Industry Leaders Join Forces to Deliver
Collaborating with one of the steel industry’s top specialists in material handling devices, Taylor “Big Red” has expanded its range of specialized attachments for steel mills and service yards.
Taylor’s popular TS-9972 Reach Stacker can now be equipped with a hydraulically powered 41 t coil grab designed and built by Winkle Industries to load steel coils onto rail cars and trucks.
According to Pete Johnson, account manager at Taylor Machine Works, the new coil-handler was developed when a mill customer requested ideas for a mobile solution to replace its traditional lattice boom crane. “Our customer recognized that mounting a coil grab on a mobile platform would give them much more flexibility than their mill crane could offer,” he explains. “A mobile loader allows them to use satellite loading docks instead of limiting their loading capability to one fixture inside the mill. Moving coils around the yard and loading them onto rail cars can be completed in one step by one piece of equipment. With Taylor’s Reach Stacker as the platform, they get a multi-use tool that can switch attachments to perform various tasks in and around the mill. The TS-9972 can go anywhere a truck can go to move or load material,” Mr. Johnson continued.
At the same time Pete Johnson was investigating potential solutions for this customer, Winkle’s Matt Wroblewski was having similar conversations at the same mill. As regional sales manager for Winkle Industries, Mr. Wroblewski was very familiar with the many material-handling devices used in mill-duty applications. The mill described its plans to expand its facility, which called for removal of the lattice crane. Like Mr. Johnson, Mr. Wroblewski recognized that the Reach Stacker could be the ideal platform for a mobile alternative to the fixed crane. Their common interest quickly brought the two men together.
The engineering departments of both companies collaborated closely to bring their specialized products together into a new solution for the mill. Paul Predagovic, the director of Engineering for Winkle, could draw on vast experience in custom coil-handling equipment. “We have developed many, many electrically driven coil grabs over the years,” he says.
“The challenge here was to provide a hydraulically powered grab that fit the existing capacities of the Taylor platform. It became relatively simple when we discovered that the TS-9972 was already equipped to provide the load rotation, sideshift movement, height and visibility to allow precise movement and placement of the 40,800 kg coils.”
While Taylor’s sales engineer, Lamar Hailey, worked closely with the mill to detail the project’s requirements, he credits Denny Bucklew, their Design engineer, for achieving a successful solution. The pair already had experience in customizing the Reach Stacker for heavy lifts. A previous project, in which the TS-9972 was used to assist with the assembly and installation of towers for wind farms, had led to a versatile lifting beam that nicely fit the needs of the coil grab.
Using Taylor’s lifting beam as a starting point, the Winkle team built on to it, making a coupler for the grab. It would supply the hydraulic routing and rotation capability. Limit switches were designed into both the engagement and disengagement circuits of the grab, adding an extra element of safety as well as reduced stress on the hydraulic components.
To ensure accurate placement of the steel coils onto rail car bunks and trucks, the cab provides operators with a 3 m high vantage point to see the target area directly. The cab can slide up to 2.4 m along the length of the chassis, allowing the operator to sit back from the load when traveling or move up close to the rail car or truck when positioning the coil. The 3-point lifting beam provides up to 90° rotation to align coils as needed, either on the I-Horizontal or I-Vertical position to fit the orientation of rail car or truck saddles.
The lifting beam, attached to the Reach Stacker, uses a coupler to attach the coil grab. The lifting beam and the coil grab are easily interchangeable with other Taylor attachments such as its container handlers, C-hooks and probes.
With the addition of an onboard generator system, the TS-9972 and its lifting beam can also be adapted to attach one or multiple lifting magnets – another of Winkle’s material handling specialties.
The Winkle coil grab is now offered by Taylor as a standard production item for the TS-9972. Within two weeks of the first unit going into service, Taylor was receiving orders for more of the mobile coil-loading systems, and several are already in operation.
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