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Tube City IMS Taps 870 A Specials for Gary Works Facility

Fri January 01, 2010 - Midwest Edition
Construction Equipment Guide

When it came time for Tube City IMS to replace the aging pedestal cranes used to feed the balers at its Gary Works facility, Sennebogen material handlers were on the short-list of Jamie Estill, senior vice president maintenance, and David Coslov, vice president of maintenance/equipment.

Coslov said, “We have had a long and rewarding relationship with the Sennebogen company dating back to the early 2000s. In fact, Tube City helped the company when it was first getting established in North America. We purchased the first two Sennebogen 870 rubber-tired machines in North America in 2001. So when we were looking for replacement pedestal cranes to feed our balers, we knew that Sennebogen engineers would come up with a reliable purpose-built solution for our particular application.”

Shortly after a trip to the Sennebogen factory in Germany, Tube City IMS purchased two Sennebogen 870 A special electric drive pedestal mounted material handlers for its Gary operations. One is outfitted with a 72-in. (182 cm) magnet, while the other is equipped with a 3-2 grapple. Both machines feed the facility’s two Harris 6034 balers.

“Since our Sennebogen 870 A specials went into operation, we have noticed a few things. Initially there was a significant increase in the facility’s productivity. This has been matched with a corresponding noticeable reduction in our operating costs,” said Coslov. “Our goal was to increase our capacity — and the Sennebogen machines have allowed us to do that and more.”

Baler Crane Operator Involved

in Acquisition

Coslov appreciated the key role John Kipper, a veteran Tube City IMS baler crane operator, played in the acquisition of the Sennebogen 870 A specials.

“When Jamie and I decided that we would consider an 870 to replace our existing pedestal crane, we thought it would be advantageous to have John accompany us to Germany. Along with Howell Tractor and Equipment Sales Representative Phil Wichowsky, we visited the Sennebogen factory where we saw firsthand the construction of pedestal machines and spoke with company engineers,” recalled Coslov. “As well, the Sennebogen team understood the need for real-life experience and arranged for John to operate similar pedestal cranes at the factory and at several scrap facilities. As an 18-year Tube City employee and holder of one of the company’s highest production rates feeding the baler, we knew John’s input was pertinent to our final decision.”

Coslov said that Tube City IMS management was much more comfortable acquiring the Sennebogen pedestal-mounted machines with Kipper’s recommendation and approval.

Gary Facility’s Niche —

Scrap Optimization

According to Coslov, scrap optimization is the niche of the Tube City IMS Gary, Ind., facility. Strategically placed scales are used to provide scrap blends to two US Steel steelmaking shops at the facility. The 870 A specials feed scrap into two balers, which bale material from US Steel as well as outside purchased clip/baling material.

“Scrap optimization enables us to create maximum value for customers through scrap mix determination,” said Coslov. “This process was designed to improve the steel maker’s bottom line.”

The increased productivity and uptime afforded by the company’s two Sennebogen 870 A specials goes a long way in guaranteeing scrap optimization, said Coslov.

“In addition to being extremely old, our former pedestal cranes offered much less capacity and had major manufacturing flaws which made them prone to major costly annual maintenance,” he said. “Our Sennebogen machines have not only increased our capacity significantly, they are very reliable machines that require minimal maintenance and servicing.”

Tube City IMS, Howell

Tractor, Sennebogen

Coslov extoled the nature of the relationship that Tube City IMS has developed with Sennebogen and local distributor, Howell Tractor & Equipment Sales.

“When we were spec’ing the machines, Phil Wichowsky at Howell Tractor communicated a lot of our questions and concerns to the Sennebogen factory. We got the answers we needed quickly and expeditiously,” said Coslov. “After purchase, they have provided quality service and maintain a parts inventory that complements our needs and meets our expectations.

“Product integrity and vendor/manufacturer service and support are important factors for any company to take into account when purchasing equipment,” said Coslov. “In this regard, Sennebogen has an excellent product and a great support network. Owner and Managing Director Erich Sennebogen is committed to North America and meeting the needs of his customers.”

“Our long-term relationship with David Coslov and Tube City IMS is one of mutual respect,” said Erich Sennebogen, Sennebogen owner and managing director. “Over the years we have listened carefully to their needs and responded to meet their application requirements. It is a relationship that has been mutually beneficial for both partners.”

“As a customer-driven organization, we strive to respond to the needs of all of our customers,” said Constantino Lannes, Sennebogen LLC president. “We listen to what our customers require in terms of their unique job applications and then put our engineers to work in developing the best solution to their needs. In meeting the needs of customers like Tube City IMS, we have achieved our position as the leading manufacturer and provider of purpose-built material handlers.”

For more information, call 877/309-0099 or visit

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