In June of 2017 an Aluminum plant contacted us to begin the early planning stages of their outage which was scheduled for January 2018.
The customer was about to undertake the most involved outage on their primary mill and wanted Horner’s exclusive involvement. The outage was a success despite the very large scale and daunting tasks assigned. All work was coordinated by Ralph Coonce of field service. If you’ve ever seen Ralph in action during an outage I don’t have to explain that he doesn’t just show up. He’s elbow deep in the actual work turning wrenches or any another task that is needed.
The customer was specific in who they wanted involved and trusted Horner to take on the entire rebuild of the main gearbox for the mill as the primary project. The gearbox is a “one of a kind” and the only one like it in the world. They intended to install an entire new gear set along with all associated components. The gearbox is unique as you can shift it into neutral during operation. Most people at the plant thought the engineer was taking on too much for a single outage as this scale had never been attempted before.
The work began several weeks ago with Mark Rosebrock heading up the complete buildup of the new shafts and gears to get them ready for installation. This work was completed at our Washington Street shop before the outage.
Horner dedicated their entire field service team which worked around the clock in 12 hour shifts for 9 days on this project. They were also charged with changing out all couplings for the mill, unwind and rewind motors. These are DC motors ranging in size from 600 hp to 2000 hp with a total of 6 motors. All motors removed from service will be coming to Washington Street for recondition and storage in our warehouse.
Other projects during the outage involved a complete retrofit of the lifting mechanism for their charge car that feeds the furnaces. The lift unit was also unique so Horner had to measure, fabricate and retrofit the new unit into the car plus start up and calibrate all sensors and switches. We also performed PdMA testing and changed brushes in all critical motors which took a week to complete along with miscellaneous alignments and other small projects they threw at us while we were there. Horner Machining Services did a complete rebuild of a tail stock mandrel assembly for one of the coating lines during the outage as well.
Full support was provided by all divisions for handling all of the unknown issues and problems that were found once we got started. This is a perfect example of multiple divisions pulling together with very involved planning and preparation in order to pull this off with the mill coming back on line as expected and on time. Thank you to all of the dedicated Horner people that made this such a success.