Washington Chain Supply - 10-ton Marine Hooks

THE BRIEF
Recently the management of the Washington Chain & Supply company started looking for a way to make an existing part, 10-ton hooks, by machining from a block instead of using the previously standard custom casting or forging the part. They began by distributing materials to several machine shops to see what the best machinists in the area could do for them. 
 

THE CHALLENGE(S)
In the marine industry, 10-ton hooks are widely used for rigging and lifting among other heavy-duty items. A new machining method was needed, and used, to see if production could be increased — while maintaining use and strength.
 

WMW issued a unique challenge to their craftsmen machinists in which they would need to use their existing skills to see if they could accomplish a large size job that other shops couldn't do or simply wouldn't do. 
 

As expected, the team at WMW encountered many challenges along the way. The team's first unique challenge was to learn a new way to do 3D machining to match the existing method of cast or forged hooks. This included programming their CNC machine.  Then came the task of learning how to hold the part while machining it to avoid injuries. This new machining technique required developing new safety guidelines and learning from trial & error as they went along.
 

For this project, they used a Haas VF-5/50 with Mastercam and a high machining speed. The high-speed option gave them the ability to use faster feed rates and more complex tool paths without much hesitation from the machine itself. It gave them the ability to be creative while accomplishing their tasks in a quick timeframe. 
 

The combination of machines and tools aided by impressive craftsmanship in creating a unique technique to complete the job at hand.  WMW's machinist, 20+ years of experience, possessed the skills needed for the job and armed with the knowledge of the materials, programming ability, flexibility, willingness to learn, and critical thinking all led to excellence on the project. 
 

WMW was able to mix old-school craftsmanship with modern tooling. The challenges posed thought-invoking solutions which they were excited to develop.
 

"It was a lot of interesting work getting the operations correct so the 3D machining came off without a hitch. We came up with what we thought were novel ideas and, in the end, they worked out great."- WMW Machinist
 

THE IMPACT
Washington Chain &Supply (WCS) has continued exploring the use of computer numerical control (CNC) machined parts for specialized projects. In WMW they found a willing and capable company to produce those items.
 

"WCS had been exploring the use of CNC machined parts for our specialized projects. We have been working with several shops to find the one that fits well with what we are trying to accomplish. Soon after dropping off our parts, it was clear that WMW was up to the task of programming and coming up with a plan to execute a finished part for us. 

When the 1st part came off the machine we knew right away that we had a winner. 

 

After all the machine work was completed we put the part through a variety of tests all of which they passed. We have plans to work with WM on future projects similar to this." 

Lance Eggers, Director of Engineering, Washington Chain & Supply