The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Local News

July 30, 2013

UPDATE: Carpenter press frame being moved overnight Tuesday

160-ton frame expected to arrive at Tanner plant by 5 a.m. Wednesday

— A 160-ton, 21.5-foot wide radial press frame will depart the Riverwalk Marina in Decatur at 9 p.m. today and arrive at the Carpenter Technology plant in Tanner by 5 a.m. Wednesday.

The press frame, which was shipped horizontally, arrived at the Tennessee River marina early Monday morning. The load sat in the harbor until a temporary ramp was constructed within 6 hours by Missouri-based HWP Rigging to allow the frame to be methodically moved to a flatbed trailer.

While awaiting the frame to finish its transfer from the barge to the trailer Monday afternoon, Turner Construction Company senior industrial manager Roland Gray described the initial transport vehicle as an 18-axle, 96-wheel Goldhofer trailer with individualized axle movement.

TCC, a global company with an office in Huntsville, is overseeing construction for the $500 million, 500,000-square foot Carpenter plant scheduled to start full operations April 1, 2014.

Jim Seitz, director of Carpenter’s Athens Operations Program, said Monday the press frame will be moved along a 9-mile route at an average speed of 2 to 3 miles per hour under the supervision of Alabama state troopers and local law enforcement. The trailer will turn left from the marina on U.S. 31/Alabama 20 and go east at the 31/20 split. Plant officials said the railroad bridge north of the split could not accept the weight of the frame.

After a stop near Calvary Assembly of God to transition to another trailer with better weight distribution, the shipment will go eastbound on Alabama 20 and then take a left at Apple Lane Farms to go north on Bibb-Garrett Road. After traveling west on Airport Road, it will turn north to move back onto U.S. 31 and make a left on Thomas L. Hammonds Road to enter the west gate at the Carpenter construction site.

Seitz said the frame, which will be installed vertically, received raw casting in the Czech Republic in December 2012, sent to Germany and shipped from the Netherlands July 1. The frame arrived July 22 in the Port of New Orleans, where the Sea Bull tugged the shipment in a 1-week journey upriver to Decatur.

The frame will be put in place in the radial press building on Saturday, said Carpenter press officer William J. Rudolph on Tuesday. He said the company is awaiting the manipulators to be shipped to complete assembly of the press. The press will be used to apply finishing force to specialty alloys used to manufacture products at the Tanner plant, which is among the top three largest Carpenter manufacturing facilities in the U.S.

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