Essential Business Status

On March 23 Gov. Andy Beshear ordered all nonessential retail businesses to be closed. Some critical businesses are exempt from these guidelines.

Riggs Machine is considered an Essential Business aligned with the Critical Manufacturing Sector servicing many industries including:

  • Energy
  • Chemical
  • Transportation
  • Water and Wastewater Systems

We will be operating and available as you have come to expect.

As always the health and safety of our employees and families remain our number one concern and we will continue to follow all applicable CDC guidelines.

Feel free to contact us at 606-324-009 if you have any questions about our operating hours or new safety protocols during this unprecedented time.

 


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

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Statement

March 20, 2020

As the world faces a truly unprecedented situation, Riggs Machine & Fabricating is taking proactive steps to ensure the health and safety of our valued employees, customers and community. We continue to closely monitor the latest reports and recommendations from the Centers of Disease Control (CDC) in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The health and safety of our employees and customers are our top priority. Riggs Machine & Fabricating has implemented practices to assist in protecting our employees and community.

  • Employees have been updated on preventative practices and preparedness plans recommended by the CDC. We have requested employees follow these guidelines for proper personal safety.
  • We are following the government’s direction to practice social distancing.
  • Employees are asked to stay home if they feel ill.
  • Hand sanitizer and disinfectants are being provided throughout our work areas.
  • Comprehensive cleaning and sanitizing protocols are in place for our facilities, including high traffic areas being frequently disinfected and cleaned.
  • Customer and supplier visits on-site to Riggs Machine & Fabricating are limited. Drivers picking up material or making delivers have limited access into our facilities and exposure to our employees.

We remain committed and confident that during these tough times, we can continue to deliver the quality, dependable service to our customers across our community in a timely, efficient, and safe manner.

Thank you for your partnership and should you have questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at 606-324-0090.

Sincerely,

Bert Riggs, President

 


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

Mobile Safety Barrier

Traffic Cone

When a Simple (traffic) Cone Won’t Do”

 

Movable Safety Barrier - 3D Render

 

There are several solutions to protecting workers and areas vulnerable to hazards like pedestrian and industrial traffic.

Some companies throw out a few cones, maybe even adding a flag or two for visibility. Then there’s the flimsy plastic folding barriers you might have seen around an out-of-service restroom at the mall.

But these solutions are not suitable for industrial environments. They don’t offer any real protection. They’re just one step up from wishful thinking.

Riggs Machine would like to suggest a better solution: the Mobile Safety Barrier.

This item protects the area around workers while in underground accesses such as manholes and maintenance openings or above ground on ladders.

 

Movable Safety Barrier - Man in Barrier

 

Highly Visible – can be see by those walking around the area and in vehicles and forklifts.

 

Movable Safety Barrier - Side View

 

Due to its sturdy design, it will not fold or buckle in high winds or bad weather. Can be bumped and still remain in position. It’s solid metal frame can withstand the harsh plant environment. Unlike plastic units, it can be painted any color or modified if necessary.

 

Movable Safety Barrier - Caster

 

The Mobile Safety Barrier positions easily on heavy duty casters and can be loaded on a flatbed for quick offsite setup.

 

This convenient, sturdy, mobile, highly visible unit increases safety in your facility.

 


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

 

Preparing for the Outage

Preparing for an outage can be almost as stressful as the actual event. Gathering drawings, getting materials ready, prepping vendors, suppliers and employees. Trying your best not to overlook any details.

 

construction workers
Photo by Jess Lis from Freeimages
blueprints
Photo by Fira Anuar from Freeimages

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

But often it’s not the big ticket items that slow or even stop production, it could be something as simple as missing shims to get a new pump to the correct height, a missing blind to close off a pipe section before adding a new unit, keys for new shafts or custom bolts you swore you ordered and now will take a week to machine.

 

bleeder blind pump shim

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’ve seen all of these, and more. The excuses are varied, who was responsible for ordering the items, I thought they were included with the quote, the existing ones should have worked with the new unit, and even – I just forgot!

 

frustrated man
Photo by Marabu from ABSFreePIC.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So how best to avoid these situations?

– Get current manufacturer drawings for new equipment. Trying to fit a new pump on an old base never works out. Plan for modifications and additions. Make sure everyone has the same version prints. Don’t rely on old drawings someone pulled from the file or had stored on their computer. Verify you are on the same version. If you have to, create a new master set and pass them out to everyone involved.

 

parts and prints

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

– Next, and sometimes more importantly, is having a local machine shop who can respond timely, ready for such emergencies. This might require several shops of varied disciplines; one for burn outs, one for custom bolts or nuts, one for blinds and piping…

 

weld shop

lathes in machine shop

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

– You might want to get the shops involved early in the process, rather than late one evening when you realize something has gone wrong. They may make recommendations as to what items you may have overlooked. They may need to stock up on certain materials so you don’t have to wait to have them shipped in (and overnighted at an additional expense).

 

They may also have to juggle their schedule around to make sure they have the manpower available during the outage. Are they normally closed on weekends? Will they have a method to call someone in for a quick job? Are they in the middle of other shutdowns or production runs?

 

worker drilling

production parts being inspected
Photo by Michael Adkins photography

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some common last minute items:

  • Blinds (slip/paddle, bleeder and orifice)
  • Keys for shafting
  • Shims
  • Tube Plugs
  • Custom Bolts and Nuts (or just odd sized)
  • Non-stock metals (stainless piping or angle, brass bushings)

 

Benjamin Franklin

 

 

 

 

 

 

By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail. – Benjamin Franklin

 


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

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!