Can a structurally repaired crane component ever be considered better than the original? Yes! Is it possible to take a damaged crane component like a boom or jib section, or even a major weldment like an outrigger box, beam, or superstructure, and make it “better than new”? We think so, and here’s why.
Most manufacturing is automated and processes driven. Machining operations, robotic welders, and fixtures are normally set up for a manufacturing “run.” That is, they are set up to manufacture the same crane component, using the same manufacturing process, with the goal of producing parts and components that are within design specifications and tolerances. That works great if the setup is precise and, more importantly, that no variation occurs during the manufacturing process. However, if any variation should occur, the process will be compromised, and most likely change the final result. Some errors can be caught during the manufacturing process through periodic quality checks where samples are pulled or final products are lot tested. Since it is not practical to test every individual component, the possibility remains for some non-conforming product to get through the manufacturing process and quality-control system.
We know this to be true because we buy a lot of new OEM (original equipment manufacturer) crane parts and crane components, and it is not uncommon to receive an “out of specification” part. Sometimes, the problems are clearly visible, but most often the deficiencies do not reveal themselves until you are trying to put things back together. It is when things don’t fit or function that you realize the problem.
So, why would a repair to an out-of-specification or a damaged component make it better than new? First, when we receive a damaged crane or crane component, we are careful to survey not just the damaged area, but the entire part or component. A comprehensive survey can reveal not only normal wear and tear, but also additional damage, previous damage and repairs, and sometimes, OEM manufacturing deficiencies. The most common issues are welding/penetration issues and out-of-tolerance specification due to camber and twist. We sometimes find where unauthorized modifications have been made, or some sub-standard factory field campaign work has been performed.
Second, once the survey is complete, you can develop a comprehensive scope of work. The scope of work must assure that all deficiencies are addressed. Third, it will then be the performance to that scope of work, oversight of the repair process, inspections, testing, and documentation that will assure that the repair was completed correctly and is compliant with OSHA, Cal-OSHA, and ANSI standards and regulations. You can view an example of a comprehensive documentation package here.
So, we would contend that because of the depth and specificity of a WHECO survey and repair, our over-sight, post-repair inspection, testing, and documentation process, that a structurally damaged component repaired by WHECO will meet or exceed all OEM manufacturing criteria as well as all federal standards and regulations. All repairs are warranted and guaranteed, and quite possibly better than new!