Solving Air Bearing Modules (also called air skates, air casters or air skids) are designed to handle a variety of heavy loads and machinery. Air Bearing Modules are mainly chosen for less-frequent movement activities, whilst Solving Air Film Movers are installed for regular handling of heavy loads.
For occasional movement of machinery or other heavy equipment you can either rent or buy our air bearing module system. For more frequent movements we recommend that you buy a system.
MOVE HEAVY LOADS EFFICIENTLY ON AN AIR FILM
Solving standard Air Bearing Module Systems are perfect for handling almost any load from a few thousand kilograms up to 360 tons on a virtually friction-free film of air.
Typical applications where Air Bearing Modules are frequently used are: moving new machines into production facilities, taking out old machines from production areas, handling production equipment inside factories, moving ships around repair or production facilities, and container handling.
A Solving Air Bearing Module set is a cost-effective way of handling heavy and bulky loads; it is easy to set up and operate, and the same system can be used for moving various loads omnidirectionally, particularly advantageous when negotiating narrow areas. Air Bearing Modules are almost maintenance-free and do not cause any floor wear.
HOW AN AIR BEARING MODULE SYSTEM IS USED
Generally four (optionally six) air bearing modules are used to move large and heavy loads, but to ensure maximum stability, at least three air bearing modules (preferably four) are required. They should be placed under the load, as far apart from each as possible, and in such way as to divide the weight of the load evenly between them. The modules are then connected to the control unit and the compressed air supply. Pressure regulators within the control unit are used to increase the air pressure in each module until the load is raised off the floor. A thin film of air is then formed under each module virtually eliminating friction and allowing a heavy load to be moved and positioned with ease and accuracy.
WHAT DOES A SET OF AIR BEARING MODULES (ALSO CALLED AIR SKATES, AIR CASTERS OR AIR SKIDS) INCLUDE?
A set of air Bearing Modules - the perfect solution for rigging and moving complex and extreme loads - includes:
four or six Air Bearing Modules
interconnection hoses with quick release couplings
control unit with pressure regulator and gauge for each module, supply pressure gauge and plastic support bars
Air bearing modules use compressed air to move heavy machinery or other heavy loads and either normal shop air or a mobile compressor can be used.
The air consumption is related to the weight of the load to be moved: higher weights increase air consumption. The chart below shows the general air consumption in relation to the weight of the load on an ideal floor surface. A substandard floor will increase the air consumption.
Use the chart below for general guidelines only. Please note that air consumption is also heavily dependent on the quality of the floor.
The quality of the floor surface affects the air consumption and the force required to move the load. A papersmooth level floor surface free of steps and cracks ensures ideal performance. For occasional moves substandard floors can be improved using thin sheet steel or PVC.
Read more about floor requirements for air film load handling in our whitepaper.
How to move the load
As the load floats on air, very little force is needed to move it. The general rule is that loads under 10 tons can be moved by hand on a good floor. For loads heavier than 10 tons, a towing device such as a forklift or winch is recommended for safe control. It should be noted that local conditions must always be considered, and operating instructions must also be followed to ensure safety.
These are all different names for the same product, i.e. a flexible rubber bellow which is filled with compressed air and inflated to lift off the floor and create a thin film of air, allowing the load it is carrying to float virtually friction-free. Read more about how the air bearing works here.
The floor is an essential component of air film technology and certain floor qualities must be applied to ensure efficient operation. The ideal concrete floor is power-trowelled to achieve a flat papersmooth finish.
Air bearing modules and air skates are different names for the same product, i.e. a handling system on air bearings designed for occasional moves, such as items of machinery. The set consists of air bearing modules, interconnection hoses, a control unit, a supply hose, a storage box and operating instructions.