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Wednesday, April 01, 2015 10:35 AM  RssIcon

You’re a productivity monster. So why let junkyard, high-maintenance casters put the brakes on your assembly line? Drop the WD-40 and check out Hamilton’s new SpinfinityTM maintenance-free, kingpinless caster series.

To build Spinfinity, our engineers didn’t just take a kingpinless caster and seal the bearings.

Instead, Hamilton spec’d a swivel construction with a proven kingpinless raceway design, and a massive seal seated with precise tolerances. And, Spinfinity features a heavy-duty, extra thick forged steel mounting plate and ring.

The result is a 100% maintenance-free kingpinless caster that:

  • Swivels smoothly under extreme loads up to 3,200 pounds.
  • Keeps grease in, and protects against debris and foreign objects.
  • Withstands brutal shock loading that wears down, or crushes less-durable casters.
  • And handles abusive side forces that shred other models on the market.

“At Hamilton, we’re known for making the toughest casters,” said Jeff Spektor, the Hamilton engineer who designed Spinfinity. “But we also pride ourselves on innovative products that not only advance the caster world, but material handling as a whole.”

Get tech specs, features, capacities and more on our Spinfinity series landing page. For more information on Hamilton’s new maintenance-free, kingpinless line, email or call us at 888-699-7164.

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Monday, March 30, 2015 10:53 AM  RssIcon

They came for Spinfinity and our new central braking system, but stayed for the 3D-printed and wooden attractions.

For the first time, Hamilton’s booth featured a trailability demo, which allowed ProMat visitors to take trailers for a “test drive.” Using a 3D printer, our carts and trailers team created a remote-controlled, scaled down demo of an AGV with a Hamilton train.

“It’s one thing to explain how our carts trail better,” said John Yater, the Hamilton engineer who designed the track. “It’s another to show it, and put our customers in control on a crowded trade show floor.”

While the plastic models might look like toys, they’re near perfect replicas of their bigger, much heavier brothers.

“Engineering wise, the running gear is made from metal just like our real trailers,” said Yater. “And the wheels are plucked from airplane models.”

Spin the Wooden Caster Wheel. Win a Prize.

Booth-goers also played spin the wheel for a chance to a win a 60-inch Samsung HDTV, Bose Bluetooth speaker, FitBit, or $100 REI gift card.

But in typical Hamilton fashion, the wheel was anchored by a two-foot tall, wooden Spinfinity caster rig. Lester Jones, Hamilton’s plant manager, crafted the entire thing – from the caster legs to the swivel section and mounting plate – in his home woodworking shop.

“I really enjoy woodworking. It’s what got me into manufacturing,” said Jones. “I made my first table in junior high school. Since then I’ve made countless types of furniture, but never a child-sized caster out of wood.”

Before debuting his wooden masterpiece at ProMat, Jones had to overcome a series of engineering challenges.

“The challenge was making it light enough so it wouldn’t crush the display, but strong enough so it wouldn’t break when spun,” he said. “It’s actually completely hollow, which made construction more complex, but even more rewarding in the end.”

Special thanks to everyone who visited us at ProMat, and to all of the Hamilton crew who helped after hours to build our largest, and most interactive booth yet. And, congratulations to Adrian Orme on winning the grand prize TV! When can we stop by and watch the latest episode of The World’s Toughest Fixes?

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Sunday, March 29, 2015 10:50 AM  RssIcon

To reach polar outposts in some of the most remote places on Earth, the U.S. Coast Guard’s Polar Star breaks through ice up to 21-feet thick.

But what’s more incredible is how the icebreaker paves its way through treacherous, icy seas. Instead of ramming ice, the Polar Star slides above it, and uses its weight to crush the ice and pass through.

Think of it as a 13,000-ton belly flop.

The Coast Guard’s star icebreaker features a reinforced hull made of nearly two-inch thick steel. And as you can imagine, breaking ice takes energy. Lots of it.

The Polar Star is powered by its own personal jet engine, which produces 75,000 shaft horsepower. For comparison, a comparable fishing vessel runs on 10,000.

As for what she’s up today? Just last month the Polar Star helped tow a stranded Australian fishing vessel out of 20-foot deep, Antarctic ice and snow.

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Saturday, March 28, 2015 10:47 AM  RssIcon

The debate is over. Boeing’s made-in-America 747-8 will become the next Air Force One.

Since 2009, the USAF Air Mobility Command had two planes on its radar to replace the President’s aging VC-25 aircraft: the 747-8, and France’s Airbus A380.

The 747-8, the largest 747 variant, is also the biggest commercial aircraft built in the United States. And, it’s the world’s longest passenger plane, which means the President’s ensemble will have plenty of room to stretch out at 30,000 feet.

So why are we so excited about which plane hauls the Commander in Chief? Two reasons: 1) Made in America. 2) One day, we’d love to tell you (and our kids) that Hamilton casters helped build Air Force One.

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Friday, March 27, 2015 10:46 AM  RssIcon

Sometimes, casters sell themselves. (Spinfinity maintenance-free, anyone?) But most of the time, you’ll need every advantage, like mastering the art of body language, to seal the deal.

Here’s how to read common social cues to know exactly where you stand in the sales process.

The eyes have it. Imagine you’re pitching four brands of casters, and the prospect won’t dish on which he prefers. No worries. If a prospect stares at one longer than the others, that’s the one he’s interested in. Tailor your presentation accordingly.

Real, or really fake smile? When someone agrees with you, they’ll generally nod and smile. They could also be faking it. Pay attention to a person’s entire face. A genuine smile lights up the whole mug – forehead, eyes and all. A forced smile only involves the mouth.

Leaning away from the deal. Ever seen a prospect who leans waaaaay back in the chair, or rocks back and forth? It’s a surefire sign he doesn’t agree with you. Use it to hone in on the objection, and find a solution. Is it price? Timeline? Lunchtime? Note: It’s also possible he’s just a fidgety person.

Doodling: draw conclusions. Ten minutes into your presentation and a prospect’s drawing stick figures on the notepad? This could mean he’s bored. Or worse, he’s already made up his mind, and your chances of nailing the sale are slim to none. Use this knowledge to talk to the prospect and find out what he’s really thinking.

For more tips on mastering body language, visit Forbes.

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Thursday, March 12, 2015 9:05 AM  RssIcon

Introducing SpinfinityTM, the Real Deal with Maintenance Free.
PROMAT Booth #1934.

Are junky, high-maintenance casters wrecking your assembly line and bottom line? We feel your pain. That's why we built Spinfinity, the most durable maintenance-free, kingpinless caster.

Stop by our booth at PROMAT for a close look at the only 100% maintenance-free caster that lasts a lifetime. Ask for Dave, Marty, Steve, or Mark. They'll fill you in on Spinfinity's massive kingpinless raceway and rubber seal, which keep grease in, and debris out.

Spinfinity: No grease.
No maintenance. No downtime.

Meet Hamilton's Ergonomic Superstars.

Sure, Hamilton builds the toughest casters. But we also lead the industry with ergonomic innovations, which can prevent workplace injuries and costly downtime.

ErgoGlide XT Wheels

  • 1" thick, extra-resilient poly molded to a heavy-duty cast iron core
  • 30% more capacity than standard ErgoGlide
  • Minimal force to startup/maintain force can prevent musculoskeletal injuries

Ergo-Designed Central Braking System

  • A large, convenient brake pedal directly in front of the operator
  • No more hunting for a brake mounted on each caster
  • Available on new models, or can be retrofitted onto existing carts
  • Patent pending

Ergonomic Swivel2 Technology

  • Greatly reduces the force required to move a cart in tight spaces, or when a swivel caster is not in a trailing position
  • Eliminates injury risk and improves efficiency
  • Patent pending, available this summer
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Friday, February 27, 2015 9:06 AM  RssIcon

Proudly displayed in our offices, Hamilton’s original 1925 kingpinless caster could just as easily roll on the factory floor today.

While kingpinless casters existed on the market back then, Hamilton’s founder, John Weigel, saw the need for a stronger, more durable version.

He patented “The Economic” 90 years ago, which featured an unconventional upper raceway for added vertical load handling. View the 1925 patent here.

Although it may have been the toughest kingpinless caster during the Roaring Twenties, that’s where the similarities end when compared to Hamilton’s current models.

Then vs. Now

A second raceway wasn’t The Economic’s only unique feature. One casting made up its upper portion (cup element) with the lower segment (wheel frame) comprised of another.

In comparison, our current models feature a much stronger forged-steel mounting plate and ring with heat-treated raceways for much longer wear.

A Look to the Future

We hope you enjoyed this Hamilton history lesson. Now, we’re onto the future – a new spin on kingpinless and our next generation. Watch your inbox, see it up close and in person March 23-26 @ PROMAT Booth 1934 & 1936, or snag a copy of your favorite industry magazine next month for our big reveal.

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Thursday, February 26, 2015 8:59 AM  RssIcon

With Hamilton’s custom hydraulic running gear assembly in command, the U.S. military can safely load [REDACTED] onto cargo aircraft.

We designed and engineered three assemblies that connect to the government’s existing ground support equipment.With our rig in tow, the crew backs the tall machinery up the ramp without scraping the roof or belly of the plane.

Here’s how it works. When the load reaches the top of the ramp, our assembly’s hydraulic cylinders lift it 7.5 inches to keep the haul completely level with the plane’s fuselage. A pivot axle rotates the assembly roughly 15 degrees while it’s pushed up the ramp by a massive tugger.

Heavy duty, 25-inch pneumatic tires keep the load from getting stuck on the Tarmac. And an auto-steer construction stabilizes the 6,000-pound equipment while it moves over rugged terrain.

As for the [REDACTED]? That’s confidential.

Your Frame. Hamilton’s Running Gear Assembly.

Calling all fabricators: You supply the frame. We’ll build the running gear assembly. Email Jim Lippert, or call us at 888-699-7164 to learn more.

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Wednesday, February 25, 2015 8:58 AM  RssIcon

Hamilton’s 100% made-in-America casters helped make Ford’s F-150 the most American vehicle. The pickup topped a list of “Most American” cars, which means it’s built with 75 percent or more USA parts.

Rounding out the top five included the Toyota Camry, Honda Odyssey, Toyota Sienna and Toyota Tundra. Despite being owned by Japanese companies, they’re mostly made with in United States factories with American parts.

For F-150 owners, the truck’s star-spangled flair isn’t the only reason to cheer. The 2015 model was recently named U.S. News & World Report’s top full-size pickup truck.

As for the casters? Hamilton’s 100% made-in-America casters help automakers, like Ford, crank out more trucks and cars than ever with less downtime caused by junkyard casters.

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Tuesday, February 24, 2015 8:14 AM  RssIcon

San Francisco’s new Movable Median Barrier System keeps the Golden Gate Bridge from turning into a six-lane, 1.7-mile-long parking lot.

The 30-ton, 60-foot-long “zipper” trucks crawl down the center median at 10 mph, shifting the one-foot-wide barrier from one lane to another.

It’s no small feat, either. At 1.7 miles long, the bridge is made up of 3,500 individual steel and concrete-filled barrier segments that weigh 1,500 pounds each.

Prior to the barrier’s installation last January, a row of plastic cones was the only thing separating oncoming traffic. Since 1971, lane crossovers have caused 16 deaths on the bridge.

Next time you zip through the Golden Gate safely and without delay, make sure to wave at the Moveable Median Barrier System.

See the truck in action below. It’s oddly satisfying.

Source: Gizmodo

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