Marathon Lift positions bodies weighing several tons for painting

Modern paint and powder coating systems for the automotive industry are complex systems that have to meet a variety of requirements: from seamless integration into automated production lines, to environmentally friendly water and air treatment, to a trouble-free painting or coating process. OEMs typically use customized systems developed by specialist system manufacturers such as Therma-Tron-X Inc. (TTX) from Wisconsin, USA. A utility vehicle manufacturer had specific requirements for a new system: TTX was asked to integrate a lifting unit to lift the bodies into the painting line. For the lifting system, TTX chose Wippermann's powerful yet extremely compact Marathon Lift ML1000.


To facilitate the painting and inspection of the underbody of heavy-duty commercial vehicle bodies, an American OEM required high performance lifting equipment to be integrated into a new painting line. For the planned processing line and the lifting stations to be integrated, the following requirements profile was defined:

  • Four lifting systems per station
  • 450 kg load per lifting system for a total load of 1.8 ton per station
  • Ten cycles of lifting operations per hour
  • Lifting height of 1,000mm
  • Lifting speed of up to 115mm per second
  • Maintenance-free, as the chains are guided in columns

In addition to the technical parameters, the system's design also required a very compact height of the lifting system.


Therma-Tron-X Inc. designs, manufactures and installs customized painting, powder coating and heat treating systems for contract painters as well as OEMs. One of the company's strengths is its expertise in finding solutions for customers' specific requirements. The American system manufacturer developed a system concept in which a total of twelve lifting units were to be integrated into the painting line.

Extremely reliable:

Thanks to the maintenance-free Marathon rigid chain, the Marathon Lift combines high performance, freedom from maintenance and an extremely compact design.

With its maintenance-free rigid chain system, the Marathon Lift ML1000 was the ideal solution for the specialists at Therma-Tron-X: The patented rigid chain system features an innovative design of chain links that interlock during the push phase to form a stable, rigid unit with high load capacity. At the same time, the chain can be deflected so that it can be stored in a low-profile chain box to save space.



Extremely compact:

The Marathon Lift ML1000 fits perfectly into the design of the painting line with an overall height of only 200mm.

For its application, TTX chose the ML1000, which has a very small footprint with an overall height of just 200mm. With a payload of one ton at a lifting height of 1,000mm, the extremely compact Marathon Lift is ideal for the planned application, which will use four lifting units to lift the vehicle bodies at one station.

Highly efficient:

With a lifting force of up to four tons per lifting station, the 1.8 ton utility vehicle bodies are lifted 1,000mm by a total of four Marathon Lift units.

During the first practical trials, the customer was particularly impressed by the smooth and stable lifting of the heavy vehicle bodies. The customer can also rely on the high reliability of the ML1000 in the long term. This is of great importance to them, as their plans call for the paint shop to be used at close intervals, with ten vehicles per hour.

The high performance rigid chain is based on the maintenance-free Marathon chain, which achieves a service life of at least 1 million cycles, ensuring maximum reliability and availability. At ten cycles per hour, this equates to a service life of 100,000 hours or more than 13 years in a three-shift, six-day-a-week operation.

More information about the Marathon Lift:

Your point of contact for all rigid chain systems

[Translate to English:] Dr. Jakob Küpferle
Dr. Jakob Küpferle
Director Engineering
Fax +49 2331 782-455
[Translate to English:] Martin Kiehne
Martin Kiehne
Technical support
Fax +49 2331 782-455
[Translate to English:] Thomas Rafflenbeul
Thomas Rafflenbeul
Technical support
Fax +49 2331 782-455

Product information

Brochure Marathon Lift (PDF)

The Marathon Lift for your application

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