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Industrial Manipulators (also referred to as 'Ergo Arms') are pneumatically balanced manual lift assists. A pair of articulating arms allow an operator to lift and position a part as if it were an extension of his/her hands. The typical capacity of our manipulator lift assists range from 125 lbs to 450 lbs, although higher capacity models can be configured for special applications.

Industrial Manipulators (Ergo Arms) are the high-performance, high-speed manual material-handling solution. Manipulators render the load virtually weightless from the point of view of the operator. Unlike a bridge crane, a manipulator is able to support a load that is offset from the axis of the end effector (part gripper).

(◄ Photo) - An M100 Ergo Arm featuring a custom end effector for a V8 engine. The end effector incorporates a pneumatic gripper and a 180° roll.

M35 Manipulator w/ End Effector
  • Can reach into enclosed spaces (such as a vehicle)
  • Can reach under obstructions
  • Offer greater placement precision than is possible with a crane
  • Generally offer lower cycle times versus traditional cranes

Our manipulators are made as lightweight as possible in order to reduce the inertial load and friction that can be felt at the handles by the operator.

All of our manipulator components are mass-produced and stocked, ready to be assembled for your order.

(â–ºPhoto) - An M35 manipulator with a custom end effector. The end effector is lifting an automotive chassis component and features a pair of pneumatic grippers.

M100 Instrument Panel Install

We have 5 models of manipulators for part weights of 15 lbs to 300 lbs+. One of the models shown below can be chosen depending on the weight of the load and end effector and the reach of the situation at hand.

(â—„Photo) - An M100 instrument panel install lift assist with tilt and roll.

AutoBalance Manipulator Control Handlebar

Manipulators have always offered the fastest, smoothest material handling solution available. But they have always had a drawback in that traditionally they are only able to pick up one or two weights without changing settings. The AutoBalance system solves this problem by allowing the manipulator to automatically reset the balance point with every lift.

The AutoBalance system is a technological advance in manipulator control which enables an operator to lift many different weights in succession, even if the operator does not know the weight of the next part.

The AutoBalance system is available in either of two modes: auto-balance pushbutton mode and auto-balance sensor mode. In pushbutton mode, the operator presses an up button until the load is lifted, at which time the load is perfectly balanced and the operator floats the load without pressing buttons. In sensor mode, the operator simply pulls up on the handlebars until the load rises away from its support. Again, the load is balanced, the operator can float the load easily.

Other controls such as grip, release, rotate and tilt are operated through pushbuttons located on the handlebars

â–ºDRAWINGS here for more info
STD-M Manpulator Detail



Givens Engineering offers 7 manipulator models, the M15, M25, M35, M60, M100, M200 & M400.

There are 6 standard arm lengths available for Arm #1 and Arm #2 for each manipulator, ranging in 10" increments from 40" to 90". Any combination of arm length may be used provided that the moment generated by the load and the mass of the structural components that make up the lift assist fall within the moment rating for each of the three axes.

    Typical Application
Manipulator Model Maximum Moment
@ Axis #1
(End Effector + Part)
(Axis #1 to mEE+PART)
M15 15,000 in*lbs 125 lbs 6-9 ft
M25 25,000 in*lbs 180 lbs 8-11 ft
M35 35,000 in*lbs 230 lbs 10-12 ft
M60 60,000 in*lbs 330 lbs 12-14 ft
M100 100,000 in*lbs 450 lbs 14-16 ft
M200 200,000 in*lbs 900 lbs 14-16 ft
M400 400,000 in*lbs 1800 lbs 14-16 ft

The maximum vertical travel of each manipulator is dependent on the length of the first arm. The maximum two-way angular travel for each manipulator is 80°. It is generally advisable not to exceed 24" of vertical travel at the handlebars for good ergonomics. If more vertical travel at the handlebars is required we can design telescoping handlebars for your end effector.

The maximum operating pressure of the manipulator is 100 psi.

The cylinder balance pressure will be dependent on the length of the first arm and the mass of all of the components between the part, end effector and the second axis. Selecting a shorter arm will lower the required lift cylinder pressure. As a general rule of thumb, the balance pressure of the manipulator with the heaviest part gripped should be at least 5 psi lower than the supply pressure. It is standard practice at most factories to design for 80 psi max.

If the lift cylinder pressure is too high and a shorter first arm cannot be chosen, a counterweight can be added to the end of the first arm. The use of a counterweight should be avoided however, since it will add to the inertial load of the arms.

  • Most operator-friendly High-performance material-handling
  • No up/down pushbuttons to press; arm 'floats' at all times
  • Operator can feel the load as it settles into a fixture
  • Arm can reach under obstructions, into cars, into presses
  • It is not necessary to grip the load at the center of gravity; loads can be gripped at the end , for example
  • Load does not wobble about; it can be fixed at the same attitude
  • There is no "pendulum effect" that a crane has because the hoist cable is nonexistent. Enables fastest material handling

Cost: Somewhat higher cost than cranes

  • Operator-friendly
  • Medium-performance material-handling
  • Up/down pushbuttons are always necessary
  • Long travel distances are possible
  • Typically hoist must be centered above load's center of gravity
  • Load can be wobbled about at the bottom of the cable


Cost: Medium-priced

  • Low-cost material-handling best for slow operations or infrequent lifts
  • Hard to maneuver quickly, especially when the load is in the half of the range closest to the post
  • For light loads, installation is very easy, consisting of lagging to the floor, heavy loads require a foundation


Cost: Lowest price for light loads not requiring a foundation

  • The manipulator ‘floats’ the load; from the perspective of the operator the load appears weightless
  • No ‘up’ or ‘down’ pushbuttons are required
  • Each model of manipulator can be configured with many arm length combinations in from 40" to 90" in 10" increments
  • Rotational hard stops on the first and second axis are adjustable
  • Vertical travel range is adjustable via soft stops on the first axis
  • A hard stop on the 3rd axis permits approximately 700° of rotation
  • Brakes are included for the fist and second axis to prevent drift (a third axis brake is optional)
  • Safety shutdown - In the event of an air loss, a circuit in the manipulator control panel will prevent the arm from falling. A bleed valve is provided to safely relieve pressure in the balance cylinder (and lower the arm).
  • The end effector can be configured to prevent the part from being released until the manipulator interprets that the part is resting on a surface.

Post Mount - Standard

Inverted First Axis - For mounting on an overhead structure or crane carriage

Cantilevered Stand - For work areas that cannot accommodate a floor mounted post central to the work cell


The following options are available and would be quoted on a per-case basis:

End Effectors - Let us design a custom end effector for your application. Givens Engineering has all of the resources necessary in-house to deliver a turn-key solution for your lifting application.

Vertical Travel Brake - A pneumatic brake on the first axis locks the arm at any position above the ground.

Multiple Part Balance - The manipulator can be configured for several balance pressures (if for example several part variations are to be lifted). The correct pressure could be selected through a toggle switch, multiple part present sensors and an external input from a PLC.

AutoBalance System - A (patent pending) ‘Multi-Weight Balancing’ system that does not rely on discrete balance pressure points is also available. This system features a device at the operator handles that senses changes in part weight and automatically compensates the manipulator balance pressure.

Electrical Control - An electrical control system is available (the manipulator is powered pneumatically but controlled electrically). Typically we would quote such a system as a complete package including end effector.

Crane Carriage - Crane carriages are available for inverted mounting on overhead crane rails.

Support Structures - Support structures can be custom fabricated for more difficult installations.

Installation - We can provide full installation and start-up support

Rotor Lift Assist

M15 Brake rotor ergo lift assist with 180° rotate. The example shown has an 8' reach with 30lbs part and 90 lbs end effector.

Manipulator with custom second arm

M25 Tooling lift assist with custom telescoping second arm.

M25 Exhaust Manipulator PLC Controlled

M35 Exhaust lift assist w/ electrically controlled/pneumatically powered manipulator (via. PLC)

Manipulator for forging operation

M60 Manipulator & end effector for forging operation. End effector features STD-G54 gripper w/ manual roll.

Truck Wheel Instal Assist

M100 Truck wheel lift assist featuring pneumatic wheel rotation & gripper. The example shown has an 14.5' reach with 220lbs part and 145 lbs end effector.

Rear Hatch Install Ergo Arm w/ Torque Tools & Vacuum

M35 Complex rear hatch install lift assist for an automotive application. The end of arm tooling incorporates a powered hinge alignment mechanism, vacuum alignment and 4 torque tools (nutrunners)..

Brake Press Manipulator Pre-Bend

The brake press manipulator shown at left consists of a patent pending end effector mounted to the end of an M100 manipulator. The brake press manipulator allows a single operator to perform operations that would normally require 2 workers.

The brake press manipulator greatly reduces the cycle time when manually forming heavy (150+ lbs) parts in a brake press.

Brake Press End Effector

The end effector / gripper shown features a 180° roll and is able to tilt the part +/- 40° to the horizontal. The tilt cylinder is pneumatically balanced, the grippers tilt to match the angle of the bending operation without operator input. The operator maintains full control at all times.

The handlebars feature a powered height adjustment. A pneumatic caliper brake allows the handle to be locked at ay position along its travel.

Brake Press Manipulator Roll

The manipulator can also be sized to accommodate smaller or differently shaped parts. Additional functionality can also be designed into the end effector / gripper to suit your application.


Brake Press Manipulator in action in Wisconsin. Notice that the operator does not have to press up/down pushbuttons to move the arm vertically; the arm floats up and down in response to the operator's movements. While the sheet is bent in the brake press, the manipulator maintains its grip and continues to "float" the sheet at all times.

The sheet angle tilt is passive while the bending occurs, but becomes active outside of the press, responding to the operator's tilt up/down pushbuttons, using our patented system. The sheet can be rotated 180 degrees upside down without letting go. The handlebars can be slid up and down a rail so that a comfortable height can be maintained


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