October 7th is Manufacturing Day—Let’s Celebrate Our Industry

For those of us who work in manufacturing, we already know how much the industry has changed from what was ‘traditional’ factory work. But, it’s often hard to convey those changes, and dispel many myths, about today’s manufacturing operations. With the introduction of an official celebration 5 years ago, Manufacturing Day (MFG Day) continues to bring manufacturing into the spotlight and educate communities about the industry.

The goal of MFG Day is to ‘address common misperceptions about manufacturing by giving manufacturers an opportunity to open their doors and show, in a coordinated effort, what manufacturing is — and what it isn’t.”

Dispelling the myths about careers in manufacturing is something we have previously written about.  An event like MFG Day allows the industry to begin to change the perceptions or opinions of local community members, students, and educators. Through onsite experiences and the guiding principle of “seeing is believing” public opinion begins to change. Students can see how a career in manufacturing can lead to success–and that success then continues to fuel the industry. Without a strong manufacturing environment, a large piece of the economy is missing.

The theme of Opening Doors & Minds is perfect for this year’s events. Inviting the public into the manufacturing environment allows manufacturers to bring their work into the mainstream. It is extremely important to local and national economies and is a valuable source of jobs and careers. Did you know that for every $1.00 spent in manufacturing, another $1.81 is added to the economy?  More facts about the manufacturing industry can be found here.

We support all that MFG Day brings to the discussion of the future of manufacturing. In expanding awareness of careers and opportunities in the varied fields, we are helping to celebrate our pride in working in the manufacturing industry.  

Forging New Relationships

What do you do if you have to lift and remotely install forging dies? You call on the lifting experts at Hunter Lift!

The owners of a new state-of-the-art forging facility came to Hunter Lift to design a custom system that would work effectively in their new plant. As we are the leaders in lifting solutions,  engineered and fabricated below the hook lifting devices,  for extreme and challenging conditions

In discussing the application, the customer required a system to transfer forging dies of various weights and sizes. The device would need to lift and also install the dies in the press so precision movements and controls were of the highest concern.

The completed lifting devices were built with hands-free operation so that they could be controlled from a safe distance, away from the press Wireless transmitters (aka remote controls) operated the lifters. Each device was equipped with indicator lights to signal the operator that the piece is safely engaged or disengaged

Special projects such as this is what sets us apart from the competition. With engineering and manufacturing under one roof, the material handling solutions we deliver consistently meet or exceed the requirements of our customers. With these lifting devices installed, the forge can safely lift and install dies no matter their size or weight.

A Custom Below the Hook Lifter Designed by Hunter Lift is Doing its Job and Taking on Some ‘Heavy Stuff’ at a Fusion Power Generation Project

We wanted to tell you a little bit about our involvement in a New Mexico fusion power generation project. First, let’s define “fusion”: The simple definition of “fusion” is “a combination or mixture of things.” The dictionary also provides a more scientific definition: “the union of atomic nuclei to form heavier nuclei resulting in the release of enormous quantities of energy when certain light elements unite.”

“Fusion power offers the prospect of an almost inexhaustible source of energy for future generations,” according to the World Nuclear Association. “But it also presents so far insurmountable scientific and engineering challenges.”  At Hunter Lift, we welcome all types of “engineering challenges,” so we were honored to have been selected to design and build a custom lift for this fusion project, which could greatly impact the future.

Here’s a summary of what we did: Hunter Lift designed and built a custom below-the-hook lifter that is used to insert a gamma ray detector to detect fusion. Usually, we design lifters capable of lifting up to 300,000 lbs. or so. But this time we designed a below the hook lift capable of handling light loads – from 500 to 1000 lbs.! This specific lift is being used as part of an ignition experiment.

According to government sources, the main goal of ignition experiments is “to create self-sustaining ‘burn’ of fusion fuel (the hydrogen isotopes deuterium and tritium) that produces as much or more energy than the energy required to initiate the fusion reaction – an event called ignition.” Hunter Lift designed and built a CSA rigging fixture that lowers a sensor assembly into a unit where fusion occurs to measure and detect gamma rays emitted during the experiments. (Now, that’s what we mean by “heavy stuff”!)

This is just one example of the many types of lifts we’ve designed for our customers. To learn more about other lifts Hunter Lift has designed and built, visit our website, or give us a call at 800-231-6501.

Get the Lift Your Business Needs: A Hunter Lift Hydraulic Lift Can Take Your Business to New Heights!

According to an economic survey earlier this year that was cited in a Forbes.com article, U.S. businesses are looking for ways to achieve growth in 2016. The article reports, “U.S. private companies reported that they expect to grow their revenue by an average of 8.7% over the next 12 months, with over one-third of private companies expecting double-digit growth. The question is how to achieve these levels of growth in an uncertain economy.” At Hunter Lift, Ltd., we advise industrial companies to take a closer look at their material handling operations and, more specifically, the lifting devices and mobile crane attachments they’re using for material handling. We can also recommend, design and manufacture material handling equipment, including custom-engineered hydraulic lifts to take your business to new heights!

We’ve seen many industrial operations gain a competitive advantage by modifying and upgrading their material handling equipment and operations. As a designer and manufacturer of “below the hook” lifting devices and mobile crane attachments, we have extensive experience creating custom material handling equipment — and we have many success stories in our portfolio to prove it. One of these success stories: Hydraulic lifters we custom designed and manufactured for a metal processing facility in Alabama. The hydraulic lifters are used for sheet metal processing and can handle a weight capacity of up to 45,000 lbs.

Here’s a summary of this specific collaboration for success: Our client came to us requesting that we design and manufacture sheet lifters that could quickly move a wide range of sheet lengths. Another request was that they needed to easily adjust between the different lengths of the metal sheets being handled. They needed hydraulic lifters that were unlike any other available in the market at that time. So, we created a custom design: A hydraulic lifter that has a failsafe adjustment for handling and lifting extreme variations in length, both short and long sheets ranging from 360” to 720” in length.

Designed under the supervision of a licensed professional engineer, this specific hydraulic lifter includes several different length lifting attachments – five sets of lifting beams, ranging in length from 192” to 600”, that are designed to be changed out quickly. We also designed and fabricated a special rack to store the lifting beams while not in use. This specific hydraulic lifter was designed with rack-and-pinion driven hydraulic cylinders to drive the legs in and out.

hydraulic-sheet-lifterThe entire design and delivery process for this hydraulic lifter was less than four months, and our client couldn’t be any happier with the end results – and we feel the same way about this project. It was quite a collaboration and accomplishment!   

Learn more details about this hydraulic sheet lifter for the metal processing industry, and also check out our complete portfolio of “success stories” and products on our website. If you have any questions, give us a call at 800-231-6501.

‘National Safety Month’ is the Ideal Time to Review Safety Procedures for Operating Industrial Lifters and Lifting Equipment

Is your workplace safe? More specifically, since we specialize in providing quality engineered below-the-hook lifting devices for all industries at Hunter Lift, we need to ask this question: Are you properly considering and following safety measures before lifting? As we reported in a blog post earlier this year, a lot of workplace injuries are the result of improper lifting, and these injuries can be prevented.

Everyone should be concerned about safety at all times. But, since June is “National Safety Month,” now is a good time to remind ourselves, and our employees, about proper lifting practices and workplace safety, in general. According to the National Safety Council, National Safety Month is observed annually to focus on “reducing leading causes of injury and death at work, on the roads, and in our homes and communities.” This year’s theme is “Safe for Life,” and the Council urges everyone, including manufacturers and industrial companies, to raise awareness about workplace safety.

Safety+Health, the National Safety Council’s magazine, advises companies to equip their employees with the tools and information they need to stay “#Safe4Life” – including staying safe at work. Just last month, the Bureau of Labor Statistics finalized its data on workplace safety and worker fatalities for 2014 and the numbers were sobering: The number of workplace injuries has been rising, and the workplace fatality rate in the U.S. increased for the first time since 2010. Let’s all try to reduce these numbers by refocusing on safety at work!

At Hunter Lift, we recognize the importance of putting safety first, and we encourage everyone involved in industrial manufacturing and material handling to do the same. Here is some general safety information for operating lifters and lifting equipment:

  • Make sure the lifting equipment is operated properly and being maintained on a regular basis.
  • Lifting equipment should be used only by trained operators.
  • Lifting equipment operators should stay focused on the job and avoid being distracted.
  • Before the lifting begins, and at the beginning of each shift, test operation of the moving lifter parts and controls.
  • Never overload the crane or hoist or lifter! Make sure the combined weight of the lifter and load does not exceed the rated load capacity of the crane or hoist.
  • Ensure that the load is balanced and stable by making a preliminary lift of a few inches.
  • Before lifting, make sure the hoist rope or chain is free from twists, knots and kinks.
  • Do not pick up hot loads unless the lifter is specifically designed for high-temperature service.
  • Refuse to make a lift if you are unsure about any safety issues, and do not proceed until safety is assured.
  • Train employees on safe loading, unloading, material handling and lift operating procedures.
  • Ensure routine maintenance and preventative maintenance of lifters are completed prior to operation.
  • Overall, keep safety top-of-mind for all your employees, all the time!

If you have any questions about lifting equipment operation and safety, or lifting device maintenance and inspection, please contact us at Hunter Lift by calling 800-231-6501.

Dispelling Myths about Careers in Manufacturing

The manufacturing industry has gotten a reputation for being dirty, dark, and noisy. A place full of old-timers working on old machines. An industry past its prime and going nowhere. As we can attest, that is not even close to the truth. Today’s manufacturing industry uses state of the art equipment in advanced facilities. It is a 21st century industry looking for qualified workers.

How can we get this message out to young people looking for careers? The educational system is helping us out with the addition of STEM education starting in elementary schools. STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math and is a program that has been adopted in districts across the country. The goal is to engage students with technology while also preparing them for careers in technologically advanced fields.  

Manufacturing is now one of those technologically advanced fields. All design work is done on computers with specialized skills required to run computer-aided design (CAD) software. Machinery is automated and requires high levels of expertise to run the hardware and software. Engineering, robotics, electronics, computer programming, and mechatronics are just some of the specialties involved in manufacturing. And, all of these operations require critical thinking and problem-solving skills that are born out of lessons in science and math.

With the help of schools and industry leaders, the goal is to change the way manufacturing is viewed. The industry is vital to the success of our national economy—it’s a foundation for communities and offers good paying jobs. STEM education is a great start to drive interest in technologies and opening up the door for viable careers in manufacturing.

Buying Pre-Owned Lifting Equipment? Or Whenever You Need to Reverse-Engineer Your Lifting Equipment, Turn to Hunter Lift

In the day-to-day operations of your business, sometimes the lifting equipment you’re using needs a maintenance check-up. Or maybe the lifting equipment needs to be examined more closely for a variety of reasons. For instance, when you’re buying pre-owned lifting equipment, you may be unsure of its capacity levels, and if equipment labels are missing, and you might be unsure about what the lifting equipment was originally designed to lift. Or maybe you’re looking to purchase new lifting tongs, but can’t decide if it’s suited to your needs? You need answers before you can proceed with buying the lifting equipment.

Or maybe your company has been using a piece of lifting equipment for all types of lifting jobs – heavy items, soft items, marginal items, etc. – for years (or decades), and nobody can recall what uses the lifting equipment was originally intended for. Then, all of a sudden (and, inconveniently, in the middle of a big job), the equipment starts dropping items, left and right, and then it shuts down completely. No one can figure out why. But, at Hunter Lift we can.

Hunter Lift offers reverse engineering of all types lifting equipment, plus the lifting equipment’s parts and components. Our reverse engineering services can save your business time and money by answering your questions and getting the lifting equipment back in service for you as quickly and efficiently as possible. We can determine original capacities and the original intended use of lifting equipment, and our reverse engineering service also can often help you achieve higher capacities and more productivity from the lifting equipment. Through modifications and redesign, Hunter Lift’s reverse engineering services have been proven to increase operational efficiency for many of our customers.

Our reverse-engineering service can tell you everything you need to know about your lifting equipment. The reverse-engineering process includes a variety of testing and inspection procedures, and includes the following:

  • Ultrasound inspections
  • Magnetic Particle test inspections
  • Determining specifications, including hardness, material composition, and heat treatment of materials, etc.
  • Lifting equipment integrity
  • Determination of lifting capacity, Design Category, and Service Classification
  • Tagging and certification of the  lifting equipment

Hunter Lift performs all of our reverse-engineering services in-house. Our facilities meet ASME B30.20 safety standards, ASME BTH-1 design standards, and we are ISO 9001:2008 certified, offering the highest quality standards in all services we perform. Learn more about Hunter Lift by visiting our website, and be sure to contact us before your next lifting equipment purchase or repair! Call us at 800-231-6501 at any time.


Hunter Lift Invites You On A Virtual Tour

We pride ourselves on building  strong connections to all of our customers. Because of the nature of our business, our customers are spread far and wide, and most of our communication happens over the phone.  In an ideal world we would always meet in person and host our customers with a tour of our facilities, but we know this isn’t always possible. So, if the customers can’t come to us, then we will go to them!

Our new Virtual Tour lets our customers inside the home of Hunter Lift. Having pictures to associate with the people we work with builds another sense of community and allows you to see how we build your equipment. The Google technology used is the same that has mapped out streets all over the world– So instead of just seeing us from the outside, you can see us on the inside too! (Follow the white shadowed arrows and X’s that pop up to ‘walk’ through the offices and into the job shop.)

We have the capabilities to design,build, and test our devices from this well-equipped facility in the beautiful foothills of Eastern Ohio. Notice the tooling and overhead cranes  we use in the building process? We are proud  of our capabilities and want our customers to see for themselves where the outstanding products we deliver come from.

A view of our state-of-the-art facility is available 24/7 and should help you feel like you are a part of the process.

As specialists in the highest quality engineered and fabricated below the hook lifting devices and material handling solutions, we are dedicated to providing our customers with the best products. We hope you enjoyed the look inside our offices and manufacturing shop and welcome the chance to greet you in person one day. Contact us with any questions or to set up a personal tour!

The Beginning of the Year is the Ideal Time to Re-Analyze Your Safety Procedures

‘Safety first’ goes the mantra so the first month of a new year is the right time to look over, and re-evaluate procedures, ensure that all equipment inspections are up to date, and offer safety training. Many companies involved in material handling operations utilize lifting equipment and devices but may overlook the importance of maintenance and certifications. It is extremely important that this equipment is inspected to ensure the safety of workers and facilities and that all workers are aware of safety procedures to reduce injury.

For workers, reviewing safety procedures starts the year off in the
right direction. Many workplace injuries occur because of improper lifting. Reviewing proper lifting practices and ergonomic training will help protect against back related and other injuries.

For equipment, performing annual, semi-annual, or quarterly inspections will ensure that lifting devices are safe and functioning properly. Poorly maintained devices are also extremely hazardous for workers and create unsafe working conditions. For employees to be safe the equipment and the guidelines for safe use must be strictly adhered to.

The following lists ways that employers can reduce risks of workplace injury when material handling devices are used:

  • Ensure routine maintenance and preventative maintenance measures are completed to ensure properly working equipment
  • Issue guidelines for load limits and train employees on proper material handling procedures
  • Train employees on correctly securing loads and understanding safe loading and unloading procedures

To help employers in maintaining equipment, Hunter Lift performs inspection services for lifting devices. This service enables us to examine equipment within its working environment and verify that all certifications are in order. Field inspections follow all certification standards, such as ASME, and include a final report detailing inspection findings and recommendations.

The importance of safety cannot be understated. Following best practices for safety include both workers and equipment and must be a standard for safe working conditions.

Contact Hunter Lift to learn more about our products and services.

2015 Was an Uplifting Year

When you’re in the lifting industry, there usually are a lot of ‘ups.’ In 2015, Hunter Lift had a year full of ups, as well as ‘outs’ as we completed our expansion to meet the major increases in our products and services.

In early 2015 we completed a multi-faceted enhancement of our business that doubled the square footage of our facility and improved our capabilities to increase the size and scope of our equipment. Because of this expansion our sales throughout 2015 grew, our efficiency increased exponentially, and we were able to reduce costs for our customers.

The expansion also improved our ability to introduce new products such as laminated J-hooks for hot metal operations. Developed to serve our customers with Melt shops, these heavy-duty J-hooks meet the challenging demands of the industry. We are excited to be able to offer Melt shops another top-quality Hunter Lift product for use in their operations.

The past 12 months have been very successful and we are grateful for all the hard work, dedication, and support from the professionals that work at Hunter Lift. They are the ones who deliver the highest quality products that meet the extreme safety requirements industries demand. They have met those challenges throughout 2015 and we are looking forward to more in 2016!

As the year comes to a close, we want to wish all of you a very happy and healthy holiday season!