Link-Belt Cranes executive staff and boom value stream team stand with the 10,000th boom section produced at Link-Belt formed boom bay in Lexington, Ky.
Nearly nine years after beginning the journey of producing its own formed boom, Link-Belt Cranes has produced its 10,000th boom that will be installed on a 140-ton (127 t) TCC-1400 telescopic crawler crane.
After purchasing formed boom sections from an overseas supplier for several years, Link-Belt made the decision to fabricate its own boom sections for economic and delivery reasons. A small team of engineers and technicians developed all the processes required to cut materials, precision form the plates, weld the shell pieces together, inspect and complete the weldment to the highest quality. The team specified and/or designed the cutting, bending, welding, inspection and material handling production equipment. The majority of the fabrication of this production equipment was done in-house by fabricators and welders. Automated controls and computer programs also were developed in-house to support the flow of the fabrication process, to ensure repeatability and quality, and to aid the operators of the equipment.
In 2014, Sumitomo Heavy Industries, Link-Belt Cranes' parent-company, named Link-Belt the Gold Prize Winner of its President's Award in the area of quality and innovation for the equipment designed and built in house that produce high quality boom sections. This project took years of research, design and fabrication with a cross functional team dedicated to produce a high quality manufacturing process second to none in the crane business. Reliability of the manufacturing equipment is designed in and maintained through a preventative maintenance program. Quality is built in from the first manufacturing sequence to the final product.
“We're very proud of the men and women who have worked very hard to make this formed boom process the success it is today. This is just typical of all the great people that make Link-Belt the world class crane manufacturer that it has been in years past and still is today. Link-Belt will continue to innovate and grow for the benefit of our dealers and customers, who expect the best products from us, and for the sake of our wonderful employees and community,” said Dan Harrington, director, production engineering.
For more information, visit www.linkbelt.com.