Wednesday, June 29, 2016 1:47 PM  RssIcon

We like monster trucks - tough, durable, massive - just like Hamilton. So when our Ben Wilson suggested these casters resemble monster truck trophies, we had some fun with PhotoShop.

Hamilton is no stranger to custom engineered solutions so we didn’t flinch when a Pennsylvania distributor presented the following requirements: 1) 25,000 lbs. load capacity per caster, 2) 400° F oven, and 3) suitable for a blast booth environment. The customer also requested rigid casters to minimize the number of moving parts.

So we’ve got a heavy load, high heat, and a nasty environment. Let’s go.

The 25,000 lbs. rated EMD2 high heat casters assembled by Ben Wilson.

Hamilton engineers first selected Hamilton’s Enhanced Max-Duty Series (EMD2) platform providing a mounting plate measuring 8-1/2” x 8-1/2”. The EMD2 Series mounting plate is ½” thick and the legs are ¾” thick plate steel.

For the wheels, engineering selected 4140 HT high alloy steel blanks with a tensile strength of 153 KSI. Hamilton CNC-machined the blanks down to a finished size of 10" x 3".

Special composite self-lubricating bearings were then spec’d providing low thermal expansion and low coefficient of friction. The massive wheels and rigs were zinc plated to provide additional corrosion resistance for the extreme environment.

Due to the ever increasing request for high heat applications, Hamilton will be introducing a complete line of standard high heat casters and wheels with diameters ranging from 3” -12” and high heat loads up to 25,000 lbs. The series will feature a new high heat wheel lineup of nylon, silicone rubber, stainless, and forged steel.

Bring the heat! Hamilton can handle it. Contact Jim Lippert with your high heat challenge.

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Tuesday, June 28, 2016 1:44 PM  RssIcon

A locomotive repair campus needed industrial trailers to assist with the distribution of parts. The large Midwestern campus featured many buildings, connected by roadways in various stages of disrepair and some gravel pathways. Repair parts arrived at one building, and then were transported to different buildings where they were needed.

Being a locomotive repair campus, there were multiple rail crossings to negotiate, along with the gravel pathways and other roadway conditions. Working closely with Hamilton engineers, the customer communicated the environmental challenges, the intended usage, and the variety of load sizes and weights. The proposed design incorporated a unique running gear system, robust wheels, a wood deck, and a substantial steel frame.

Hamilton provided special torsion type axles that afforded 3” of vertical travel. When coupled with heavy duty reinforced 19” diameter pneumatic wheels, encountering rail crossings was not a problem, even with full 5,000 lbs. loads.

These torsion-type axles provide 3” of vertical travel for traversing railroad tracks.

A spacious 50” wide by 150” long deck provided more than ample space for the many loads. The deck surface was wood to minimize load slippage during travel.

The customer planned to tow five trailers in a train, so Hamilton engineered plenty of strength into the trailer including central longitudinal frame members. Rear axle location optimized stability and turning. Simple but stout forged steel loops on the tongues and pintle hitches on the rear made trailer towing easy and safe.

Interestingly, the department using the five trailers had to guard against others on campus confiscating them for their use. Not intending to promote campus rivalry, Hamilton calmly suggested new trailers for the others as well.

For dependable performance, outstanding longevity, and engineering to match the application, contact Hamilton.

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Monday, June 27, 2016 1:28 PM  RssIcon

At Hamilton, we know something about rolling resistance and wheels.

So let’s imagine you are the dad of a boy scout participating in a Pinewood Derby competition. Let’s also say you are an engineer with a particular ego problem – you can’t stand losing. Put aside for the moment the reality that your boy scout son will probably not be a part of winning the race.

The proven winning formula relies totally on physics. Transfer the maximum potential energy into the maximum kinetic energy, and voila’ – the trophy (monster-truck? No. but a trophy nonetheless).

Start with the maximum potential energy. The rules limit the overall weight, but don’t sacrifice even one microgram. The center of gravity must be near the rear of the car, which will increase the potential energy. Keep it about 1” in front of the rear axle, which tests have proven to be the ideal location.

During the race, when cars reach the bottom of the ramp and transition to the level portion, your car will still accelerate for a fraction of time that it’s center of gravity is still moving down, translating into increased speed. The competition will begin slowing since it exhausted the benefit of higher center of gravity earlier. This is the single biggest winning factor.

Next, if legal, trim the wheels on your car to make them narrow and lightweight. The lighter the wheels, the less rotational energy they will use which increases the available kinetic energy for speed. The potential energy at the start of the race turns into rotational energy of the wheels, speed, and friction losses. Minimize the rotational energy with lighter wheels.

The top six parameters in rank order and their impact on the race by car length. Source

Third, reduce air friction by employing an aerodynamic shape. No wind tunnel required here – a basic pointy wedge works just fine.

Polish the axles to further reduce friction. Finesse this advantage by very slightly bending the axles and make the rear wheels ride on the inner edges. Set one front wheel so it’s not even on the track!

Finally, adjust the remaining front wheel to steer very slightly into the center rail of the racetrack, and ride on its outer edge. (This is called “railriding” for the true experts.) Finally, liberally apply graphite to the wheels and axles.

If this is still too much work, and you are in for the easy win, simply install a small canted CO2 cartridge in your basic pinewood derby block and use rocket propulsion to literally blow away the competition. But warning: this breaks the rules!

Learn more details and the source of much of this cool data here or checkout his 40 mph rocket propelled pinewood car.

If you can’t get enough, check out our white paper on Rolling Resistance and Industrial Wheels.

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Sunday, June 26, 2016 1:25 PM  RssIcon

For the next generation 777, engineers at General Electric are working behind the scenes on the world’s largest jet engine—the GE 9X. The Boeing 777, which happens to be the world’s largest twinjet, seats up to 400 passengers and has a flying range of 9,500 nautical miles. It takes tremendous thrust to lift 775,000 lbs. off the ground and fly it half way around the world. That's significant because the fan diameter is 11 feet and it turns at 2,500 rpms when cruising.

While these specs are incredible to ponder, the real innovation is occurring in the manufacturing processes and advanced materials. The new engine’s fuel nozzles are production 3D printed. The sixteen fan blades are of fourth generation carbon fiber, reducing fan weight by 15%.

The hotter an engine can run, the more efficiently it produces thrust. GE engineers developed ultra-heat resistant parts called ceramic-matrix components (CMCs) which can withstand temperatures up to 2400 degrees Fahrenheit. (Our high heat casters peak out at 800° F.) These CMC components must survive inside the combustor and the turbine where the powerful thrust is generated. Engine geeks will appreciate the GE 9X’s compression ratio of 27: 1 vs the highest commercial automotive engine at 14:1 (and most are between 10:1 and 12:1.)

Check out the embedded link showing the first test of this engine. And note the size of the concrete blocks that support the structure holding the engine during testing. Each generation of engine requires more reinforcement of this test stand.

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Saturday, June 25, 2016 1:21 PM  RssIcon

Back by popular demand, the Hamilton 2017 Pocket Calendar coveted by many will be shipping out this December.

It’s been a long tradition that we mail out pocket calendars to our distribution network and customers. But we changed our gift premium in 2014 and heard back from many of our distributor friends that you still wanted the calendar.

This year if you'd like to receive a 2017 pocket calendar please pre-order here to get on the list for the December shipment.

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Monday, May 02, 2016 1:52 PM  RssIcon

The advent of 3D Printing, at first a novelty, has become a vital tool for innovative high tech companies like Hamilton Caster. While GE and Ford have touted their rapid progress with 3D printing, many other companies are achieving incredible accomplishments behind closed doors.

“At Hamilton our investment in 3D printing has had a surprisingly larger impact on our company that we first thought,” says Jevon Lambright, a design engineer at Hamilton. “We’ve used it across several divisions including sales, marketing, R&D and operations.”

For example, a customer requested a unique mounting plate with mounting holes in odd places. As a proof of concept to make sure the part would work, we used our 3D printer to make a prototype.”

Check out some other ways that Hamilton has leveraged this technology.

A prototype for the new Ergo X2 Swivel technology

Prototypes of new foot operated swivel locks.

Not limited to engineering, our Lean 5S events created a demand for 3D printed tool holders on the factory floor.

Early design of new Spinfinity Maintenance-free caster.

Do you have an idea that you want to test? Contact us.We'll put our brains and 3D printers to work for you.

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Sunday, May 01, 2016 9:41 AM  RssIcon

Sometimes it takes an engineer to get the marketing right. Our challenge to the engineering department was to demonstrate the cool way that Hamilton’s four-wheel-steer industrial trailers work.

“Game on!” said the engineering department.

Using our 3D printers, the engineers printed the RC Tugger and Four-wheel-steer Trailer. Taking it a step further, as engineers always do, they 3D printed scale models of the industrial trailers and built a mock-up of a distribution floor to boot.

Of Hamilton’s four steering systems, the most popular type is the four-wheel steer design that can navigate turning in tight aisles. Check out our video that demonstrates this capability here. Makes you want to dig your remote control cars out of winter storage, doesn’t it?

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Saturday, April 30, 2016 9:40 AM  RssIcon

Even the engineers at Volkswagen like to make videos of how their trailers work. Their recipe: first cut a Volkswagen in half…

From there they designed a trailer assist that can back up in a straight line or turn tight corners, drive itself and get strange looks from all who witness it. Very cool, Volkswagen. Hey, do you have a 3D printed model of that?

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Looney Cars We Love

Friday, April 29, 2016 9:32 AM  RssIcon

Hamilton has worked with auto companies throughout its long history, and maybe our ancestors were even involved with some of these crazy car designs from the past.

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Thursday, April 28, 2016 9:25 AM  RssIcon

Upselling is not restricted to the sales department any longer; in fact customer service representatives are often in a better position to understand the needs of a customer and the products or services that might benefit.

Sure, upselling is useful to a company's bottom line, but it can also be perceived as high quality service when it is done right. These tips will help your customer service representatives sell effectively.

Know the Difference between Upselling and Cross-Selling

Upselling and cross-selling are two different processes that require slightly different approaches to be successful. Let’s go to McDonalds.

McDonald’s employees always ask, “Do you want fries with that?” This is cross-selling, the act of offering a complementary product or service to the original item purchased.

If you order a Coke at McDonald’s, the same smiling employee asks if you’d like a large Coke for just 10¢ more. This is upselling because it encourages the customer to upgrade his purchase.

Restrict the Sale to Customers Already in a Transaction

Cross-selling and upselling are used with customers who have already decided to make an initial purchase. Once a customer decides to buy from you, more than half the battle is already won, and they may be much more open to the additional purchase.

Offer Upsells and Cross-Sells that Make Sense

The suggestion of an upsell or cross-sell that does not fit the original purchase could derail a purchase. Your suggestion has to fit the buyer’s exact needs at the very moment he or she plans to buy. Otherwise, you could lose it all.

Don't overdo it.

Both cross selling and upselling are excellent sales strategies. But don’t overdo it. Stick to pitching a few items that are well targeted toward your customers’ wants, needs, and preferences.

Keep It Honest

We know buyers can be skittish. If they feel at any point that something’s not quite right, they’ll bolt. The more open and honest and transparent you are during the purchase process, the more likely those buyers will hang around to finish the purchase.

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