In the world of heavy-duty manufacturing, bigger is beautiful. But it’s what’s inside that really counts. Especially when you put your heart and soul into the craftsmanship of your product—like we do every day here at Hamilton.
So once in a while, we like to pause and provide a rare peak inside the brains behind the beauty. This time, it’s about a product that’s been in high demand lately: our Ultra Maxi-Duty (UMD) Casters—the highest capacity production caster series on the market.
With a load rating up to 40,000 pounds per caster, these whirling workhorses can tow a planet of crushing cargo without breaking a sweat. They’re ideal for extreme load applications that roll through shipbuilding, military and aerospace manufacturing.
But to really understand how this caster crushes all capacity limits, you need to go deep.
Behold the UMD in all its cross-section glory:
To manufacture the most durable super-capacity casters possible, our engineers cleaned the slate to go above and beyond basic requirements. The mounting plate is an immense 14” x 14” and 1” thick. But the true innovation can be found in two massive precision thrust ball bearings. The 13”-diameter bearing boasts an impressive 234,000 pound load rating, while the second 7”-diameter one is rated at a comfortable 100,000 pounds. A third highly specialized four-point contact bearing completes the awesome assembly, making easy swiveling under extreme load a joyride.
Whereas it usually takes eight or more casters to move colossal loads, it only takes four UMD casters. That makes your job simpler and reduces maintenance costs. You can save the time of requesting a custom-designed caster and select from the UMD’s comprehensive, “build-ready” series.
Ready to throw your weight around? Hamilton is here to catch you with all the UMD product details.
You know we can’t resist anything that rolls. #wheelsrule
When a Fortune 1000 company needed custom trailers for their new four million square foot facility, Hamilton engineers were ready to roll with a solution.
After sizing many different decks to suit the customer’s needs, we designed a roller trailer to transfer palletized goods on and off the deck safely and securely along the production line, making it easier than ever for workers to load/offload product from assembly to either warehousing or shipping. Removable side rails allow manual access via forklift, if necessary.
“Moving away from forklifts has been a growing safety trend in manufacturing plants,” said Dave Lippert, President.” One way to move materials smartly and safely without forklifts is with a properly designed trailer like this one.”
It’s nice to have options, though. So this trailer includes removable side rails for manual access via forklift, if necessary.
With two rows of rollers arranged lengthwise on the trailer frame, the deck features removable rear-end stops and fixed front end stops (one set for each roller lane) to secure product in place during travel. For added stability, ZB style foot activated brakes on both front wheels ensure precious cargo doesn’t slide anywhere it isn’t intended.
Visit CartsandTrailers.com to see more custom trucks.
When Og invented the wheel, he probably wasn’t thinking about the hassles of airport travel. But the brains behind this smart suitcase were.
Meet the Cowarobot R1, a motorized carry-on that brings new meaning to the term “travel buddy.” Like man’s best friend, it follows you faithfully at arm’s length wherever you go—no hands required—by tracking your movement through a wristband you can customize via smartphone app. It also doubles as a portable USB charger for your smartphone or tablet.
Thanks to the suitcase’s all-terrain retractable wheels, which work similar to aircraft landing gear. An inbound motor propels the suitcase forward, it has a follow rate of up to 4.5 mph and can climb slopes up to 15 degrees. Multiple sensors keep it from slamming into stuff or toppling down stairs. Plus, its built-in GPS not only helps you find it if it gets lost; it can also find you—rolling to you from across the room up to 164 feet away. Here, boy!
Once again, further proof that wheels make everything better.
COWAROBOT R1: The First Robotic Suitcase from COWA ROBOT on Vimeo.
There’s nothing we love more than geeking out on feats of engineering. So when we came across this mind-blowing marvel online, we just had to share it.
It’s what’s believed to be the smallest fully functioning W32 engine in the world. Assembled from scratch and built to precise scale by a retired Spanish naval mechanic named José Manuel Hermo Barreiro, this tiny monster of epic beauty runs on compressed air and boasts 850 pieces, 650 screws and took Barreiro 2,520 hours to complete. The crankshaft alone could fit in your palm.
Barreiro, who has been impressing modelers and gear heads on the Internet for years with his small-scale precision engines (including the world’s smallest V-12), uses nothing more than pencil, ruler and graph paper to construct his blueprints before hand-crafting each piece.
Watch its mini-pistons pump away. The engine runs so smoothly, you can balance four coins on it (Yup, minute 1:10)
We’ve officially reached engine nirvana.
In the world of giant pumpkins, there’s big, bigger, and—in the case of this ultimate pumpkin royale—there’s Jurassic sized.
Every fall, giant gourd growers come to do battle for the title of heaviest pumpkin at the All New England Giant Pumpkin Weigh-Off in Topsfield, MA. This year’s champion squashed all records with his pumpkin weighing in at 2,075 pounds. That’s a far cry from when the contest debuted in 1984 with a 433-pound winner. Today, a pumpkin has to pass the ton mark to be a true contender, and winners are typically the size of a smart car.
Good thing we’ve got plenty of Hamilton trailers to haul that load.
If polyurethane wheels had their own playlist, “Start Me Up” by the Rolling Stones would definitely top the list. Why? Because a wheel’s startup force—or rollability—can vary significantly based on the type of poly tread used.
In fact, there are actually thousands of ways you can manipulate and cure a given urethane through creative chemistry to enhance or diminish its properties. That’s why you should never judge the quality or performance of a poly based on its color or hardness.
So which poly should you pick? That depends on your application. Today we’ll focus on three performance factors that are always top of mind: rollability, load capacity and durability.
Say you want to order pushcarts for manual operations in your workplace. You need to choose wheels that work best for your environment, load performance and worker safety. By selecting a wheel with high rollability, you’ll make your material handlers’ job easier and safer while helping to reduce workman’s comp claims.
First, pick the largest diameter wheel that’s possible and practical for your application. The larger the diameter, the easier the wheel is to push. Second, choose a poly wheel with a low startup force. Hamilton offers several polyurethanes designed specifically for strong rebound. A high-energy poly with great rebound like the Hamilton Ergo-Tech™ is an ergonomic favorite. It’s designed to minimize push/pull forces and reduce work-related injuries.
The heavier your load, the more both polyurethane formulation and thickness factor into effective wheel performance. Certain poly formulas are designed to carry more weight. For example, the Duralast® XC wheel carries up to 30% more capacity than our standard Duralast® and rolls easier on smooth floors. Keep in mind, however, that most loads don’t maintain an even weight across the length and width of a pushcart. An off-center load will prematurely wear the overburdened casters. Hamilton offers 3 standard polyurethane wheels specifically engineered for extreme loads.
Heat buildup is polyurethane’s number one enemy. Good thing durability is our specialty. We maintain strict specifications on our poly with respect to tensile strength, tear strength and rebound. Some polys, like our DuraGlide™, are engineered for very low thermal retention to stand up to heavy or continuous loads for longer service life. And Hamilton Super Ultralast® represent our highest performing urethane. It features the ultimate 1” extra thick Ultralast poly molded to a super heavy-duty forged steel center for off the chart performance that outlasts the competition.
You know what they say: Tough wheel. Long life. Happy budget.
In total, Hamilton offers 12 standard polyurethane-treaded wheels for almost any application. All the wheels provide great floor protection, quiet operations and long use with minimal wear, but to really help you choose the right revolution for your needs, use our handy cheat sheet below.
(And in case you were wondering, the poly wheel that rolls on our production floors at Hamilton is…drumroll…the Ergo-Glide™. We like it for its great ergonomics, durability and value for the money.)
Feeling overwhelmed? Hit the easy button and call one of our inside sales engineers and we’d be happy to make a recommendation.
Just ask our friends in the oil and gas industry. Hamilton recently partnered with an international productivity solutions provider to custom-engineer two trailers specifically designed to load and transport large, cumbersome components for assembly.
“Handling these parts can be challenging. They’re heavy and irregularly-shaped, not to mention fairly expensive,” said John Yater, Hamilton lead design engineer on the project. Yater and his team worked with the customer to create safe, cost-effective and modular trailers that could be secured and handled in multiple ways. Productivity, check. Safety, check, check.
The XT2814 trailer—designed to support wellheads—is a quick study in ergonomics. It’s got an extra thick deck armed with forged adjustable clamps that are perfect for locking down flanges of all different sizes and thicknesses. No flanges? No problem. Lashing rings can be used to secure the load. Its rear tube bumper is designed for easy power pushing, while the tubing sub-frame is lined with internal guides to mate easily with a lift table. Everything rolls on our indestructible Superlast® wheels: their steel centers and thick polyurethane treads ensure a quiet, gentle ride for giant loads, while the caster swivel locks keep maneuverability stable during transport.
Just like the XT2814, the XT2813—engineered for valve trees—is designed for easy loading and transport with the same casters, tube bumper and fork pockets. It’s also highly adjustable for both assembling and disassembling parts. A wide range of parts can be moved in four different directions: left and right, up and down. The deck is slightly tilted so that oil can properly drain out one end.
Here are all the specs:
At Hamilton, we like making things so good they’re bad. As in, casters-so-superior-to-the-competition-that-they’re-almost-renegades-in-their-field bad. As in, trailers-so-divinely-strong-they-break-all-the-rules bad. You know, baaad.
So we could relate when we heard about the training “issues” surrounding the F-35 Lightening II, the fifth generation Air Force stealth fighter jet. During some recent practice simulations against fourth generation surface-to-air (SAM) missiles, ground troops running the simulated anti-air threats couldn’t detect the planes.
That’s right, the jets are so stealthy that nobody could detect them on radar. The pilots had to turn on their transponders just so the folks on the ground at Mountain Home Air Force Base in Idaho had a fighting chance. “We basically told them where we were at and said, ‘Hey, try to shoot at us,’ said Lt. Col. George Watkins, the commander of the 34th Fighter Squadron at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, to the Air Force Times.
With its stealth capabilities, supersonic speed, extreme agility and state-of-the-art sensor fusion technology, the single engine F-35 is largely being touted as the future of military aviation. Essentially, it can be everywhere and nowhere all at the same time.
Like we said. So-good-it’s-bad is an awesome “problem” to have.
It’s been 47 years this summer since NASA first put a man on the moon. To celebrate that game-changing Apollo 11 mission, the Smithsonian Institute has created a high-resolution 3D scan of the Command Module Columbia’s interior—the spacecraft that catapulted the three-man crew of Neil Armstrong, “Buzz” Aldrin and Michael Collins to lunar glory.
Capturing the real spacecraft for 3D was no cakewalk. Employing a robotic control system to access the vessel’s every nook and cranny, the Smithsonian team used laser scanners to scour more than a million measurement points per second at sub millimeter accuracy. That’s a lot of history to digitize. We should know. Hamilton uses 3D printing more and more each day, not just from prototype to production but in our sales, marketing and operations efforts, too.
To get inside the 3D Columbia experience, travel through the hatch here. It wouldn’t hurt to cue up 2001 Space Odyssey while you’re at it.
The challenge posted on YouTube was simple yet undeniable between the U.S. and Japan:
“We have a giant robot. You have a giant robot. You know what needs to happen. We challenge you to a duel.”
That was the exchange between Megabots, the Oakland, California-based maker of a 15-foot mechanical gladiator called the Mark II and Tokyo-based Suidobashi Heavy Industries, makers of the 13-foot Kuratas.
Japan, of course, accepted, and now the ring is set for an international battle of robot supremacy. While the exact date and location are yet to be determined, it’s all part of Megabots’ plan to turn gladiator-style robot combat into “big-time entertainment, while developing new industrial technologies and inspiring a new generation of engineers.”
Win or lose, watching big, heavy machine showdowns might be our new favorite spectator sport.
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