In various industries, packaging materials are commonly wrapped around heavy-duty rollers. Workers have to pick up and carry these reels from A to B as well as mount them on machines. Mobile devices designed specifically for such tasks render the lifting of heavy reels more efficient and protect staff from physical strain. As a complement to manual handling, reel lifters and trolleys help you to grab different types of portable rolls and move them around with minimal effort.

Lifting reels with Hovmand


Companies or single departments in charge of packaging goods and products usually store wrapping materials with the help of reels. Throughout the packaging process, employees must pick up the reels from pallets and subsequently carry, tilt, turn, and install them at low heights. These tasks are far from easy: Heavy-duty rollers oftentimes present workers with several difficulties due to their weight and bulky shape.

Regardless of whether you are handling packaging rolls, paper reels, or rolls consisting of textiles and other fabrics – health and safety regulations apply at all times. Hence, even if a worker does not deem the lifting of heavy reels particularly hard, ergonomic standards forbid them from handling such objects without appropriate tools. Any kind of repetitive activities involving weighty loads will eventually result in severe damages to the muscular and skeletal system.


If you want to pick up and transport wrapping supplies on rollers, the solution lies in specialized mobile devices. Automated reel grabbers and reel lifters on wheels facilitate the daily procedures in the packaging industry. Lifting trolleys enable employees to lift up heavy reels directly from the pallet and transport them to their destined location without putting their health at risk. Complicated tasks thus require a minimum amount of time and energy. With the right lifting equipment, you can underride a pallet to grab and pick up different reels, no matter how they are positioned on the pallet.

Which technique works best to lift a certain set of heavy reels depends not only on the size and texture of the packaging material and the reel itself, but also on their intended usage:

  • Do you have to put the reel into a machine overhead?
  • Are you planning to mount the reel on a mandrel in a vertical angle from below?
  • Is it required to place the reel into a machine at a horizontal angle and thus adjust its position beforehand?
  • Do you need to place the reel into a machine not only at a horizontal angle, but also at a low height?

For each of these challenges, modern lifting devices offer a simple solution that spares workers from physical strain and speeds up the workflow. Safety always remains a top priority: By using automated cranes to lift and change heavy rolls, workers minimize the risk of accidents which might potentially damage the packaging material.


When you store long reels wrapped with stretch film on a pallet so that you can process or install them horizontally, lifting the heavy reel works as follows: The long roll is moved onto a special platform (WAVE), which will then transport the roll to its destined location. Subsequently, WAVE also helps you to mount the roll on a packaging machine in the same horizontal position.

For short rolls of stretch film which are stored on pallets in a vertical angle and need to be installed accordingly on the machine’s mandrel, a reel handler can facilitate the process immensely. This device grabs the heavy reel from above and below to lift it up from the pallet. You may then transport the reel to the machine and install it on the mandrel while retaining its vertical position.

Big, bulky reels standing on a pallet with their core pointing upwards require a different handling: Before lifting and transporting such heavy rolls, you should grab them at their core. If you need to turn the reel around before mounting it on the machine, a reel manipulator will promptly complete both steps.

To lift short, light-weighted reels lying on the pallet, you may also use a combination of mandrel and V-block. In this case, the reel is moved from the pallet onto the V-block by hand and subsequently transported to the machine. After centring the reel in front of the machine’s roller axis, you can again use your own hands to push the reel onto the axis.

Alternatively, shorter and less heavy reels can also be handled with a lifting device installed on the mandrel. Since the mandrel is placed at the roll’s core, you can pick up and transport the roll with ease. Once you have elevated the reel on the mandrel to the desired height, you transfer it into the machine’s axis.

If reels carry so much weight or take up so much space that manual handling of any kind becomes impossible, just utilize an electrical gripping tool to manipulate their position or push them onto the machine’s axis. With the help of an automated reel manipulator, you can grab an upright roll at the core and tilt it horizontally before mounting the roll on the packaging machine’s axis.

Electrical gripping equipment can also lift big, heavy reels by taking hold of the exterior. Depending on whether you need to turn or tilt a roll throughout the process, this device offers different features for rotating or tilting movements.


Here you can see how a roller lifter or tipper works and which challenges it  still solves»


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