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Planetary gearbox enables high-precision glass lifting

Installing windows and doors is hard work, even for the craftsmen who do this every day, but with one of the smart glass lifters from SmartLift this is history. This device lifts the window or door into place and precisely positions and adjusts it before it can be secured. Apex Dynamics supplied the necessary drives for this essential system.

Back and knees are the areas where most craftsmen experience pain and other discomfort after years of working in the industry. For example in construction where windows and doors have to be lifted and fully adjusted into place before they can be fixed. Employers can choose from a number of tools to help their employees with this task, usually using a forklift or Manitou. Unfortunately, these can only lift, not position the window or door to the wall hole.

A glass lifter that only releases when the window is fixed

That’s what they would like to achieve at SmartLift in Nykøbing Mors. They developed a glass lifter for both indoor and outdoor use, that can be used to hold and adjust the door or window completely in place. Because window and door elements are often quite heavy, they had some very special challenges with the equipment to be able to not only hold the window or door in place but adjust it very precisely as well.

Force and precision in one and the same solution

After all, it should not only be able to keep the heavy building element completely solid and stable. It must also be able to adjust the placement of the element in small steps with a remote control so that the glass lifter does not release the element until it has been securely attached to the hole in the wall. It required both force and precision – and these two things rarely go together in practice.

Either an old-fashioned and very cumbersome mechanical solution or an expensive hydraulic system would have to be used for that. The first would make operating the glass lifter very complex, and the second would pose a risk of contamination – and costly cleaning – if one of the hydraulic hoses were punctured. Plus, this wouldn’t make it to precision.

Fortunately, the customer contacted Apex Dynamics and the result is impressive:

Large planetary gearbox in combination with small gearbox and motor

In close collaboration between SmartLift and Apex Dynamics, a solution has been devised with a large planetary gearbox at the front and smaller ones at the back of the arm that lifts and holds the window on the SmartLift. All three elements were developed by APEX Dynamics Denmark, and the actual dimensioning of the individual elements was carried out in collaboration with SmartLift’s skilled development team.

The planetary gearbox type AD with output flange is incredibly strong and can hold up even very heavy window or door elements by means of the four suction cups that hold the element. At the same time, the advanced joystick makes it possible to adjust the element in very small steps. This makes it easy to lift and adjust the door or window element in place – and keep it fully locked during the actual installation.

It has reduced the number of heavy lifts that craftsmen have to make every day when installing windows and doors on the construction site. Likewise, the risk that too many professionals will have to end their working life sooner than necessary because of severe pain and other back complaints has decreased. We are proud to have helped deliver the solution to SmartLift’s glass lifts.

Source: and