Work Assist Tooling Solutions


Our Tools Handle Products Efficiently Across Multiple Industries

Work assist tools facilitate safe and efficient product handling across numerous industries in applications that require the movement of products or media. At Mechanical Research & Design, Inc. our work assist products use SEALFAST® Inflatable or Mechanical seals as well as engineered mechanical gripping components to simplify operations and provide maximum control for gripping, picking, handling, and supporting tasks.


Work assist tools drastically increase the efficiency of assembly and manufacturing operations. Our work assist tooling supports a broad range of processes, such as:

• Transitioning chemicals or powders into containers
• The movement and lifting of products
• Work-holding positioning and support

• Ergonomically challenging assembly


Most work assist tooling can be adapted to industrial automation equipment or for manual hand-held use.

Have Specific Requirements?

We specialize in custom solutions! Take a look at a few of our proven custom solutions or let us know your requirements. Our engineers and production staff are equipped to travel around the world at a moment’s notice to assist you with your needs!

Let's Talk!

Contact us today to discuss our rates or to book an appointment with one of our engineers. 

Types of Work Assist Tooling

Mechanical Research & Design, Inc. offers four types of work assist tooling: work positioning tools, lifting and pulling tools, isolation and support tooling, and packing and filling solutions. 

Work Positioning Tools

Work positioning tools feature SEALFAST® inflatable seals, mechanical seals, or mechanical interfacing aids that enable quick and repetitive supporting, gripping, and movement operations. Users may adjust tool contact pressure output, which is ideal for lifting delicate, small parts to those that weight up to several tons. 

Lifting and Pulling Tools

Our lifting and pulling tools enable semi-automated, fast-acting, controlled lifting of objects which can be heavy, awkward, or very hard to engage with standard lifting methods. These tools use redundant mechanical grippers or SEALFAST® inflatable seal stacks to safely latch on to part lifting surfaces. Solutions can be engineered and designed for lifting capacities from several pounds to dozens of tons, without marking or damaging contact surfaces. 

Isolation and Support Tooling

Isolation and support tooling is normally used to control the shape of a product and prevent foreign materials or process fluids from contaminating manufactured production parts as well as for standard work-holding solutions. These highly customizable tools work with a vast array of product sizes, and can be designed to nearly any shape, ensuring that users don’t need to invest in large amounts of tooling. They are available in manual and fully automated configurations.

Packing and Filling Solutions

Filling and packing solutions allow for the safe, controlled distribution of many types of media in or out of long-term storage or packaging/containers. Our flexible products are suitable for integration into nearly any automated or manual process line. They come in single and multi-seal variations and the tools simultaneously provide sealing function and holding support.


A wide range of industries use our work assist tooling solutions, such as:


• Aerospace assembly processing
• Automotive component packaging
• Chemical processing
• Food handling
• General industrial manufacturing
• Industrial automation robotic end effectors
• Pharmaceuticals packaging
• Offshore oil & gas drilling mud containment

Mechanical Research & Design, Inc. | Innovation Redefined | Manitowoc Wi

Inflatable and Mechanical solutions Experts!

Mechanical Research & Design, Inc. was founded as an application-oriented, customer-driven firm.  We have been laying the groundwork for our success since our inception. Thanks to our forward-thinking production & design staff,  as well as our advanced processes & equipment, we possess the capability to customize tooling for even the most unique situation. The products we develop revolutionize ergonomics in manufacturing and warehouse environments by providing a safe way to complete work and perform repetitive daily tasks. We offer a comprehensive range of work tooling solutions ranging from simple to complex. Our work assist products support a variety of applications including:

• Offshore drill pipe, casing, and conductor lifting
• Centerless grinding
• Fluid transport into and out of containers, tanks, etc.
• Industrial automation lifting

• Pipeline construction lifting
• Motor stator lifting
• Delicate parts and non-marking product handling
• Moving and lifting pipes, tubulars, or irregularly shaped parts
• Offshore process pipe handling
• Powder and fluid packaging
• Radioactive component and fuel rod handling
• Warhead handling and de-commissioning

Work Assist Tooling from Mechanical Research & Design, inc.

Mechanical Research & Design, Inc. offers industrial work assist tooling solutions to meet all your needs. Our SEALFAST® Mechanical and Inflatable tools can provide low to high gripping strength without any detrimental impact to parts as they safely and repetitively handle even the most demanding jobs. We will also work with you to design custom tools for atypical and unique applications. For more information on what we can do for you, please request your quote

See our SEALFAST® Elastomers Product Lines 


• For Control Panels, Utilities, Turnkey Test and Operational Systems, please see our Controls and Accessories page.