Nucor Steel Kankakee, one of 14 mini steel mills in the Nucor Bar Mill Group, uses electric arc furnaces to produce reinforcing bars and merchant bar quality angles, rounds and flats from 100% recycled steel scrap.
Partners of like minds
Nucor strives to empower employees and promote their well-being. In fact, OSHA has commended the steelmaker as a model for worksite safety and health.* So, when Konecranes asked to meet with the facility’s crane operators for their input on designing new cabs for two shipping bay cranes, Nucor managers approvingly took note. “We wanted to make sure the crane operators could do their jobs safely,” explained Travis Hageman of Konecranes modernizations group.
Improved outlook on safety
Nucor contracted Konecranes to design and install the new cabs to enhance operator comfort, prevent fatigue and improve line of sight to further optimize facility safety. The existing cabs had blind spots, and operators had to stand up. The new designs feature controls integrated into the operator chairs for comfort and ease of operation. One of the cabs has already been installed, and the other is scheduled for installion in early 2014. “The operators are very happy with the functionality of the design and the new controls,” Hageman said.
An extra solution
At the same time, Konecranes found Nucor a cost-effective answer to its desire to replace the rusted, worn cab of an outdoor shipping crane. A new cab wasn’t in Nucor’s budget, but Hageman located one that had been sitting in a Konecranes warehouse after a customer decided not to take delivery of it. “We were able to show that Konecranes is able to deliver for the customer by reaching deep into our arsenal.”
Russell Walters, maintenance lead at Nucor, said, “The old cabs were slowing down our operations. The operators were constantly having to stand up to see below them or lean over the chair to see to the side and behind them. Now the cranes are easier to operate, and it has shaved off time loading trucks.” He adds, “The service was good. It’s always a pleasure dealing with Travis Hageman.”
*In recognition of its safety commitment, OSHA has approved Nucor for its Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program and Voluntary Protection Program.