Stanley Cobotics has launched a 500 lb (225kg) capacity version of its iLift electronic assist device. Its previous version lifted only 150 lb (68kg). The hoist is slightly faster as well – maximum lift speed is 200 fpm (61 mpm) compared with 195 fpm for the previous model. The assist device employs a float mode – when the operator pushes or pulls on the control handle, it sends signals to the hoist to raise or lower the load.

Users can set upper and lower limits on the hoist. The hoist can also store up to eight sets of such limits to accommodate different users or different batch production processes.

When combined with the iTrolley brand travel motor, both models of ilift hoist can also be set to return automatically to a pre-set position. Users can set this position – any point in the hoist’s range of travel – via a special ‘teach’ mode. Any contact detected by the load cell stops the hoist’s movements.

At Promat in January, Stanley Cobotics sales and marketing director Stephen Klostermeyer said the company had sold 12.

The iLift and iTrolley range was launched in Europe late in 2004. According to European director Bruno Chaboisson, the first heavy unit – up-rated slightly to 250kg – will be available in Europe in March. He said the company has orders for one light system and four heavy ones at the end of January. He also announced plans to develop a 450kg prototype with Volkswagen over the next few months. Although he did not say when it might be available for general sale, he did say it would be sold first in Europe.