Bag Lifter – (Lifting Devices)

Bag Lifter - CAD Version
CAD Version

 

 

 

 

 

 

Getting materials and products across your facility, off of trucks, or onto storage takes various methods. Occasionally it will involve using a support structure that can safely manage the load. These devices spread the weight out evenly or allow you to lift multiple items at a time.

 

New Bag Lifter - Welding Begins
Welding Begins

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The unit shown here is a bag lifter. It lifts a single 1,000 lb. bag of dry product manufactured at the facility and allows them to quickly move them to a waiting fork lift.

 

Original Bag Lifter
Original Bag Lifter
Original Bag Lifter - End Hook
Original Bag Lifter – End Hook

 

 

 

The original unit was worn and in the redesign, we took the opportunity to reinforce the lifting eye with additional material.

 

New Bag Lifter - Reinforced Lifting Eye
Reinforced Lifting Eye

Often, such lifting devices have to be load rated. The design will be reviewed by an engineering firm and the final unit structurally tested. At that point, a placard will be placed on the unit noting its load limit.

 

New Bag Lifter - Arm Detail
Arm Detail

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here you can follow the job as it moves through the shop. From reverse engineering the original unit, to receiving the parts from the metal shop. Next we lay out and inspect the components. The tack-up process happens and then final welding. A coat of safety yellow (you really want to see anything that is lifted from a crane) is applied.

 

 

New Bag Lifter - Parts Bundle
Parts Bundle
New Bag Lifter - Parts Layout
New Bag Lifter – Parts Layout

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This sturdy, reinforced bag lifter will provide many years of dependable service. That’s the goal of the products we provide at Riggs. They’re the best parts and components in your shop.

 

New Bag Lifter - Final Unit
Final Unit

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Those parts, much like Riggs Machine & Fabricating, are the ones you can count on for dependability.

 


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

What’s Up with the Price of Steel?

The cost of steel has tripled! This has been a blessing for the mills in the U.S. that had just recently been suffering. Some have been hiring and even running additional shifts to keep up with the growing demands.

Steelworks 62 – Ben Cooper – 2010
Licensed under CC

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Profits are up as the price and demand for the products continue to grow – but there is a downside to all of this …

 

www.lemonloco.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New fabrication and repair costs have skyrocketed. Metal quotes that our vendors once held valid for up to 30 days, are now only good until the end of the day! This makes submitting a large quote that will have to go for budgeting and long-term planning difficult for many companies.

updated angle based handrail

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jobs that we had routinely run for clients, have to be re-quoted and adjusted – upward. Some clients are putting off the work while others are trying to find inventive ways to keep the costs down. At times running equipment that should have been repaired or replaced.

 

original housing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The analysts see this current price jump as a bubble and believe it will continue for a short time and then drop drastically. How it will affect the mills who have been riding on the higher profits is hard to say. It’s too early to tell.

 

Steelworks 68 – Ben Cooper – 2010
Licensed under CC

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

But fabricators and repair facilities are hoping for a stabilization so we can help our clients get over the sticker shock they are now facing and prepare for these large capitol upgrades, outages and major repairs.

 

Malecon Sunset –  Mark McNestry
licensed under CC

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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

Aluminum vs. Polyethylene Pump Guards

 

We have been recently changing out a lot of pump guards that did not hold up to the harsh factory environments that they were expected handle. These plastic guards are being exchanged for more durable aluminum guards.

 

Here’s what they found:

  • The plastic can’t take the heat of the high temperature pumps. The guards get soft and warp.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • The aluminum guards will not rust, are highly resistant to weathering and are corrosion resistant to many acids.

 

  • Aluminum can be easier modified and repaired than plastic.

 

  • The plastic guards can only be removed a few times. After that, they become warped and difficult to fit back around the pump and often need to be replaced.

 

  • When supplied with a clear section for inspection, these areas quickly become clouded and useless. They have to be removed to inspect the unit opening a gap to a running pump.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Our upper ventilation slots also act as inspection ports so you can easily monitor the pump without touching the unit or removing a clouded cover.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • We’ve also added lower inspection holes to check the base of the pump for leaks, fallen items and belt issues.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • They have no ventilation or limited ventilation! Our aluminum guards have superior ventilation, increasing the lifespan of your high-temp pumps.

 

  • Many of these plastic guards come as kits. Your employees could spend may hours cutting and modifying one to get it to fit correctly. Our guards come custom built ready to install on your pump!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Your people stay in the field = more dollars in your pocket.

 

 

Contact Riggs Machine about our durable, long lasting, custom aluminum pump guards.

 


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

Model 1841 Field Gun Cannon

1841 Field Gun - Test Fire

 

 

Built by Steen Cannons & Ordnance Works of Ashland, KY, (http://steencannons.com/) this is the test firing of a model 1841 field gun cannon. Riggs Machine milled and turned the cannon from a raw casting. This particular model is made out of cast iron. Steen did a beautiful job with the final assembly.

 

Here is the unit out of the horizontal mill after getting the trunnions machined. It is ready for the CNC lathe.

 

1841 Field Gun - partially machined

It’s been very exciting working with Steen. They do excellent work and we hope to continue our relationship with them. We never know what type of jobs will hit the shop, but these cannons have been some of our favorites!

 


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

Large Pipe Temporary Strainers (Witch Hats)

Large Pipe Strainers - Chris for Scale
Large Pipe Strainers – Chris for Scale

 

These temporary cone and basket strainers (the models with the flat bottoms) are impressive. Used during start-ups and repairs, they will protect pumps, piping and other parts of the system from nuts, bolts and other stray debris.

 

Various Styles of Temporary Strainers
Various Styles of Temporary Strainers

 

These are made of 304 stainless steel and custom designed. Riggs Machine can provide them in a variety of materials, styles and sizes.

 

Witch Hat Strainer - CU

Temporary Strainers on Pallet
Temporary Strainers on Pallet

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

They might seem extreme, but when you realize what they can save, they are worth every dollar!

 


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!

 

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!