Is Riggs Machine the Solution for Your Business?

Being located in Ashland KY gives us access to many types of major industries including oil and petroleum, chemical, coal, power production, rail, auto manufacturing, mining equipment, steel and other metal production.

 

Cooling Bed

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We also cater to a variety of small businesses with their own unique areas of specialties such as large machinery repair (i.e. dozer and tractor), environmental services, and public and municipal agencies.

Conveyor Racks
Coil Unwind Segment

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So what type of services do we provide to our clients? We are a full service machining and fabricating facility. We can perform everything from basic repairs to fabrication of new structures. From turning mill rolls to custom shaft machining, from designing and building platforms to providing phonographic finished spectacle blinds. We even rebuild gearboxes and crane wheel drive units.

 

Pinion Stand Gears
High Pressure Manifold Block

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Riggs Machine is also considered a hot job shop, meaning we are available 24-7 if the need arises. Many of our clients run non-stop and can’t let a part failure stop production, the flow of material to their customers, or possibly the power to your home!

 

Slot Cutter
Steel Mill Roll

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We’ve even designed a few specialty items like our tank top drop-in manway guards. These have proven to be very popular in petroleum refineries.

 

Drop In Guard

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We’ve also worked with several companies on large projects to help refine and bring to life new equipment that has helped them gain an advantage in their respective fields.

 

Potash Loader
The Gator – Tank Cleaner

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Whether you need a custom shaft for your facility, a new walkway to keep your employees safe, or a miner that will move mountains, Riggs Machine & Fabricating has the experience and knowledge to exceed your expectations.

Tapered Tube Plugs – Not as Simple as it Seems

Tapered Tube Plug

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Used during repairs and outages, this simple looking device becomes a necessity. The Tube Plug is hammered or welded into the open section of pipes in boilers and heat exchangers. They plug the end of the pipe to either stop the flow of steam or coolant. If the plug’s seal is not tight the coolant can seep into the material and contaminate it.

 

Heat Exchanger End *
Heat Exchanger Side *

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What makes this seemingly basic item so important are a few factors. First, its fit must be right. Sure they are tapered, but they must fit without damaging the existing pipe or sliding too far in. Also, the material specifications for Tube Plugs can vary greatly. While some plugs can be made out a carbon steel like 1018, other plugs must match the existing pipe section (i.e. A350 with more carbon content) or even stainless steel, nickle or other metals. If the wrong type of metal is used, it could lead to corrosion, rust, leaks or a possible reaction with existing materials in the system.

 

Tube Plug in CNC Lathe

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Even the machining isn’t always as simple as it may seem. Bar stock in not always available in a size close to what the job requires or the material type needed is only available as plate. In that case, a plug larger than the finished size would be cut from the plate and then turned turn by hand on a lathe. Time consuming, yes, but necessary for a professional fit.

 

Plug cut from plate
Sample Heat Doc

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At Riggs Machine & Fabricating, we not only have the experience, but we ask the questions to make sure the job is done right, the first time. Don’t trust those supposed simple jobs to just any shop. Call Riggs first for the dependability and quality your facility demands.

 

Set of Tube Plugs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*(Morton, John, 2 Electrolyte Heat Exchanger Tube Bundles in the 8×6 Foot Wind Tunnel, 1975) – http://catalog.archives.gov

Industrial Platform Handrail – Ergonomics and Safety

Industrial platforms and walkways typically use one of two types of handrail – round bar or angle.

round rail platform
updated angle based handrail

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

But recently we’ve seen the addition of a lower handrail, which is more ergonomic and comfortable.

smoother, more ergonomic grip

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This additional handrail makes transversing stairs much safer. There are no breaks or pinch points as you move your hand along the rail. The placement is more convenient and it just has a better feel to it.

stairs w/ lower handrail
new handrail in place

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Even better, this handrail can be added to existing walkways and platforms. If you have a heavily trafficked area or a thoroughfare on which you’d like to beef up the safety – rather than replace the entire structure, consider this simple (and cost effective) addition. Give Riggs a call, we’re here to help.

easily added to existing walkways

Screw Conveyor – Auger

The Auger Conveyor uses a rotating helical screw blade to move materials along its length. This unit moves abrasive materials from hopper to hopper then to bagging.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Notice how the abrasive material has worn down the blades. Also, material is sticking to the untreated blades. Material slides over the smaller, worn out blades making the conveyor ineffective. Jobs take longer and costs rise quickly.

 

 

This new unit has Hardfacing Wire (Lincore 55) welded to the blades to reinforce them and add durability. This surface resists sliding wear and mild abrasion. These new blades will have a longer service life.

 

Saying Goodbye to a Good Friend

It is with heavy hearts we say goodbye to a great friend and colleague, Randall Peterman. Randall passed away on August 29 after a short illness. It has taken everyone at Riggs by surprise. His humor and joyfulness will be missed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Randall started with us in 2000 cleaning and sweeping around the shop, then later moved on as a driver. He recently became a sales rep for Riggs Machine and used his outgoing personality to gain the trust of customers where other sales reps might falter. His open nature and ease of conversation made our clients comfortable with him.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Randall was a unique individual and had his own ways of doing things. He was not afraid of criticism and would let you know where you stood. His quick wit and smile was his calling card.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Many knew Randall as the Mayor of Catlettsburg, KY, a city he loved. He also ran a catering business, but it was more of a reason to socialize and be with people. You could say his hobby was helping people. Randall made sure everyone else was taken care of first.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Randall, trust you will not be forgotten. Remembered in the stories told of your hijinks and humor, the people you’ve helped and the lives you’ve touched. Rest well dear friend.

Grapple – A Hook or Claw to Catch or Hold

And boy do they!

Photo by James Dave Fitzwall / CC

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You may be familiar with the design, it has been used for years from junk yards to the toy dispenser in the mall arcade. The reason is simple, they work. The four finger design can lift almost anything. This is very handy in a scrap yard when you never know what is coming in next or the condition an item may be in.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This set is from a metal yard and they are abused on a daily basis. They pull scrap from rail cars and trucks all day and drop it into awaiting shredders and barges.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To extend the life of the hooks, the ends are cut off and new tips are welded on. All four “fingers” are replaced at the same time to keep balance and even wear of the unit. The key is making sure all four tips line up and meet in the center of the unit, ensuring maximum performance. Not an easy task on such a large and unwieldy assembly.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here they are, ready for assembly on the unit. Soon they will be helping in the cycle of converting scrap into metal that will go back to the steel mills to make new products.

 

Industrial Classroom Training Aids

If you ever wondered where the custom training equipment in industrial classrooms come from, then look no further than Riggs Machine.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At Riggs we can create custom pieces from scratch, like this “oil flinger” demonstration unit. Shown from conception, with 3D renders, to the final unit in the classroom.

3D Oil Render Test
Oil Flinger 3D Render

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And we also often disassemble, create “cut-away” sections, sandblast, paint and reassemble actual pieces of equipment to be used in working classrooms. These units are used for hands-on training before students hit the field. Much better than a video or book based lecture.

FinTube Assembly – Ready for Class
Custom Cut-Aways

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some of these jobs can be more time and labor intensive than actual repairs! But we don’t mind. We’re proud to be part of the team who help educate the next generation who will be keeping our refineries, steel mills and factories running.

Pump Cut Away in Process
Pump Lid – Painting Detail

The Target Blind – Revisited

Blinds, sometimes known as blanks, isolate a section of pipe for repair, maintenance or testing. There are many types of blinds as we have shown before from the slip blind, the spectacle blind to the bleeder blind.

 

 

 

 

 

Here we have a nice assortment of Target Blinds. Used much like the bleeder blind, the target blind is placed on the end of a pipe section rather than in the center of a section. Gauges can be placed on the valves to test the pressure in the section of piping. Sampling can also be taken from the valve if desired.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The different sizes correspond with the different sizes of piping found within the refinery.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This group of target blinds is a bit “beefier” than usual. They will be used during the permanent shutdown of a unit until the demolition of the unit occurs. There may be need for occasional venting of the piping section until the demo.

Explosion Proof Hatch – Pyrite Ducts

Here are some newly machined explosion-proof hatches for pyrite ducts.

In preparing coal for energy production, pyrite, a sulfide that contributes to air pollution and acid rain, is removed before burning. The separated pyrite is forced through ducts to waiting hoppers using high pressure fans. These ducts have negative pressure in them. If a chunk of pyrite gets stuck in a hopper then unit has to be shut down and the duct removed from the unit to be cleaned.

Photo by James St. John / CC by
Sphalerite-Pyrite

With the addition of these hatches, if a chunk of pyrite gets stuck in the hopper, it is only a temporary shut down while the hatch is opened and the material is washed out. Once the hatch is sealed, the unit is quickly brought back on-line. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These hatches have also been used as inspection doors on gearboxes, giving quick access to the internals for routine maintenance or adjustments. The locking tab on the hatches also helps keep the unit secure.

 

A Phonographic Finish!

No, not what is used when a race is too close to call (that’s a photo finish). But a machined finish added to the raised face on a flange to give an extra level of security to prevent leaks and maintain effective seals.

Spacer Flange w-Phonographic Finish

The Phonographic Finish is actually a serrated finish, either concentric or spiral (much like the grooves on a record), that will grip the gasket between pipe sections firmly.

Phonographic Finish – Close Up

These finishes are typically added on a lathe to specifications set either by the company ordering the flange, the manufacturer or ASME B16.5 guidelines. Below is a render of the completed flange with bolt holes. I would have included a photo of the actual completed unit, but as soon as it was finished, it was rushed to the job site! But that’s why we’re here. Everyone knows who to call when a custom part is needed in a hurry.

Spacer Flange – Render