About Enkon

Scissor Lift Table Systems – EnKon Does It All

EnKon Systems is a brand name that was created to solve a problem …….A problem that most companies would like to have. A problem of growth. With so many products to offer, Herkules needed to separate product lines to ease congestion. EnKon Systems became the brand name for the many scissor lift table systems offered. Todd Bacon, President of Herkules spearheaded these scissor lift system innovations indulging his strong desire to offer the finest and widest scissor lift system product line in North America so that customers receive the best solution they need for their application, when they need it.

Following is a history of how Herkules started, grew and formed EnKon Systems. Read if you must……. and then contact EnKon for a solution to your problem….. or call EnKon first, and read the history lesson later.

Important note before you call or read: ALL of EnKon Systems products are proudly MADE IN THE USA, specifically Walled Lake, Michigan.

BEGIN

Herkules Equipment Corporation was established because a problem needed solving. An observation was made within a collision repair shop back in 1983. Painters were spending a lot of time cleaning their spray guns by hand, and using hazardous solvent while performing the cleaning. Not only was the solvent hazardous to workers’ respiratory health and skin, the amount of time they spent hand cleaning was hazardous to the facility’s bottom line. The more time they spent cleaning the less time they spent actually working on repairs. They needed a better, faster, and safer way to clean their spray guns. This is where the problem solving began ---- The automatic Paint Gun Washer was invented and Herkules was launched in 1984.

Next, the problem solving skills were again utilized within a collision repair shop when Herkules observed that workers were bending, straining and injuring their backs while sanding, spraying and repairing the cars. Repairs took longer than needed due to the amount of work breaks required to sooth the aches, and again the facility’s bottom line suffered. There had to be an easier and more productive way for workers to perform this type of work. The cars had to be raised to a level that prevented back strain, and any car lift used in the painting environment had to be contaminant-free. Knowing that hydraulic fluid was not a good mix when painting cars due to the possibility that fish eyes could result in the need for re-dos, Herkules came up with a solution by cross-licensing air powered auto lifts from Herkules’ sister company, Herkules Lift Trading, GmbH, located in Germany. Repairs could now be made faster and safer without the risk of ruining any paint work. Plus, the auto lifts offered a low profile when closed, so that low clearance sports cars could be accommodated. More problems solved!

As the years went on Herkules was solving more problems for the collision repair industry with other products that provided faster and better work conditions. Creativity, keen observations, communication with customers, and good solid engineering resulted in fresh products that were needed, and as changes in the industry were made, so were advancements in the products in order to solve the newest problem.

Observations were turning into an art form, and core competencies were being fine tuned when it came to Herkules attention that the air powered auto lifts could solve a problem in other industries as well.

Herkules noticed that workers in the manufacturing industry also endure back strain while performing tasks in the work place. Components, small and large, need to be physically moved off or onto pallets by workers. This repetitive, sometimes awkward movement, depending on the height, weight and target placement, can prove to be a productivity buster. The need for lifting equipment was obvious and many lift systems were already available in the marketplace, all mainly powered with hydraulics.

Manufacturing plants had a couple of problems --- First, plant managers had a problem with equipment downtime. The hydraulic lifts needed maintenance and fluid spill cleanup on a regular basis. This hurt productivity and the bottom line. Second, it was found that many plants would have higher productivity levels and a reduction in operating costs if a scissor lift had a lower closed height than the typical hydraulic scissor lifts’ closed height of 7 or 8 inches. Herkules could solve these two problems without difficulty. The Herkules auto lift was easily tweaked to accommodate the manufacturing applications and it provided a closed height of just 4 inches. The low maintenance requirements of Herkules air-powered scissor lifts reduced downtime which resulted in higher productivity levels. And with most plants already having air compressors for air-powered tools and other equipment, it was an easy transition to use air powered scissor lifts.

Once Herkules’ basic air powered scissor lift table was utilized in plants, there were more inquiries from the plant managers and engineers on customizing the lift table to accommodate specific needs. For instance, “can a rotate be placed on the lift table so we can turn the pallet to the worker vs. the worker walking around the pallet?” Or, “can we tilt this bin on top of the lift table so the worker can easily reach inside the bin for retrieving materials?” Other material handling lift systems were being designed so that problems could be solved!

The solutions that Herkules designed and built throughout the next 6 to 7 years included more and more extremely unique custom made air powered scissor lift systems, requested by customers to solve application problems in the plant. Some systems needed to raise a heavy component only 15 inches, others needed to lift pallets up 80 inches, or rotate huge equipment by pushing an electronic button, or tilt a custom cart by 45 degrees. In other words, Herkules was successfully solving problems by designing simple and complex air powered material handling lift systems for just about any type of manufacturing or assembly facility application.

Lift Tables – Lift & Rotates – Lift & Tilts – Operator Lifts – Cart Lifts – Power Rotates – Post Lifts

The Herkules ”Air Scissor Lift System Specialty” was well established by 2007, and the initial ”Collision Repair Product Line” was going strong when new problems were arising in the manufacturing marketplace. Once again, by closely observing and communicating with customers, Herkules noticed that more precise positioning solutions were needed as the manufacturing industry advanced into automated processes. Upon reviewing the marketplace for answers to the automated systems needs, Herkules noticed that very few North America companies offered what was needed.

With R&D being second nature to Herkules, developing scissor lift table technological advancements was the next problem solving endeavor. Specifically, manufacturing environments required scissor lifts that could be programmed for precision stops, repeatability, speed level control, and unlimited static positioning.

Herkules, having many years experience with basic scissor lift structure, knew what needed to be researched and then tested………, and tested……….., and tested again. With as many advantages that air powered lifts have, the two things that they lack are the ability to repeat a certain position over and over again and to hold a selected position indefinitely. Lifts need to be powered by electricity for these requirements. With years of experience in the scissor lift table business and having researched many components throughout the years, ball screws were easily identified as the likely component for using as a scissor lift mechanism for providing exact stop and go movements. Finding the best ball screw component took some searching and testing, but success was inevitable since Herkules always pursues answers until they are found.

In order to learn everything throughout the R&D process, and to also make sure that every T was crossed and i dotted, Herkules designed and built a miniature version of the ball screw lift for study. A few tweaks were of course needed, but a successful electric ball screw lift was finished, and the next stage of the development process was underway----- A normal size version was created for thorough testing, controlling positions with weights and everything! Cycle testing continued…..and continued…. until the lift and its advantages were fully understood. Herkules was ready, and when a customer called with a specific problem that required more accurate positioning than an air lift could provide, the electric ball screw scissor lift was ready to go. After customizing to the requested specs (as the Engineering Department is tuned in to do), the first Herkules Electric Ball Screw Scissor Lift Table was shipped.

While researching and testing the electric ball screw lift idea, another creative spark was lit with the thought that a belt could also be utilized for moving a lift table up and down in a very controlled manner. After more research and component shopping, another miniature scissor lift was designed and built – this time with an electric belt drive as its power source. This potentially less expensive alternative for precision lifting and static positioning was on its way to fruition. Of course more testing is always needed, but another scissor lift table is available for the marketplace, from the scissor lift experts in Michigan!

During these innovative brainstorms, Herkules also solved many customer needs by including the ever-so-popular Hydraulic lift table system to its menu. Since many manufacturing workers are not familiar with air, and have become accustomed to “hydraulics’ during their working lives, hydraulics are the only answer for them. Air powered lifts, Herkules forte, was not familiar enough. When it comes to the basic need for simple ergonomic improvements, the hydraulic lift table works wonders for most. It is a tried and true lift table for the masses, and has been for ……….ever. So, being the scissor lift table experts that they are, Herkules decided to add the tried and true to the product line for customers who really need to be comforted with familiarity. Check. Problem solved.

As Herkules’ product lines grew, so did the confusion for their diverse target markets. Not only had Herkules added numerous scissor lift table systems for the manufacturing industry, but new products were added for the collision repair and quick oil change industries. The website’s Home page was becoming crowded, lengthy, and confusing. Customers had to spend time comprehending the home page in order to access the product information they were looking for. Ideally, this should be a quick no-brainer process. Herkules needed to solve this problem to relieve the brain drain.

With years of customized air powered scissor lift system photos covering the website, (lift & rotates, lift & tilts, human lifts, power rotate systems, cart lifts, etc), and now adding customized hydraulic, ball screw and belt drive lift systems to the show, it was decided to develop a brand name for the overwhelming amount of scissor lift products that Herkules now offers. Many names were considered, and after a long, somewhat creative but dull employee voting session to select the final brand name, including, of course, googling every potential name and double checking the availability for a website domain name – hence the “dull” part - the team prevailed and - EnKon Systems was formed - www.enkon.pro.

It was done. A new brand name and website domain name. Another decision made and problem solved.