Handwheel Extensions & Ease of Operation

When a valve handle is not readily accessible, or the distance for proper operation is too great, a Handwheel Extension might be the solution.

Once affixed to the existing valve, workers have quick, ready and safe access to the controls when need arises.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shown above, an inaccessible gate valve is below a platform. With a bolt-on Handwheel Extension, a worker on top of the platform now has convenient, safe access within reach and can operate the valve freely (without the need of ladders or rigging).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Also, by increasing the diameter of the handle on the Handwheel Extension, the valve may be easier to operate than it may have been with its original smaller handle.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These Handwheel Extensions are custom designed based on the valve size and distance from the valve to the operator’s control location.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Handwheel Extensions are often galvanized to help withstand the weather, elements and possible corrosion from chemicals in the facility.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you have inaccessible valves that require outside rigging to operate or controls that put your employees in dangerous situations, call Riggs for an overview of the benefits that Handwheel Extensions can offer.

 


Riggs Machine & Fabricating – Serving industry in KY, OH and WV for over 45 years!

 

Precision Shafts to Get You Running Again!

They say “wheels make the world go round”, but without shafts, nothing would ever move.

 

3D Render of Shaft

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A shaft connects a mechanical power source to gears, wheels, turbines, rotors and much more. Shafts can be as simple a basic round bar or as complex as containing exacting bearing fits, keyways, sleeves, grease fittings, snap ring grooves and splines.

 

Broken Shaft – Removed from Assembly

 

 

 

 

 

 

Often, the shafts we see have been in service for many years, sometimes running non-stop. Unfortunately when these older shafts break (as shown here), there aren’t drawings available and not a lot of time to get the new shaft machined and the unit running again.

 

Half a Shaft – Part A
Half a Shaft – Part B

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This shaft broke and we got it in 2 sections, still in the housing. After disassembly, we made hand sketches. While the housing was cleaned and checked, we created 3D drawings and then machined a new shaft.

 

Shop Sketch of Shaft
3D CAD Drawing of Shaft

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here is the new shaft ready for inspection. After passing final inspection, the housing was reassembled and the unit was ready for production use.

 

Finished Shaft – Ready for Unit Assembly
Shaft in Assembly – Almost Ready!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hopefully a broken shaft won’t take one of your machines, or worse, your facility down. But if it does, Riggs Machine has the experience to get you running again.

 

Final Assembly – Ready to Ship
Final Unit – Assembled

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Riggs Machine & Fabricating – Serving industry in KY, OH and WV for over 45 years!

Shims – more than just a strip of metal

SHIM – A washer or thin strip of metal used to align parts, make them fit or reduce wear.

 

a new shim set – ready for installation

 

These, sometimes extremely slender, strips of metal are very crucial in industrial operations. From getting a pump to line up perfectly or to make a surface level, a shim must be exact.

 

don’t let your shims get this bad!

 

Shims come in a variety of materials, but most commonly from metals such as carbon steel, brass and stainless steel. And they also vary greatly in their thickness from up to 1/4” thick and down to .001 thick (imagine an industrial foil).

 

.003 thick shims – for precise applications

 

And the tolerances they must hold are key to their functionality. They cannot deviate across the surface, their dimensions must be held.

 

 

Often industrial shims come in sets of varying thicknesses. They can be added individually to get the final adjustments perfect.

 

a pack of new new shims

 

They also come in many different shapes, often having to be custom designed to fit around existing bolt holes and other features. We like to add the small hand holds (show below) to make installation and adjustment easier.

 

custom designed shims
pump shims w-install tabs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At Riggs Machine and Fabricating we understand Industrial Shims and their importance in setup, maintenance and repairs. We understand the tolerances and design elements that separate a shim from a strip of metal. Yes, there is a difference. If the shop you are working with now doesn’t agree with that, then you are working with the wrong place. Time to call Riggs Machine.

 


Riggs Machine & Fabricating – Serving industry in KY, OH and WV for over 45 years!

A Fabrication Story – The Bearing Pedestal

Pedestals – Old and New

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There’s a reason for the fabricating in Riggs Machine & Fabricating. Here’s a perfect example. A client has an older machinery pedestal in very poor condition and needs a new assembly. There are, of course, no design drawings for the item, but luckily we can bring it to our shop.

 

Pedestal – Old Unit – Front
Pedestal – Old Unit – Side

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

First we make hand sketches of the unit. We review the original design to see if there were any structural defects that should be improved or any new features that the client would like to have implemented in the current design.

 

Pedestal – Hand DWG
Pedestal – CAD DWG
Pedestal – 3D Model

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next, these sketches are converted to CAD drawings and then 3D models are created for fit-up and testing. It’s much faster (and cheaper) to test a new design in 3D than it is after cutting 1/2” thick plates. When we are satisfied with the design, the files are sent out to have plates cut.

 

Pedestal – Pallet of Parts

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is what we get back from the waterjet cutters (Swift Manufacturing), nice pallet of loose parts. Now fabrication begins. If the designers did their work properly, the welders job should go smoothly.

 

Pedestal – New – Stage I
Pedestal – In Process – Rear
Pedestal – In Process II

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And here we have the final assembly. From hand sketches to CAD to 3D models to cut parts to fabrication in less time than it takes some companies to return your call.

 

Pedestal – Final
Pedestal – Final – Painted

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Riggs Machine & Fabricating – Serving industry in KY, OH and WV for over 45 years!

Rail Welding Shears

Used when creating a Butt Weld between two sections of train rail, this shear takes a lot of abuse. At the same time, it must follow very tight tolerances to maintain the profile of the rail (especially when a high speed train is running across it).

A New Rail Welding Shear

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A butt weld is created in the field using a mobile electric flash-butt welder. The two sections are joined and electricity is applied to the rail ends. The flash-butt welder squeezes the sections together at very high pressure, permanently joining them, but this also creates a seam at the joint with a segment of slag.

Rail w/Hot Slag after Butt Weld
(notice the manual shear in the background)
“Thermite Rail Welding” by PetrS. 2013 licensed under CC

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The RAIL WELDING SHEAR is clamped onto the rail and slid along the rail, by the mobile welder, cutting off the hot slag leaving only a small remainder that will be later ground smooth.

These shears are precision cut out of Nitronic 60 – a high strength metal known for it’s wear resistance – with a wire EDM machine. The EDM unit cuts parts slower, but with more precision than a waterjet or laser cutter.

EDM test for part fit-up

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The final grooves are added via a CNC and the units are then inspected. A hard-surface weld is added and machined to create a precision cutting edge. The parts are assembled to complete the rail welding shear.

Rail Welding Shear Components

More Rail Welding Shear Parts

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These are ready for the rail and making the travels of passengers and goods go smoother and safer.

Rail Welding Shear – Top

Rail Welding Shear – Side

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This video shows a portable flash-butt welder in use. Notice the Rail Shear clamped on the rail before the unit is lowered on the section.

 


Riggs Machine & Fabricating – Serving industry in KY, OH and WV for over 45 years!

Welcome Gregg Nichols to the Riggs Team!

We’d like to welcome Gregg Nichols to our staff. Gregg has a combined 28 years in Industrial Distribution & Manufacturing Operations and Sales.

Gregg Nichols

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

His prior experience includes 5 years with Perfection Rubber (operations manager and sales), 18 years with MSC / Dolin Supply (team leader and outside sales) and 4 years with American producers (outside and industrial sales)

The business segments he previously focused on included:

  • Coal
  • Construction
  • Chemical
  • Manufacturing
  • Petroleum
  • Power Generation
  • Steel Production

Gregg and Brent Inspect a New Platform

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gregg’s areas of expertise include:

  • Hydraulic Hoses, Tubes and Fittings
  • Metal working – Machining – Hole Making
  • Material Handling (lifting and rigging)
  • Pipes, Valves & Fittings
  • Safety

Gregg has jumped right in and got off to a strong start. His outgoing personality and years of knowledge have been a perfect fit here at Riggs. Call him for a visit to your facility and see why he’s an invaluable asset to our team!

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.

 


Riggs Machine & Fabricating – Serving industry in KY, OH and WV for over 45 years!

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

 


Riggs Machine & Fabricating – Serving industry in KY, OH and WV for over 45 years!

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

 


Riggs Machine & Fabricating – Serving industry in KY, OH and WV for over 45 years!

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.