Case Study

Our billet crane upgrade cut their handling by two-thirds.

Their Challenge:

  • Create a materials handling process that would reduce waste, energy consumption, and product handling, thereby boosting yields and lowering per-unit costs.
  • They had been using two 20-ton billet cranes, thus wasting 1,100 tons of steel per year.

Observations:

Our Solution:

  • Refurbish and install a pair of 80-ton billet cranes (reclassified to a 40-ton capacity) that featured magnet service, variable-frequency drives, and air conditioned cabs and controls.
  • Work closely with customer’s engineers to design a new structure to house the much larger cranes.
  • Ensure that the cranes would be compatible with legacy machinery and the customer’s larger, more energy-efficient gas furnace.

The Results:

  • Reduced handling. Our cranes cut handling by two-thirds—from 600,000 to 200,000 pieces per year—because the billets handled are three times larger.
  • Dramatically improved yields. Torch-cutting billets to 40 feet rather than 11 or 14 feet saves 1,100 tons of steel per year.
  • Quick return on investment. The customer expects the yield improvement will generate enough savings in two years to pay for the lot: the cranes, the new structure, and the new furnace.
  • Reduced energy consumption because of fewer crane movements to move the same amount of steel.
  • Easier, less frequent maintenance. The new controls included self-diagnostics aiding in troubleshooting.

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