Jason, a product engineer and recent safety webinar attendee, asks:

“Why or when would a rigging equipment manufacturer choose to use the forging method versus the casting method?”

Troy Raines, Chain & Rigging Product Engineering Manager at our CMCO Chattanooga Forge Operations, responds:

Please be patient with me, as I use the word “mold” as a general reference to all tooling used in both the casting and forging processes.

The forging method is appropriate when a manufacturer is:image

  • (To a large extent) making solid parts. Forged parts can have open sides, through-cavities and pierced holes; however, certain design considerations, such as a draft angle for mold release, have to be taken into account.
  • Producing high quantities of parts when an investment in tooling can be justified.
  • Needing smaller, lighter parts. Parts can be smaller and lighter due to increased strength, toughness and ductility.

The casting method is appropriate when a manufacturer is:

  • Concerned about high tooling costs or a large mold inventory. Cast tooling is less expensive and disposable.
  • Looking to eliminate draft angles. Draft angles are incorporated in the mold to allow the part to be removed from the mold. With casting, the mold can be considered disposable or sacrificial. So, because the mold will be destroyed, it eliminates the need for draft angles. Cast tooling is also cheaper, but it only makes one part before being sacrificed.
  • Minimizing required secondary operations because casting allows manufacturers to start closer to the finished shape.

Forged parts are always better for rigging equipment because of their part size (same strength from a smaller part), weight, strength, toughness and ductility properties. Cast parts are larger, heavier, weaker, more brittle and require more expensive inspection techniques due to the probability of internal defects. Unfortunately, many rigging manufacturers have resorted to cast rigging hardware because they have hammer size limitations. For years, even Columbus McKinnon has limited the size of its rigging hardware because of its desire to only have its name on forged rigging products.

With our recent acquisition of Stahlhammer Bommern (STB), we are now able to forge some of the largest rigging hardware in the world. I’m very excited about the possibilities.

Additional Resources:
Download our Heavy Duty Crane Hook Brochure
View our Safety Webinar: The Forging Process – Manufacturing Heavy Duty Hooks 


Corrosion from Hurricane Sandy

The corrosion caused by Hurricane Sandy was evident on the brakes nearly five years after the brakes were submerged in saltwater.

Refurbished Shoe Brakes

Refurbished 300M Mill Duty AC Thruster Shoe Brakes waiting for shipment back to New York City.

Nearly five years after Hurricane Sandy, the second-costliest hurricane in United States history, cities along the eastern seaboard continue to discover – and repair – the damage inflicted on their infrastructure by the Category 3 storm. Recently, Magnetek, Inc. had the opportunity to help mend some of the hurricane’s long-term damage by rebuilding industrial brakes used in the operation of a four-lane drawbridge that spans a busy navigation channel in New York City.

Rainfall totals reached up to 10 inches across the region in 2012, causing a storm surge of nearly 14 feet. The rapid influx of seawater flooded the bridge’s mechanical room, submerging and contaminating critical systems required to control the bascule bridge structure. The introduction of
saltwater accelerated the destructive impact of corrosion on the bridges’ mechanical systems.

Magnetek was called in to repair and refurbish 16 storm-damaged 300M Mill Duty AC Thruster Shoe Brakes used to operate the bridge. While at Magnetek’s facility in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, the brakes were inspected and dismantled before being reassembled with new hardware, shoes and actuators. The rebuilding process returned the brakes to like-new condition, including a new “safety orange” paint job. The service team at Magnetek completed the job in record time in order to restore traffic flow to boats and commuters in the New York City region.


Answers to Your Top 7 Crane and Hoist Questions

January 21, 2016

During the hundreds of classes Columbus McKinnon’s training team has conducted over the years, there are a variety of questions that arise regarding the use, maintenance and inspection of overhead cranes and hoists. So, I wanted to take this opportunity to outline seven of the most common concerns, myths and misconceptions we’ve received from crane […]

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Hoist Pre-Operational Safety Inspection Part 4: Controls

January 14, 2016

This article is Part 4 of a 7-part blog series that will cover what operators should consider when performing a pre-operational hoist safety inspection. Today, we’ll discuss controls. Before operating a hoist, it is critical to check the hoist controls. If a hoist control is not properly labeled or is not working correctly, people can […]

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Safety Remains Top of Mind with Third Annual Safety Calendar Contest

January 7, 2016

Safety should always be at the core of how a company operates – and Columbus McKinnon is no exception. Over our long history, the safety of our employees and customers has remained paramount and is a continued focus for us as we move into 2016. As part of our continued commitment to safety, we kicked […]

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Columbus McKinnon Associates Give Back to Local Communities

December 31, 2015

Did you know that 31% of all charitable giving occurs during the month of December or that 12% of all giving during 2014 happened on the last three days of the year? The holidays are a great reminder that we all have so much to be thankful for. One of the best ways to show […]

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Nine Important Rules to Follow When Using Shackles

December 10, 2015

Shackles are used every day in a variety of rigging and load securement applications. Before you use a shackle, there are nine important rules to keep in mind. Rule 1: When making a sling, attach multiple sling legs to the bow, not the pin. Attaching legs to the pin can damage and weaken the sling. Rule […]

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Hoist Pre-Operational Safety Inspection Part 3: Markings and Labels

December 3, 2015

This article is Part 3 of a 7-part blog series that will cover what operators should consider when performing a pre-operational hoist safety inspection. Today, we’ll discuss markings and labels. The first thing you want to check for during a Pre-Operational Inspection are markings. One type of marking to look for on the hoist is […]

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Using Cranes and Hoists in Hazardous Areas Part 3: Space Constraint Challenges and Solutions

November 19, 2015

This article is Part 3 of a 3-part blog series that will provide an overview of safe practices for the use of material handling equipment in hazardous environments. Today, we’ll discuss space constraint challenges and solutions. In Parts 1 and 2 of this series, I discussed issues with compliance to NEC and IEC standards, the […]

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Understanding Horsepower Ratings on Hoists

November 12, 2015

Chris, an ETCP certified rigger and recent safety webinar attendee, asks the following question about horsepower ratings on hoists: “I don’t see Columbus McKinnon hoists rated with horsepower, however they are sometimes referred to by that rating. Does that relate to the FPM capability? I am guessing that a faster FPM hoist would have to […]

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