Chuck Martz, Link-Belt’s CEO and president, welcomes attendees to CraneFest 2015.
Link-Belt Cranes hosted CraneFest 2015, at the company headquarters in Lexington, Ky., from Sept. 28 to Oct. 2. Over the course of the week, approximately 1,000 crane dealers, rental houses and end users attended the events.
Held approximately every three years, this year’s CraneFest marked the 20th year for the popular event. On the evening of arrival, guests were bussed to Keeneland, the famous thoroughbred racecourse and sales complex, for an opportunity to mix and mingle during a cocktail reception followed by a dinner and charity auction.
The following morning, CraneFest attendees were bussed to the Link-Belt Company headquarters and 500,000 sq. ft. (46,451 sq m) manufacturing facility. Events began with greetings and opening remarks from Bill Stramer, Link-Belt vice president, marketing, sales and customer support. Comments from Chuck Martz, Link-Belt Company CEO and president followed.
Martz discussed the need for a concerted industry-wide voice communicating to Washington the urgent need for passage of the highway bill and encouraged participation in AEM’s “I Make America” campaign. Martz also discussed Link-Belt’s commitment to improving efficiency and productivity for both the company’s manufacturing process and lineup of cranes. Martz cited the company’s investment in a new facility dedicated to quality testing and training, as evidence of that commitment.
A short video outlining Link-Belt’s history, development and accomplishments was followed by a tour of the company’s manufacturing facility. Throughout the tour, attendees were provided with insights into all aspects of the design and build process. A common theme echoing Mr. Martz’s comments during the tour was a team-wide approach toward developing greater efficiency and productivity throughout the manufacturing process. While monitoring, tracking and testing each stage of the operation, employees are encouraged to submit their suggestions to improve both the process and the product.
After the plant tour, attendees were led outside to a staging area for a live presentation of Link-Belt’s product line, including several new models to the company’s lineup. Company representatives were stationed at each of the cranes on display to give details on each of the models.