Thursday, August 31, 2017 9:22 AM  RssIcon

Hold onto your cap. Hamilton is literally supporting Hyperloop One—the revolutionary high-speed super tube that’s poised to completely reinvent public transportation as we know it.

Last month, Hyperloop One successfully tested a trial run in the Nevada desert, and guess who provided the casters transporting the pod on its mobile platform? Fast forward to Minute 00:59 of this video, and you’ll catch Hamilton Maxi-Duty Duel Wheel Swivel Casters working their magic as the test pod gets rolled into its tunnel.

Elon Musk first suggested the idea of a hyperloop in 2012, and subsequently open-sourced the concept so private companies could develop the technology. Hyperloop One, which is based in Los Angeles, has emerged as the industry leader. Resembling a bullet train, the 28-foot-long Hyperloop One can theoretically travel at velocities nearing the speed of sound (about 700 miles per hour). Imagine being able to travel from L.A. to San Francisco—normally a six-hour drive—in just over 30 minutes.

As “the first new form of public transportation in more than 100 years,” Hyperloop’s revolutionary technology uses magnetic levitation to guide and lift the “pod” off its track. A series of vacuum pumps remove nearly all the air inside, effectively creating a “sky in a tube.” Because resistance is vastly reduced, a nominal amount of electricity is required to achieve such extraordinary speeds above land or underground.

During the test, the pod ran nearly the full length of the 500-meter full-scale track and topped out at 192 miles per hour. Conditions mimicked those in the Earth’s atmosphere at 200,000 feet above sea level, where there’s very little friction due to rarified air. Good thing the pod was ably transported by our super duty Superlast wheels, with 1”-thick polyurethane molded to their forged steel core.

In other Hyperloop breaking news, a team of 30 students in Germany won the SpaceX Hyperloop competition on August 27. Their winning prototype pod, WARR Hyperloop, reached a speed of 201 miles per hour, comfortably beating out finalists from Switzerland and Canada. Check out Elon Musk’s Twitter post of the video.

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Wednesday, August 30, 2017 10:05 AM  RssIcon

While you’re sitting there wondering who will claim the Iron Throne in 2019, here’s another little teaser to torture you. Hamilton’s got big news to share next month. What it is, we can’t exactly say, but it’s going to be a game-changer. Here are five cryptic clues to keep you guessing:

  1. It’s red and gray and awesome all over.
  2. It will make our products more durable.
  3. It will become a standard practice in our caster manufacturing.
  4. It’s environmentally friendly.
  5. It’s going to look pretty slick.

We’d like to say more, but we don’t want to ruin the surprise!

Don’t miss the reveal in the September Revolution.

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Tuesday, August 29, 2017 9:19 AM  RssIcon

Hamilton, Ohio, is where our heart is. But if there were ever another city to love, it might have to be Casey, Illinois. Turns out this tiny town of 2,700 is home to gigantic things, including the world’s largest rocking chair, the world’s largest mailbox and the world’s largest knitting needles.

It all started when resident Jim Bolen tried to attract business to his wife’s tea shop by building a 56-foot-tall wind chime. When it worked, he started thinking about other ways to draw tourism to Casey, and a giant building spree was born. Bolen has since built eight super structures that have put Casey on the tourist map, including the world’s largest golf tee, rocking chair, mailbox and pitchfork. All have earned Guinness World record titles.

Bolen’s family-run pipeline business has used everything from recycled scrap metal to wooden telephone poles to create these mammoth masterpieces. Hey, we’re also a family-run business that makes some pretty big beauties ourselves.

Did someone say collaboration?

Curious to see more? Watch an extended tour of the small town home to giant things.

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Monday, August 28, 2017 9:16 AM  RssIcon

What’s next for American manufacturing? A lot, according to a recent article. The “fourth industrial revolution” we’re currently experiencing is powered by smart manufacturing, robotics, artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things (IoT). Here’s what’s in the making:

1. Virtual reality
Companies are using technologies such as Augmented Reality (AR) to simulate product design and testing. This can speed up problem-solving, maximize efficiencies and ensure better outcomes overall.

2. 3D printing
It’s not going away, and it’s a fundamental change because it provides endless efficiencies in mass production of everything from toys to medical devices.

3. Automation
The new generation of robotics is even easier to program and use, with capabilities like voice and image recognition. And while it may eliminate complex human tasks, it also creates new opportunities for a re-trained workforce (see #5).

4. Communicating in the cloud
Factories are driving innovation in cloud computing, smart sensors, IoT and more. Just a few capabilities include converting units of measurement, shutting off devices to protect safety, and real-time tracking and analysis of production data.

5. Robots managed by a new workforce
With all this talk about augmented reality and robotics playing a key role in smart manufacturing, will there be no humans left in the Industry 4.0 workforce? Nope. We’ll need new kinds of workers: those that can design, build, program, manage and maintain new equipment. Close to 15 million new U.S. jobs will be created over the next decade due to automation and artificial intelligence.

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Sunday, August 27, 2017 10:02 AM  RssIcon

This is how your day gets ruined: Malware enters your computer network via email and spreads like a virus, threatening to hold your production line hostage until you cough up a ransom. You pay it because why? Your bottom line suffers for every hour your supply chain is compromised.

It’s a scenario that’s playing out more and more for the just-in-time manufacturing sector. In fact, manufacturers, government and financial firms are now at the top of hacker’s hit lists. According to a recent IEN article, production lines that integrate computer-imaging, barcode scanners and measuring tolerances to a hair’s width at multiple points are most vulnerable to cyber-criminals.

So how to protect yourself? Follow these tips from Wired magazine.

  • Back up important data daily in the cloud
  • Train staff to ignore suspicious emails and links
  • Invest in mitigation strategies such as app whitelisting, patching apps and patching operating systems (OSes)
  • Keep third-party plug-ins like Java and Flash up to date

For more information, check out this ransomware hostage manual.

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Monday, July 31, 2017 11:32 AM  RssIcon

Ready to crush downtime while protecting your most precious cargo?

Hamilton is proud to introduce our new aerospace 3-series shock absorbing casters. Targeted for mobilizing critical aerospace applications, these casters provide outstanding vibration and shock absorption, reduce noise levels and go easy on floors. They also extend caster, wheel and bearing life, too.

What’s the secret sauce? Two things, actually.

First, the new casters use our latest Spinfinity™ maintenance-free kingpinless platform, which boasts extra thick forgings and swivel technology for superior durability over the life of the casters. The top plate and inner raceway are one forged steel piece, providing unmatched strength for shock conditions. Raceways are CNC-machined and then hardened to a uniform depth. Together, both processes assure a smoothly swiveling caster under extreme loads. Game on for the industry’s best three-year product warranty.

Second, unibody spring housing provides up to 200% greater spring travel (see below for specifics) and substantially wider operating capacity range, as compared to our standard line.

Hamilton’s 3-series covers the most popular top plate sizes, with five resilient tread wheel choices across six different diameters:

  • AE Workhorse: 4 x 5 mounting plate (2” wide wheels)
  • AE Heavy Service: 4-1/2 x 6-1/2 (2” wide wheels), Both Workhorse & Heavy Service provide up to 66% greater spring travel and a wider operating capacity range than standard line
  • AE ForgeMaster: 4-1/2 x 6-1/2 (3” wide wheels), up to 200% greater spring travel and a wider operating capacity range than standard line

These casters can be easily modified to meet many custom spec. When ordering, keep in mind that spring-loaded casters have minimum capacity requirements for the spring action to work properly. You should never overload a spring-loaded caster because it will vaporize the shock-absorbing benefits.

When you’re ready to spring-load your productivity, our engineers will be ready to meet all your special applications.

Check out the New Aerospace Product Line

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Sunday, July 30, 2017 11:28 AM  RssIcon

You know that trailers come in all shapes and sizes. But you should also know that there are all types of steering options, too. The way your steering system operates can make or break any application. Good thing we’ve summarized everything you need to know below.

Type 1: Caster Steer trailers

  • Design: Two swivel casters at one end, two fixed-load wheels or rigid casters at the other
  • Good choice for its simplicity, and for an economical way to both power tow and push by hand

Type 2: Fifth Wheel Steer trailers

  • Design: Single pivot point for the front axle/wheel assembly and fixed rear wheels (Think a kid’s little red wagon)
  • Great for power towing, singularly or in trains
  • Can be towed at higher speeds than Caster Steer trailers
  • More economical than Four-wheel steer trailers
  • Highly versatile
  • Work great pulling solo

Type 3: Four Wheel Steer trailers

  • Design: No fixed axles; both axles pivot for steering and are connected to each other by a tie rod
  • Best bet for pulling longer trains of trailers through tight aisles and intersections, or anywhere aisle width space is at a premium
  • Pricier than single Fifth Wheel Steer Trailers

Auto Steer trailers (general)

  • Offer maximum stability
  • Running gear stays fixed under load corners as you turn (as opposed to a Fifth-wheel steer where the entire axle assembly turns)

Two Wheel Auto Steer trailers

  • Design: mimics an automobile
  • Less expensive and easier to back up than Four-Wheel Auto
  • Smart choice for maximum stability when towing solo
  • Will track similar to a fifth wheel steer

Four Wheel Auto Steer trailers

  • Design: front and rear steering like automobile, connected by a tie rod to coordinate tighter, more accurate turns
  • Pricier than two-wheel auto steer due to more sophisticated turning engineering
  • Best for towing long trains or when you need reversible towing*
  • Will track similar to a non-auto four-wheel steer

Other good things to know

  • Never “push” or put trains with more than one trailer in reverse. This can lead to structural damage.
  • *Reversible towing means towing from either end (not backing up!)

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Saturday, July 29, 2017 11:24 AM  RssIcon

It’s no surprise that NASA plans to have humans on Mars in the next few decades, but what’s the sweet ride that will transport us in style? The folks at NASA are putting out some inspiration with their new Monster Mars Land Rover concept that’s currently on display at Florida’s Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. It’s part of their “Summer of Mars” event, which is touring select states along the east coast.

Designed by Parker Brothers Concepts using NASA specs, the concept vehicle operates on an electric motor powered by solar panels and a 700-volt battery. The front cockpit is designed for scouting and equipped with radio and GPS navigation, while the rear has a fully detachable lab for extraterrestrial fieldwork. In other words, business in front; party in back.

We’re especially drawn to the explorer’s massive wheels, with their large surface area and vents designed for effortless off-roading over rocky dunes and craters. Gets us excited to design space casters that leave red sand in the dust.

Future Hamilton company outing: manned mission to Mars?

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Friday, July 28, 2017 11:15 AM  RssIcon

With President Trump declaring the week of July 17 Made in America week, what better way to celebrate than by testing your knowledge of brands made on American soil? Answer #1 is already in the bag—Hamilton, of course.

Quick Quiz: Name the home turf brands

There are 10 brands in this list that are made in America. Can you identify all 10 with pride? (See answers below)

  • Benjamin Moore
  • Budweiser
  • Coors
  • Craftsman tools
  • Crayola
  • Harley-Davidson
  • Igloo coolers
  • Intel chips
  • Land’s End
  • Levi’s
  • New Balance shoes
  • Hamilton Caster
  • Post-It Notes
  • Rawlings baseballs
  • Schwinn bikes
  • Sub-Zero refrigerators
  • Weber grills

Answers: Benjamin Moore, Crayola, Hamilton Caster, Harley-Davidson, Igloo coolers, Intel chips, New Balance shoes, Post-It Notes, Sub-Zero refrigerators, Weber grills

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Thursday, July 27, 2017 11:13 AM  RssIcon

When you’re known for killing it with the toughest casters and wheels on the planet, you don’t often get a chance to plug your artsy side. But our poetic hearts simply swelled with pride when we got this note from sculptor Lou Michaels.

“I'm an artist. I travel the country doing art shows. I designed two large crates that I load into my trailer and bring to every art show. I participate in roughly 30 shows per year from California to Texas to Florida N.Y. These carts are in my trailer taking all the bumps and bruises our highways and byways have to offer. Initially, I had used some 10 –inch China-made casters—as did my other artist cohorts—and in less than one year they were blown out.

After blowing many inferior casters I came across your product. They now have over 300000 miles on them. All my artist friends are now buying your casters. The carts hold approximately 700 lbs. of items each.”

Thanks so much for the kind note, Michael. And nice work! We like to think of our casters as works of art, too.

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