We're seeing a resurgence in customer inquiries about castellated beam. The inquiries range from simple repair parts to expansions of old systems. Not sure what castellated beam is? It looks like the cranes below. It hasn't been made in the US since 1962, but it's still in use in plants throughout North America. Unfortunately, in many cases, the castellated beam that plants are using has exceeded its safe life expectancy and now poses a real danger.
Why the concern?
As castellated beam ages and fatigues, serious safety issues emerge. The tracks may have worn away. Cracks in the welds and lower T sections are a sign of imminent failure. If the welds weaken and fail, the bottom rail can peel away from the web plate. In some cases, the rail can fall to the ground. In others, the rail and the load can fall. Scary stuff. If you're not maintaining or inspecting your cranes on a regular basis, you might be lulled into a false sense of security and not realize the danger posed by your aging castellated beam crane.
This image shows a castellated beam that crashed to the ground. Luckily no one was hurt in this incident, but you can see the dangers...
What should you do if you're still using castellated beam in your facility?
Well, our first choice would be for you to replace all of your castellated beam with our Tarca® beams. But...in case you haven't budgeted for that this year, we recommend conducting regular safety audits using skilled personnel. Identify the highest risk cranes in your facility based on age and cycles, and fully inspect every weld in the beams. Pay special attention to areas with cracked welds, cracked lower rail sections, rust and oxidation of materials, flat treads, and worn castings.
If you have castellated beam in your facility and have any questions about it, don't hesitate to contact us at (800) 821-0086.