCs) Vs. Elevators

Posted in

Material Handling

| Written by: MarkSmith

When you need to move inventory from one floor or mezzanine level to another – and you don’t have a freight elevator in the area – then you’ll need something to do the job quickly and efficiently. For warehouses, distribution centers, plants and factories, the solution is a vertical reciprocating conveyor (VRC).

MHI lays out the duties of the VRC as follows: “For transferring a load from one level to another, VRCs feature a carrier that moves up and down to carry materials or objects from one belt or roller conveyor to another. They can be power or gravity actuated, and can operate automatically or manually.” MHI goes on to outline three specific VRC styles:
  • The two-post cantilever lift style, which comprises a carriage guided and supported by two masts on the same side so that three sides can be accessed to facilitate C-, Z- or 90°-loading.
  • The two-post straddle lift style, which has a carriage guided by and suspended between two masts placed on either side of the carriage for C- and Z-loading.
  • The four-post lift style, which is a type of straddle lift carriage that is guided by and suspended between two sets of two masts situated on opposite sides of the carriage in order to facilitate greater capacity usage. This style allows C-, Z- or 90°-loading.
Not Just an Elevator on Steroids

Let’s make one thing clear, though: A VRC is definitely not an elevator on steroids. VRCs are exempt from the U.S. national elevator code, and instead follow their own dedicated guidelines as laid out by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME). According to the ASME B20.1 abstract, “This Standard specifically excludes any conveyor designed, installed, or used primarily for the movement of people. This Standard does, however, apply to certain conveying devices that incorporate within their supporting structure workstations or operator’s stations specifically designed for authorized operating personnel.”

Need a VRC?

If you need a VRC – or any other type of conveyor – keep in mind that Outsource Equipment Company offers all sorts of new and used conveyor systems for a variety of material handling applications. Whatever type of conveyor you need (including gravity, electric and hydraulic powered conveyors), Outsource Equipment either has it in stock or can get it for you. So if you’d like to talk about the conveyor systems we have for sale and how they can help your business, call the storage-solution experts at Outsource Equipment today at 866-971-1032 or 407-695-5545.