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The process of creating round Aluminum Billets for extrusion has been around for a very long time and has evolved greatly over the years as demands for higher quality, greater yield, and special alloy properties have driven technological advancements in Vertical Drop Casting equipment. “Air Slip” and “Direct Chill” casting methods are just two of the most common methods in widespread use today. With these changes, new challenges have developed in safely handling the equipment and finished products. Higher density of billet casting patterns, longer billets, and smoother finishes present difficulty for extracting the billets from the casting pits with high efficiency and safety for downstream processing.

Bradley Lifting Corp. has a long history of partnership with all the major Aluminum Extrusion Billet producers and equipment providers both domestically and abroad. Our experience and understanding of not only the casting process itself, but also the upstream and downstream processing of billets, enable us to provide solutions that best suit each user’s needs. More recently, increasing demands for improving safety for operators, and improving efficiency, have driven advancements in our lifting equipment designs. The most recent development in this area is “hands-free” devices which allow a crane operator to attach, remove, and dispatch vertically cast round billets with minimal operator intervention.

A hydraulically operated billet grab, as shown in the example photo, allows the crane operator to position over a (partial or full) row of cast billets, clamp with confidence via feedback signals, and extract the billets for laydown and storage. This eliminates floor personnel from manually having to attach and remove slings, rings, or chains from each billet, which is a process that presents a risk for physical injury to the operator, is usually accomplished by multiple personnel, and is less efficient.

Bradley engineers are standing by to assist with your billet handling needs. Speak with us today and discover how we can help to improve the safety and efficiency of your Aluminum Billet Casting Process.