Manipulation of parts inside a machine becomes a daunting task without a custom overhead manipulator. A large transportation component manufacturer contacted us to provide a solution. They needed an answer to the ergonomic problem of loading and unloading parts from inside a machining center. The problem? They needed the 18 lb. part placed and retrieved from a fixture 20″ inside the machine. Further, the operator, a big beefy guy, was having back issues.

Second problem? They needed the part flipped over and placed in a second fixture inside the machining center for machining the back side of the part.


We developed a custom overhead manipulator that could reach inside the machining center for easy placement of the parts. Additionally, our neutral balance system made the part weightless to the operator allowing easy part transfer. And, a manual rollover wheel for flipping the part between fixtures kept costs down and accommodated imbalance in the part.

We completed the project for less than 20% of the cost of a robot. Importantly, this allowed the machine operator to stay in the work area because no fenced enclosure was required.

A custom overhead manipulator holding parts to be put inside machinery.

Do you have a challenge? Contact TDA Buddy today to see what custom solution we can create for you.