Tuesday, February 28, 2017 9:42 AM  RssIcon

Sure, a picture says a thousand words. But guess what’s even better? A thousand pounds—and we’ve got the pics to prove it. Take a look at this recent order for our Ultra Maxi-Duty (UMD) Casters, which a leading aerospace supplier will be using on stands to support their next generation of products.

With a load rating of up to 40,000 pounds per caster, UMDs represent the highest capacity production caster series on the market today. Each of these wheels is 22” in diameter, and the mounting plate alone is an immense 14” x 14” and 1” thick.

These Ultra Maxi-Duty Casters have a load rating of 35,000 lbs. per caster.

With UMDs, there’s no need to custom order a special caster—this comprehensive series comes “build-ready.” Moving colossal loads that formerly required six or eight casters can be accomplished with four, simplifying designs and lowering maintenance costs. In addition to aerospace manufacturers, UMDs are perfect for defense contractors, ship builders and anywhere you’re toting uber heavy equipment.

Capturing these powerful casters on camera makes us feel a little like the fired-up dad of a huge family. It’s our pride and joy to create these rare creatures of craftsmanship and durability every day.

So we hope you don’t mind if we get a little gushy.

Check out the complete UMD series product details here.

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Thursday, December 15, 2016 4:28 PM  RssIcon

Call ‘em hot wheels for work. Call ‘em casters that won’t cook. Whatever you call ‘em, one thing’s for sure: these babies stay cool under pressure.

Hamilton is proud to introduce our new line of high-heat casters and wheels. Built tough to withstand the rigors of extreme temps, they’re ideal for rolling anywhere you want to beat the heat—especially in autoclaves, product finish systems, food manufacturing and pharmaceutical industries, where heat treating and coating is increasingly becoming the norm.

“We’re pretty excited about this series. Not everyone realizes that most conventional casters aren’t built to withstand very high heat,” explained Hamilton Vice President of Marketing Mark Lippert. “In the past, we’ve offered high-temperature wheels and casters to our customers on demand. As high-heat becomes more and more part of everyday manufacturing, we now have an extensive line to make it even easier to get what you need.”

To help you understand each offering’s singularly scorching charms, here are some highlights:

Stainless Steel Caster featuring New Ultratherm™ Wheel #S-HSTL-4HWRB

High Heat Non-Metallic Wheels

Our High Heat Non-Metallic Wheels offer a range of high-heat options to light your fire, from the everyday generalist Scorcher to the uber premium Ultratherm™. These wheels come in a variety of diameters and are temperature rated between 475 and 570 degrees Fahrenheit.

Scorcher Wheels

  • The affordable generalist
  • Temp ratings up to 475 degrees F
  • Rated up to 1,400 pounds
  • Injection molded 33% Glass Fiber Reinforced, Heat Stabilized Nylon 6/6
  • Double the strength & stiffness of unreinforced nylons (27,000 psi)
  • Superior abrasion and wear resistance
  • Great for autoclaves

Duratherm™ Wheels

  • The premium version of Scorcher, with a higher-end precision ball bearing
  • Certified especially for the food industry
  • Resistant to water, acids, chemicals and most solvents
  • Temperature rating up to 530 degrees F

Noiseless Ultratherm™ Wheels

  • The crème de la crème of high-heat wheels
  • Roll silently, so they’re easy on the ears
  • Made of high-heat elastic rubber, so they protect floors beautifully
  • Temperature rating up to 570 degrees F
  • Features maintenance-free precision ball bearings
  • Wheel size: 4”. Note: We also offer an Inferno series (see below) high heal dual wheel casters with Noiseless Ultratherm™ wheels to offer you double capacity. So you can safely move a 2,000-pound load without damaging your floors in 570 degree temperatures.

Inferno™ Wheels

Direct from Hades, our Inferno™ Series wheels come with special high-heat stainless steel precision ball bearings rated up to 750 degrees Fahrenheit.

Inferno™ and MagmaMax™ Casters

Stainless Workhorse featuring New Scorcher Wheel #S-WHS-6HNY

Is it just us or is it getting warm in here?

In the high-heat caster arena, it’s a veritable heat wave of choices that cater to every capacity—from a mere 150 pounds all the way up to a whopping 9,000 pounds of crushing force. Our Inferno™ casters come in light-, medium-, and heavy-duty, while we’ve saved the heaviest payload for a category all its own: our MagmaMax™ extra heavy-duty casters.

Got a fever for high-heat wheels and casters? Contact Jim Lippert for the cure.

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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 Maxi-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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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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Friday, April 01, 2016 10:40 AM  RssIcon

Realizing that maintenance and repair costs of plant floors include lost production time, inefficiencies, worker comfort and safety, our customer was concerned about protecting the expensive concrete floors in their brand new facility.

Committed to a failure-free environment, an aircraft manufacturer challenged Hamilton to a create heavy duty caster with a low contact pressure.

The company required 128 heavy duty casters each rated at 15,000 lbs. and designed to apply a maximum contact pressure of 750 psi per caster to the concrete floors. No small task.

Working with our customer and a key supplier, a four-person team at Hamilton buckled down. Using computer modelling, the team zeroed in on a polyurethane wheel design that achieved the desired results.


mouseover to zoom

After hours of computer simulation, the prototype exceeded the customer requirements resulting in a wheel with two-inch thick tread of Hamilton's new DuraGlide polyurethane material that delivered 698 psi per caster, well below the customer’s psi requirement.

Once the wheel spec was finalized, Hamilton machined and fabricated the dual wheeled caster with a toe guard and a dual heavy duty brake.

The client appreciated Hamilton’s efforts. “You were the only supplier to dig in your heels and come up with a solution. Hamilton was committed to meeting our challenge. The magic worked and the casters are on the stands. Thank you again for all of the technical support! These are cool!!!

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Monday, February 29, 2016 8:57 AM  RssIcon

Excess weight? Oddly shaped products? Noise? Short turning radius? Believe us, it takes a lot more than that to break a Hamilton Engineer.

Their latest challenge was to custom design an ergonomic braking mechanism with a toe guard for a major aeronautics manufacturer.

Done! The special application contact brakes feature an integrated toe guard. It sits only 1-1/2” off the floor and prevents workers from trapping their feet beneath the cart. No more smashed toes. Or ruined pedicures!

The braking mechanism’s ergonomic design ratchets back stress on the operator’s body, too. There isn’t the traditional push-down, and pull-up motion required to engage and disengage the brake. The new mechanism engages and disengages with a much more ergonomically friendly push-down motion. In addition, red and green brake arms flag the on and off states of the brakes.

This customer required a smaller envelope than the standard contact brake so the new profile has a shorter turning radius.

Bottom line, if you have a tricky application, there’s a Hamilton engineer who’s dying to sink his teeth into it. So challenge us!

Tech Specs

  • Capacity - 1,000 pounds
  • Swivel offset - 1-1/2"
  • Overall height - 12-1/8"
  • Mounting plate - 4-1/2" x 6-1/2" with mounting holes 2-7/16" x 4-15/16" slotted to 3-3/8" x 5-1/4" for 1/2" bolt size
  • Wheel - W-1041-SPRT-1
  • Rig finish - red enamel
  • Equipped with 4-position swivel lock
  • Toe Guard 1-1/2" off the floor when unloaded
  • Special ZB Heavy Duty Contact Brake

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Friday, February 26, 2016 8:51 AM  RssIcon

Are these frequent words in your daily conversations? If you miss punch lines of jokes, important instructions, or you work in a noisy office, Doppler Labs has help for you before you miss something important, like a sale!

The techies at Doppler have introduced a pair of discreet earbuds that pairs with an app on both iPhones and Android devices. The earbuds function as an audio mixer and broadcast the enhanced sound in real time directly into your ears.

You’ll find this rig handy for civilian life, too. The screaming child in the restaurant? A rowdy crowd at the ballgame? Tune them out with a few quick adjustments. Filter out crowds and other background noise – even office sounds. Amplify human voices above other noises – or not. Your choice. Ahhh, a more peaceful world!

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Thursday, February 25, 2016 8:48 AM  RssIcon

Taking off over Lake Washington on January 30, the Boeing 737 MAX, nicknamed the “Spirit of Renton”, was accompanied by the cheers of 4,000 Boeing employees who stood in the Seattle drizzle to witness the historic maiden flight. Stay dry and see for yourself.

The plane ascended to 25,000 feet and 2-1/2 hours later landed back at Boeing Field where the pilots held a press conference. “Wow, what an amazing machine!” Chief Pilot Ed Wilson told the crowd.

The new plane was built to impress customers and airline operators alike: Better environmental performance. Superior fuel efficiency that reduces carbon emissions. A 40% smaller noise footprint than today's single-aisle airplanes to make that in-flight nap a little more peaceful. And an interior that creates a spacious feel with flowing curves and full length sculpted sidewalls.

At the beginning of its 100th anniversary year, the successful flight of the Boeing 737 Max came shortly after the company announced that production will rise 35% through 2019 from 42 per month today to 57 per month in 2019. Already, the program has amassed more than 3,000 orders from 62 customers around the world.

The plane begins its test flight period now and will enter commercial service in the third quarter of 2017 when Southwest Airlines adds the plane to its fleet.

Hamilton is proud to be a part of the Boeing team. Our maintenance-free casters help them reduce downtime, cut repair costs and keep up with a nearly endless stream of orders.

Congratulations to our friends at Team Boeing!

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Friday, January 29, 2016 8:52 AM  RssIcon

Ford’s “Go Further” motto not only reflects its supercharged attitude, but the automaker’s bold new trade show look.

Enormous, caster-driven video walls dazzled Detroit Auto Show guests at Ford’s main exhibit. Hamilton’s Maxi-Duty wheels guided the 30 by 60-foot screens, designed by award-winning design and manufacturing firm, Mannetron in collaboration with EWI Worldwide.

“Ford wanted a showstopper,” said Peter Jungen, engineering and design manager at Mannetron. “Typically, these screens run on tracks. But that wasn’t an option because Ford wanted something clean that wouldn’t detract from the experience.”

A combination of magnetic tape, sensors, Hamilton muscle and wicked-smart engineering made it possible.

“The screens moved on a pre-determined path set by a computer,” said Jungen. “The sensors, mounted on the wheels, picked up the magnetic tape and guided the screens back and forth with the help of an autonomous vehicle.”

In synch with Maxi-Duty

The Maxi-Duty wheels provided ample capacity to tote the 16,000-pound screens, which played video, images and visual effects to synch up with the cars on display.

For example, attendees could snap their pictures in the driver’s seat of a Mustang and have their mugs featured on the big screen. The video walls would then converge on each other like a curtain, revealing more of the photo mosaic by the inch.

Because guests could move freely about the exhibit, safety was a prime concern for Mannetron.

“We built in sensors that would detect if someone were nearby,” he said. “If they got too close, the whole thing would stop moving. We even built in logic to prevent someone from jumping in between the walls right before they closed together.”

Miss the exhibit? No worries. Ford plans to use the display for at least the seven years, which gives you plenty of time to scope out some pretty cool cars, and even cooler caster wheels.

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Wednesday, January 27, 2016 8:25 AM  RssIcon

NASA expected the Opportunity Rover to last 90 days. Nearly 12 years later, it’s still roaming the red planet. But the mission was nearly scrubbed, had it not been for the engineers visiting the Dark Room.

Aerospace engineer and author Adam Steltzner writes:

When you are solving a problem, you might find yourself stuck with no viable solution in sight. I call this place the Dark Room. It is a terrifying mental state, especially if you are on a timeline with an unmovable product debut date.

The problem he refers to? A fatal flaw with the Rover’s air bags. Because NASA borrowed a design from the 1997 Pathfinder craft, the team didn’t test them until a year from launch.

As Murphy’s law would have it, rocks shredded the air bags. And none of the team’s solutions could patch the issue. Enter the Dark Room.

There is a virtue in staying in the Dark Room until you completely surrender—not give up but completely surrender your ego, and stop trying to force the existing solution. That’s when a breakthrough occurs… you’re so completely drained and empty that you’re wide open to it, devoid of all prior notions, completely receptive. It’s the perfect blend of the conscious and subconscious minds working together.

After almost a year in the figurative darkness, he and his found a solution.

We emerged from the Dark Room triumphant that time. But you never know when you’ll be back in it again. It never gets less terrifying. Today when I’m confronted by the confounding uncertainty and stress of a seemingly intractable problem, I tell my teams, “Just keep working, and if death comes to visit us, let us be surprised.” Where there is will and ingenuity, there has always been a way.

Next time you reach an innovation road block? Head to the Dark Room. We know we will.

Read more on LinkedIn.

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