For four days, Smith Erectors Inc., Markle, Ind., worked around the clock at Steel Dynamic Inc’s plant in Columbia City, Ind. At the multi-building complex, SDI fabricates structural, rail, and engineered steel. During plant shutdowns, the heavily used equipment is maintained.
At the beginning of the shutdown, Smith Erectors’ new 75-ton Link-Belt 75RT rough-terrain crane came into one of the buildings through a 22-foot-tall overhead door and was set up beside an existing hot saw cutting station. The first step of the shutdown consisted of removing an old 21,000-pound chute for the hot saw.
“We make a lot of heavy picks and take everything close to the limit,” said Garland Smith, owner of Smith Erectors. “We expect the machines to perform what needs to be done.”
Multiple lifting points were used to move the old chute, which was lodged in place remnants of hot steel. In some instances, it needed to be jackhammered or dislodged in order to remove the chute.
Once the old chute wass removed a slightly heavier, 31,000-pound new chute was lowered back into the same 30-foot hole. The new chute was placed by the Link-Belt 75RT at a 35-foot radius, with 53 feet of boom and a four-part line.
“[It] all went smoothly,” said operator Jim Green. “The crane has plenty of visibility. You have plenty of glass for sight lines on everything.”