Carpenter Technology Corp., a maker of specialty metal alloys for multiple industries including aerospace, transportation and defense markets in Pennsylvania, encountered an unexpected mechanical failure of its hydraulic press which halted operations and required emergency repair.
The press is a highly specialized piece of equipment which is critical to producing such materials. An emergency shut down for necessary repairs was required on short notice.
The lower crosshead of the press, made of cast steel, cracked in half 20 meters (60 feet) below the surface of the warehouse, thus abruptly halting normal operations.
The customer reached out to a few local subcontractors for help. One local company proposed cranes as a possible solution. However, cranes alone would not provide sufficient lifting capabilities and a gantry was deemed necessary.
Mammoet offered a full solution and equipment such as cranes, trailers and a gantry system. It also provided the skilled labor of riggers, operators and millwrights to get the press back up and running smoothly.
Based on a prior relationship with the customer and because Mammoet could mobilize the required equipment and expertise quickly, Carpenter Technology chose Mammoet for the job.
Mammoet provided heavy lift solutions to disassemble the entire 4,500-ton press, with overall dimensions of approximately 30 meters long x 9 meters wide x 6 meters high (100 x 30 x 20 ft). This allowed the team to remove and replace key components.
Mammoet employed its 750-ton gantry as well as a 500-ton gantry to lift and stabilize the press for repairs and maintenance. The unit was lifted and held safe and steady to allow for component change out before the press was reassembled.
A 40-ton forklift helped to lift and move heavy pieces during the disassembly and reassembly of the press. Meanwhile, a 500-ton crane was used to remove the press’ guide columns through a hatch in the roof of the warehouse.
Twelve axle-lines of Goldhofer PST trailers were used to move pieces out of the warehouse to the staging area during the disassembly phase and then again to bring pieces back inside during the assembly phase.
Mammoet sourced equipment and personnel from its facilities in Texas, New Jersey and Eastern Canada while working around the clock to cover 24 hours a day, with crews working seven twelve-hour days on rotation. Mammoet provided a multidisciplined team with varied expertise including riggers, millwrights, oilers, operators as well as engineering, safety and project management.
Over 42 total crew members were on site throughout the project which took nine weeks and over 28,000 working hours to cover both the lift operations and the customer’s commissioning activities. Mammoet was met with highly time-sensitive operational challenges, but still met the completion date.
Mammoet’s Industrial Services team based out of Swedesboro, New Jersey is particularly skillful and knowledgeable in millwrighting. For this project, the millwrights needed to guarantee precision alignment of all components of the hydraulic press to maintain required tolerances. As the press was commissioned and operational again, everything worked well and according to plan.
All repairs were completed within the company's target time allowing their staff to focus on satisfying customer demand once again in the aerospace supply chain.