Challenges & Solutions

Challenges & Solutions

Whiting has the resources to find the right solutions for Our Clients
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Whiting has faced many challenges over the years…
Here are some notable solutions that satisfied our clients needs…

Tilt & Rotate Ladle Transfer Car

20' Electric Arc Furnace Upgrade

Slab Handling Crane

The Customer

The customer requested a reliable tilting & rotating ladle transfer car that would safely handle all the following movements of the ladle:

  • Loading and unloading the ladle to the car
  • Rotate the ladle 90 degrees toward the pouring position
  • Transfer the car to the pouring station
  • Lift and lower the car frame lift cylinders for weight measurement
  • Tilt the ladle slowly to provide constant controlled flow of molten iron
  • Quick reverse tilt the ladle to remove slag from the pouring spout
  • Tilt down the ladle
  • Transfer the car back to the loading bay
  • Rotate the ladle 90 degrees to align it with the crane hooks
  • Tilt, transfer, and rotate the ladle to align with crane hooks in the event of a power failure
  • Plus, various physical space limitations that impede the car size and movement

Furthermore, these requests needed to accommodate all three of the customers ladle designs with molten iron capacities to 75 tons.

The Challenges

The tilting and rotating type ladle transfer car is the first of its kind. Time constraints did not allow the time to build a model or simulation to enable us to check the design ahead of time. All the parts of the car are a complete new design from a clean sheet of paper.

  • Develop new concept incorporating articulated bogies and a weighing system. This design is essential to prevent uneven forces acting on the car frame and provide the vertical motion required for the load cells to be loaded and to be protected
  • Develop the car structural concept to comply with all the specified requirements
  • Develop sufficient clearance for all ladle varieties and ladle hooks. Proper clearances are important to provide the crane operator with sufficient space to maneuver the ladle in and out. Providing too much clearance would impinge on the tight physical constrains of the car. The heat shields protecting the main structure further reduced the available space
  • Provide hydraulic hoses with protected passages and sufficient space to flex. High-pressure hydraulic hoses must be installed in a recommended fashion otherwise the life expectancy of the hose will be affected. The hoses must also be shielded from the radiant heat at all times
  • Design a hydraulic system capable of the different car functions and all the applied forces

Technological Advancements & Solutions

Tilting & rotating ladle transfer-car

Articulated Bogie Design

This design has proven itself

The Car Structural Design Concept

Whiting’s concept is now a proven design. This technical knowledge can be used for future applications.

Clearances with Ladles & the Ladle Hook

The Whiting car is compact and at the same time provides for sufficient clearances with the ladles and the ladle hooks. Future projects with different ladles and hooks will be easier to adapt.

Hose Passages & Bending Radiuses

The actual car structure acts as the enclosure for the hoses. Several openings and heat shields have been added. This has proven to be a safe and flexible system.

Hydraulic Power System

This specially designed hydraulic system integrates the most modern technology for hydraulic power & control components. It smoothly powers tilting and rotating car motions.

Whiting Equipment Canada Inc. builds one of the largest steel furnaces ever engineered in Canada.


  • 600,000 tons/yr carbon and alloy steel long products from melting scrap, primarily for the automotive industry, each heat took 78 minutes.

Furnace History :

  • 1978 – Purchased original furnace from Whiting Corporation, Harvey, Illinois as a 90-ton capacity, 19′ diameter, spout pour furnace.
  • 1988 – Furnace was modified by a European competitor of Whiting to 125-ton capacity, bottom tap furnace.
  • 1999 – The requirement for cleaner steel and higher productivity, coupled with their unhappiness resulting from problems encountered with the furnace due to the modifications made by the European competitor, prompted our Customer to ask Whiting Equipment Canada Inc. plus other European competitors to make proposals to upgrade the furnace.
  • June 2001 – The order to engineer and build the furnace upgrade was awarded to Whiting Equipment Canada Inc. because we offered the optimum solution

Why Whiting Equipment Canada Inc.?

  • Best Engineering Solution
  • Original Equipment Manufacturer
  • Improved Eccentric Bottom Tap
  • More Rigid Platform
  • Increased Capacity (135-tons and 20′ diameter)
  • Able to use the same foundation without field modifications
  • Upgrade incorporated new ideas from our Customer’s operating personnel
  • Minimum Downtime
  • Could be shipped by barge in one piece, factory assembled and tested, from Welland to the dock beside our Customer, thereby greatly reducing downtime and expensive field construction.

What is the scope of work?

  • ProEng software model and design
  • New Water-Cooled Tube Panel Side Walls
  • New Furnace Shell (70,000 lbs., 21′ wide, 28′ long, 10′ high)
  • New platform (180,000 lbs., 28′-6″ wide, 39′ long, 11′ high)
  • New Roof lift
  • New Swing Track & Bogie Truck Assembly
  • New Pivot Pin
  • New Tilt-Swing Lock Assembly
  • New Eccentric Bottom Tap Mechanism
  • New Heat Shielding
  • Tilt Cylinder Modifications
  • New Special Furnace Lifting Beams to lift the furnace in one piece with our Customer’s melt shop crane
  • Supervision of the installation

The customer was able to reuse the original:

  • Water-Cooled Pipe Panel Roof
  • 24″ Electrode Clamping Arms & Mast System
  • 75,000 KVA Transformer & Regulation System
  • Concrete Furnace Foundations


How was it moved to site?

  • On November 6, 2001: the furnace base was lifted with a 140 ton rated Whiting portable electric locomotive jack set.
  • The back wall of the plant was dismantled.
  • Anderson Haulage brought in two trucks with 100 wheels each to move the platform and shell from Whiting Equipment Canada Inc. to the dock in Port Robinson; the combined load was 250,000 lbs.
  • The load travelled down Alexander Street, right on Division, right onto East main to highway 406, down highway 406 to Port Robinson.
  • The trucks drove straight onto McKeil Marine’s barge at Dock W65.
  • Whiting Equipment Canada Inc.’s welders modified the barge and tied down the load with 1500 feet of 9/16″ steel cable.
  • The truck tractors stayed with the trailers and load on the barge.
  • With favourable sailing conditions, the barge left early on November 7, 2001 up the canal and onto Lake Erie.
  • Transit time to the Customer, with good weather, was 36 hours.
  • Anderson Haulage designed and fabricated two bridges measuring 5′ by 25′ because the dock beside our Customer’s was in poor condition. The bridges were set up after docking and the trucks drove straight off the barge and 500 meters to the plant.
  • Only then, when the trucks were at the gate, could our Customer’s existing furnace be shut down.
  • The existing furnace was dismantled, and the new furnace, rigged with Whiting special furnace lifting beams, was lifted onto the existing concrete foundations, in one piece, with our Customer’s melt shop crane.
  • It took 12 days from arrival of the furnace at the dock to striking the first arc; start-up was November 24, 2001.

The Customer

The customer requested a single crane that efficiently handles all the movements of the slabs in the soaking pit bay:

  • Move horizontal slabs from the inline furnace to the rolling mills
  • Load / unload horizontal slabs from trucks
  • Store slabs horizontally on the floor
  • Store slabs vertically in cold pits
  • Load / unload the soaking pit furnaces
  • Rotate horizontal and vertical slabs
  • Lay down vertical slab
  • Lift up slab from the floor to vertical position
  • Load the surface-milling machine

The Challenges

Furthermore, the new crane had to meet many new requirements and restrictions:

  • Handle 12-ton capacity with faster speeds
  • Handle all the slab varieties
  • Crane wheel loads not to exceed the runway capacity
  • Utilize the small available headroom to get maximum hoisting lift range
  • Provide operator best vision in all directions
  • Provide smooth quiet movement and precise slab positioning in all directions
  • Provide machinery that can withstand high ambient temperature
  • The crane must be small to enable it to achieve short approaches
  • Provide machinery that requires both ease of and minimum maintenance

The Technological Advancements and Solutions

Slab Handling Crane

The operator Cab & Control Room Tower Design:

The operator cab attached to an air-conditioned electric control tower was difficult to design and to build, but in the end it provides all the features we wanted. We will reuse this idea for such an application in the future.

The Tong Unit Design:

The hydraulic tong unit is working satisfactorily. Its design is unique and we will reuse it in the future for similar applications.

Power & Control Cable Lay Down Basket:

This assembly is unique in its compactness and we will reuse the idea if needed in the future.

High Ambient Temperature & Direct Heat Source:

The crane is also engineered with the appropriate technology to cool and shield the equipment.

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