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Blog Article

How You Can Save Time and Money with Cast Baskets

When it comes to the baskets your operation uses for heat treating and thermal processing, it may seem easier and more foolproof to choose the same bar frame baskets you’ve used for years. Hundreds of our customers, however, will tell you there’s a better way. Our cast baskets are engineered to withstand heavy-duty loading requirements that outlive and outperform traditional bar frame designs.

 

Are You Still Buying Bar Frame Baskets?

Many of our customers are die-hard bar frame basket buyers. And we do understand the appeal. First, bar frame baskets typically have quick lead times and are affordably priced. There’s no need for tooling to produce them, compared with cast baskets, which can be expensive. That said, there is a tradeoff that comes along with the affordability of bar frame baskets. Bar frame baskets have a lower level of carbon and nickel, which means they lose their integrity and shape in six months to a year. So, while paying less initially, you will purchase bar frame baskets more frequently–ultimately costing you more time and money.
 

Why Make the Switch to Cast Baskets?

The bar frame baskets you’ve been buying may work for your operation, but you might want to consider a more durable, consistent, heat-efficient option that can optimize throughput.

First, cast baskets hold their shape longer than bar frame baskets and have better heat efficiency. With a life span of one and a half to two years, their improved dimensional stability results in a more consistent end product. This reduces the need for post-processing or rework following the thermal cycle.

By leveraging our expertise in specialized fixturing and our cast baskets, you can achieve optimal loading and surface contact, preventing part deformation. In addition, our cast baskets offer a thinner wall cross-section, providing 7-10 percent more loading capacity than frame-welded basket designs.

When you decide to invest in our cast baskets, our team will help identify the best size, shape, and combination of components to optimize your loads. We will leverage our pattern inventory of hundreds of designs and sizes that fit most base trays and furnace hearths. We also offer a wide variety of premium materials to suit your processing temperatures.
 

Why Choose Pro-Tech for Cast Baskets?

Pro-Tech has decades of industry experience, with a strong focus on customer service, product design and performance, and personal sales assistance.

Our US-based experts have created a proprietary cast basket design and superior alloy that increases life expectancy by 50 percent. Without frequent basket replacement, your operations will run smoothly for longer. While the initial investment in the cast basket may be higher, you’ll see significant cost savings over the basket’s life.

With metal component experts Pro-Tech and parent company EQI, you can expect the performance guarantee that comes from an ISO 9001 quality system. Our foundry staff and metallurgical team continuously improve existing alloys and create new ones that increase cast products’ overall life and performance. As a baseline, we offer higher nickel content than our competitors, ensuring stronger, more durable basket walls.

When you’re ready to move forward with a Pro-Tech customized solution, the engineering process is easy. Our experts will create the drawing and collaborate with you on approval. Then, we’ll produce and ship your order. Some standard sizes are already in stock, making ordering even easier.

Once you’re in our system, you can participate in our stocking and replacement program. Our decades of experience in inventory management allow us to efficiently track your tray, basket, fixture, and replacement parts, ensuring zero downtime when you need to place an order.
 

Ready to make the switch? Contact one of our reps today.

630.271.0551
sales@protechcompanyinc.com

 

 

News

EQI Named “Best and Brightest” for the Eighth Year in a Row

2023 was a year filled with new opportunities for EQI. We opened new facilities in Maryland, Kentucky, and Illinois and expanded operations in Canada, Northern Ireland, and Asia. This growth helped us earn recognition as one of West Michigan’s “2024 Best and Brightest Companies to Work For” for the eighth year in a row.

 

The Best and Brightest Companies to Work For qualification identifies and honors companies that deliver exceptional human resource practices and an impressive commitment to their employees. Organizations are assessed based on communication, work-life balance, employee education, diversity, recognition, retention, and more.

At EQI, we know that people are our greatest asset. That’s why we have an unwavering commitment to employee well-being, safety, social responsibility, and ethical conduct throughout our operations. We’ve also implemented a “one-company, one-culture” strategy at our locations across the globe, extending our people-first approach to employees everywhere and continuing to evolve best-in-class benefits.

Are you interested in joining a company that’s constantly growing with new acquisitions, offers the opportunity to work with blue-chip customers, and remains committed to employee well-being? We’d love to hear from you!

Phone: (616) 850-2630
E-mail: info@eqiltd.com

 

 

 

News

EQI Celebrates 20 Years of Growth and Partnership

Please join us in celebrating 20 years of incredible growth and innovation for EQI. What began as a one-man sourcing venture in Spring Lake, Michigan, in 2004 has transformed into a global metal products powerhouse. With over 375 dedicated associates spanning three continents, we’ve built an expansive international presence fueled by our relentless drive to supply line-ready metal components to many of the world’s most demanding customers.

 

Initially, EQI focused on gray iron counterweights for forklift trucks and other large mobile equipment. Over the next decade, we swiftly penetrated additional construction, forestry, and CNC machine tool manufacturing markets and expanded our sourcing to China and India. Today, we have become one of the largest diversified metal component companies importers in the US, with multiple manufacturing and service locations globally.

As we expand our industry impact and build exceptional teams, we will remain relentlessly focused on partnering with our customers to achieve long-term success. At EQI, we are committed to solving complex supply chain problems and providing value-add services, tailored solutions, and cost-effective quality. This commitment was our north star during our first 20 years, and it will continue to guide our efforts in the future.

Our 20-year milestone is a testament to the passion and tenacity of our people, and we’d like to thank all the EQI employees and customers who’ve made our success possible over the years. Our true differentiator is the expertise of our people and supplier partners, which, in turn, drives customer relationships built on partnership and trust. We’re grateful to everyone who has contributed to our growth and are excited to see what the future holds!

 

 

 

Case Studies

How EQI evolved into a center-of-gravity supplier for Hyster-Yale

For nearly two decades, EQI has been creating supply chain certainty for global companies. Since its inception in Spring Lake, MI, in 2004, EQI has become a leading provider of line-ready metal components. One of the most significant reasons for the company’s growth is the relationship it established with Hyster in 2006. Today, the company that’s now called Hyster-Yale partners with EQI to source components for a wide range of lift trucks and aftermarket parts.

 

Due to its extensive global network, EQI is the perfect partner for Hyster-Yale. The company has a strong international presence with manufacturing facilities and regional product development centers in the US, China, Italy, the Netherlands, the UK, India, and Japan. EQI also has an extensive global network, with headquarters in the US, Canada, Vietnam, China, and India. In addition, EQI has 11 warehouses and finish painting locations across three continents and 30 customer fulfillment locations on six continents.

Because EQI sources products offshore, it’s well-equipped to be cost-competitive, meet quality requirements, store products near customers, and always have a team ready to serve. These capabilities were beneficial during the supply chain disruptions during the pandemic.

 

Solving Supply-Chain Challenges During the Pandemic

Over the past few years, COVID-19, unprecedented inflation, and material shortages have been incredibly disruptive for companies such as Hyster-Yale. Shortages across Tier 1,2 and 3 parts and components required significant changes in the company’s ordinarily steady supply chain. To address these challenges, Hyster-Yale turned to its core suppliers for help securing parts when and where they needed them.

As a key supplier for Hyster-Yale, EQI set the standard for overcoming supply chain challenges and meeting delivery dates in a crisis. First, EQI offered Hyster-Yale use of its freight forwarder, containers, and shipping contacts. EQI also found alternative sources for materials, mitigating risk by supplying parts that can be produced at multiple locations. 

For years, EQI has had multiple regional sources across China. So, when certain Chinese regions closed during the pandemic, EQI had other resources to turn to in China. EQI also became the first and largest customer of a foundry in India that produces cast iron counterweights. EQI’s strategic approach to sourcing materials in new regions set an industry precedent and helped them fulfill clients’ needs during the shutdown. 

 

Becoming a Center-of-Gravity Supplier

EQI has grown exponentially since 2004. Initially, the company focused on gray iron counterweights for forklift trucks and other large mobile equipment. Over the next decade, it entered new markets in construction, forestry, CNC machine tool manufacturing, and more. It’s also become a pivotal partner to several large-scale manufacturers by launching strategic initiatives to expand sourcing operations and offer value-added services.

For example, in late 2021, EQI acquired Industrial Paint Solutions in North Ireland, fueling EQI’s penetration in warehousing and finish painting services. The facility is also strategically close to Hyster-Yale’s plant in Ireland, allowing EQI to help them reduce working capital and warehouse production-ready parts according to Hyster-Yale’s line sequence and manufacturing schedule. EQI provides a similar value-added service in the US with a warehouse near Hyster-Yale’s largest manufacturing facility in Kentucky. The warehouse allows Hyster-Yale to keep fewer goods on hand while keeping line-ready components nearby. 

This is just the beginning of a long and successful partnership between EQI and Hyster-Yale. In the years ahead, the team at EQI will continue to uncover and solve problems for Hyster-Yale, helping them mitigate risk through tailored solutions, hassle-free logistics, and cost-effective quality. 

If you’d like to learn more about how EQI can solve your supply chain challenges, please contact:

Phone: (616) 850-2630
E-mail: info@eqiltd.com