Link-Belt Cranes has passed a milestone in its manufacturing history. The company recently produced its 10,000th formed boom, proving ten-thousand times over that producing booms in-house is the best way to ensure quality.
Previously, Link-Belt purchased formed boom sections from an overseas supplier, but about a decade ago the company decided producing its own booms made economic sense and would ensure a ready supply of quality booms.
Taking the project in-house was a complex venture. Link-Belt engineers and technicians had to develop all the processes needed to cut the materials, precision-form the plates, weld the shell pieces together, and complete the weldment to the highest quality. The team designed or created specifications for all the equipment needed to cut, bend, weld, inspect and handle the material used in producing the booms.
To ensure quality and consistent processes, Link-Belt teams also developed automated controls and computer programs to support the flow of the fabrication process.
The project took years of research, design and fabrication, but the result is a high-quality manufacturing process that is the best in the business. In 2014, Link-Belt won the President’s Award Gold Prize from Sumitomo Heavy Industries, its parent company, for the innovation and quality of the equipment designed for the formed boom manufacturing process.
“The expertise and professionalism required to develop this complex process is just one example of Link-Belt’s innovation,” noted Bob Weber, head of the Lifting Division at Columbus Equipment Company. “Every part of every Link-Belt crane is designed and manufactured with the same exacting attention to quality. That’s one reason we are proud to have them as partners.”
While reaching a milestone is exciting, the manufacturer is looking ahead. “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,” said Dan Harrington, Link-Belt’s director, production engineering.
And that 10,000th boom? It was installed on a 140-ton TCC-1400 telescopic crawler crane. It is hard at work today … and will be for many years to come.