The invention of manual chain blocks dates back to the early 3rd century BC and is credited to Archimedes, a Greek inventor. He invented a pulley design to haul ships out of the sea. This was done using a special hook and tackle system. Such early inventions of pulleys system led to the development of chain hoist.
After the invention of Manual Chain pulley blocks, there were many challenges that need to be accomplished for the development of the material handling industry. Some of the roadblocks are discussed below
- Speed of operation: There rose a need for a constant speed of operation for the proper tuning of the production cycle. Manual operational speed changed from the operator to operator and sometimes for the same operator also. Some time excess speed was also demanded which was beyond the human ability.
- Continuous operation: As the world moved toward the globalization, the new market open for every industry and much more production was required to cater to this market. For this, the machines were made to run continuously for long hours.
- Consistency in operation: With the high rate of attrition of operating labour there as a need for the consistent way of operation of chain blocks. Electric Hoist reduced the dependency on humans.
- More safety was demanded: There was a need for handling heavyweight material even where the conditions were not favourable for humans. High Temperature, acidic temperatures were the most common causes of the non-workable environment.
- Sequential/autonomous tasks: With the automation coming into a role there was a need to maintain proper timing between the processes.
- Multidimensional tasks: More and more labour was required to control the different axis of operation of the manual arrangement of blocks.