Handling Specialty

Grimsby,  ON 
  • Booth: 2435

Custom designed and manufactured material handling systems.


Since 1963, Handling Specialty has been exclusively dedicated to the custom design and manufacture of material handling systems for demanding applications. We are the premier source for made to order lifting, tilting, rotating and traversing equipment for clients seeking innovative solutions, exceptional professional support, world class credentials and unmatched experience. 

Our design capabilities and engineering expertise allow us to tackle one-of-a-kind applications that may have unique or extreme requirements involving usage, operating environment, and/or weight capacity. 

Bring us your material handling challenges and we’ll provide you with a high quality, dependable solution. Handling Specialty is your one-stop shop for the design, manufacture, installation and support of your project.  Put your questions to a material handling professional, and put your mind at ease.

Brands: Handling Specialty Manufacturing Limited, Whiting

 Show Specials

  • Mike Roper, sales manager will be happy to answer your questions at our booth concerning material handling for your facilty.

 Press Releases

  • GE WELLAND small

    Handling Specialty has developed a solid reputation for delivering safe, intelligent and robust material handling equipment utilized in the assembly, testing, inspection and maintenance of power generation products for multiple customers.

    One of Handling’s most effective products in the energy industry are our Automated Guided Vehicles, and Manually Guided Vehicles. These intelligent vehicles are designed to move your products through the assembly line, offering an ergonomic advantage for operators and assembly personnel.

    One example of these units are our engine transporters; which included custom engineered assembly and paint stands of varying dimensions. The AGV’s position themselves under the custom tooling and then raise on hydraulics to pick up the large engines and move them along a progressive assembly line, into and out of test cells, and into paint booths.

    Another example is the automatically guided roll-over vehicle developed to safely and efficiently position large power-gen engines during major overhaul and remanufacturing operations and to ergonomically position personnel around its 360 degree rotating platform. 

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    Engineered to operate automatically by following a pre-determined path, these units are fitted with an automatic return to start function and guided along the set path through a laser guidance system.  These AGV/MGV’s are capable of side to side (crabbing), front to back, diagonal, and zero turn motion control.

    The PLC based control systems provides customization of operating and safety features.  The vehicle is equipped with batteries, battery charger, battery meter and a protection from over discharge module.  The battery/charging system features TPPL type batteries and an on-board, fully automatic electronic battery charger capable of both standard and opportunity charging schemes. 

    All AGV’s are also designed to be manually controlled remotely, in order to move the unit off the line for charging or maintenance purposes.

    For more information, Photos and Videos, visit our AGV/MGV case studies

  • (Jul 13, 2018)
    AGV 3

    AGV Case Study and Future Featured Applications

    In the summer of 2015, a major truck body manufacturer was awarded a walk-in van order to be built and delivered within a very tight deadline.

    This company’s leadership team immediately initiated a plan to source a location for a new manufacturing facility that would employ the latest in advanced manufacturing processes.  

    A location in the US Southeast was finally selected and after significant research concerning automation and conveyance methods, Handling Specialty was chosen as the best solution provider for their automated guided vehicles (AGV’s).  Over 350,000 square feet of production area and aggressive delivery deadlines meant a large-scale automated operation was a must.

    DSC 0463 small

    Automated Guided Vehicles supplied by Handling Specialty were custom engineered to meet the capacity and dimensional characteristics of the product as well as the duty cycle, custom tooling and speed requirements of their new assembly line.  In this project, the AGV’s were equipped with guidance sensors designed to read smart tape affixed to the shop floor which was used to guide the automated vehicles along the assembly line.  The AGV’s provided forward/reverse, zero-turn and crabbing motion capabilities along with variable speed control.

    Supporting lean manufacturing processes, Handling Specialty’s AGVs move the truck chassis along the assembly line and provide the flexibility to adjust production according to volume and schedule demands.  Each AGV is equipped with on-board PLC control components which communicate wirelessly to a master control panel.  The controls employ standardized architecture using commercially available, off the shelf components.  The master control panel is equipped with a full color, feature rich HMI which displays real-time production information, AGV positioning, diagnostics and other critical operational data. 

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    Safety is a critical design and operational concern which was addressed in the AGV’s supplied to this truck body manufacturer.  Each AGV is equipped with an audible warning alarm and flashing beacon to indicate motion.  In addition, the AGV is provided with safety laser scanners which will arrest motion in the event of an obstruction as well as contact style tape sensors and emergency stop buttons. 

    Industry 4.0 is widely regarded as the next leap in manufacturing and Handling Specialty’s future AGV solutions will be employing the latest in innovative AGV drive technologies with Industry 4.0 connectivity.  These solutions will allow advanced manufacturing companies to access, share and process large amounts of information to help create products more efficiently and support smart factory operations.

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    Our client set out to build the most efficient, state-of-the-art truck body manufacturing plant in North America and are now seeing the positive economic impact to the area by providing safe and meaningful work for people who share their values.

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    Split rail systems are used in rail vehicle maintenance facilities for changing of rail vehicle (freight, or transit) wheelsets.

    In a typical system:

    The rail vehicle’s wheelset scheduled for removal is driven over the split rail system.

    The Operator traverses the battery-powered lifting dolly (running in a pit between the raised rails,) below the split rail location.

    The wheelset lifting dolly raises to line up with and connect to the wheelset; lifting the wheelset off the rails.

    The rail vehicle is then chocked under it’s side frames so the dolly can lower the unit onto the chocks - allowing the locking bars of the split rails to be retracted - and the split rails lowered (or rotated, so the dolly can lower and remove the wheelset from the rail vehicle truck.

    The wheelset is then rolled off the dolly and onto a transfer platform - where it is secured to a scissor lift - which raises it above floor level to be rolled onto a portable transfer cart. The wheelset is then moved on to the assembly and exchange area of the maintenance facility, and the process reverses to install the new wheelset onto the rail vehicle. 

    Split rail systems are an excellent addition to any rail maintenance facility allowing for less downtime owing to more efficient equipment, and updated processes.

    Handling has a number of Split Rail design systems / solution that can be customized for your facilities layout and wheel exchange requirements.

    To discover which best suits your applications, contact Rick Breznik.

  • Plant 2 overview2

    Where We Build Big Things So Our Customers Can Build Big Things

    Handling Specialty has two facilities with our head office in the free-trade corridor of the golden horseshoe in Ontario, Canada offering deep supply chain and excellent logistic options. 

    Our clients visit our facilities often to proof their equipment before signing off in a Factory Acceptance Test (FAT). This process offers visuals of their equipment running through a series of tests for weight capacity, functionality and other aspects.

    Because potential customers also visit our offices and manufacturing facilities before making the right decision to use Handling Specialty for their custom material handling needs, we have created a page which offers visuals for those still looking online. This page will offer square footage, locations and photos of our factory spaces to further win your trust and confidence in Handling’s abilities.

    We’re all about transparency in the services and quality of manufacturing we offer our clients and future customers; building big things so our customers can build big things.

  • Heavy duty mechanical lift for steel industry header

    The hazardous and rigorous demands of the metal processing industry requires equipment that is robust, reliable and satisfies stringent safety standards. Handling Specialty builds to these specifications.

    Handling Specialty’s safe, intelligent and production duty material handling equipment for the steel industry includes large capacity blank destacking lifts which are used to continuously feed automotive stamping presses, steel coil transfer cars to move steel coils through the plant, mechanical lifts for servicing the underside of induction furnaces, slag pot & ladle transfer carriers, personnel lifts & work platforms for re-bricking ladles, large capacity upenders/inverters and wide range specialty equipment.

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    Given that each project has different technical and scope requirements, Handling Specialty’s creative engineering team collaborates with its clients from conceptual engineering through detailed design.  In addition to a comprehensive inspection and validation process, all equipment undergoes thorough performance testing and each client is invited to participate in a full factory acceptance test prior to shipment.  Turnkey installations, onsite training, maintenance, spare parts and technical support are routine activities provided by Handling Specialty’s Professional Services Group.  A highly skilled and dedicated fork force delivers innovative solutions, exceptional professional support, world class credentials and an unmatched experience.

    With a long history of building robust lifting and transfer systems for the steel processing industry, Handling Specialty is your first choice when considering a custom offering.

    If you’re in need of an unique solution for your Steel/Process operations, call on the company with the experience to build whatever you can imagine. Contact Mike Roper, or call 1-800-559-8366


  • Ladle lifts
    Since refractory firebrick in pour ladles require continual replacement, a safe and efficient method for replacing the brick was needed. Handling Specialty's ladle lifts replaced traditional scaffolding used in the re-bricking job....

    • Heavy-duty high rise table with custom profile top      
    • Provides a safer and more efficient working environment            
    • Special controls and protection for harsh environment            
    • Lifting platform available flat or with optional perimeter kick plate      

    Standard options include:

    • Hardened fluid runs
    • Reinforced platform
    • Manual lowering valve
    • "Armored" HPU
    • Shackles for four-point lifting by overhead or jib crane

    Optional features include:

    • Unique leveling legs
    • Flat or clip-on platform extensions
  • Heavy Duty Hydraulic Scissor Lift for Wire Rod Tra
    The extreme duty car was required to accumulate wire rod continuously and then transfer it between process lines....

  • Two traversing transfer cars, with power-clamp tooling for handling the wire rod, were designed and constructed for a new product assembly line.  Essential to the success of the application were the cars’ durability:  They needed to withstand the harsh manufacturing environment of a steel mill as well as endure continuous cycling.  The 13,000 lb. capacity car had a self-propelled system which incorporated specialized hydraulic and electrical components.


    • Heavy duty scissor lift
    • Traversing transfer cars with power clamp tooling
    • Continuous running cycle, extreme duty conditions
    • Rugged 
  • Automatic Guided Vehicle
    Flexibility to alter the assembly floor is a new advancement in automated guided vehicles where in the past they were permanently tied to a physical track within the facility....

  • Now, with smart tape – a series of QR codes which are printed and laid in any formation – the unit uses laser guidance; moving along the pre-determined path set by the tape. This tape can be pulled up with little cost and re-positioned should the needs of the facility's assembly line change. Compared to the costs associated with pulling up a track embedded into the concrete floor, Handling Specialty’s technologically superior AGV is the clear choice.

    See the Press Release


    Automatic Guided Vehicle for Truck Outfitters Assembly Plant.

    1. Emergency stop
    2. Flashing yellow safety lights
    3. Motion sensor
    4. 8 TPPL, 48 VDC voltage batteries
    5. Manual hand operated control
    6. Brushless DC servo motor
    7. Capacity to carry 12,000 lbs (5,443 kg)
    8. Laser guidance system programmed to follow smart tape
    9. Programmable speeds via smart tape
    10. Custom Tooling
    11. Battery power meter

  • Self Propelling Lift for Steel Industry
    Handling Specialty was presented with a material handling challenge by steel giant Allegheny Ludlum to move steel coils through an existing narrow pit system....

  • Fitting within 3/4” of the pit walls, the 50,000 lbs capacity lift measures only 64” wide and 84” long.


    • 50,000 lb capacity lift
    • Self-propelling lift with onboard hydraulics  
    • Integral power pack
    • Central lubrication access
    • Anti-friction bearings at all pivots
    • Polyurethane-covered rollers ensure that the coils are not damaged during handling
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