A nuclear power plant in Central Illinois needed to move a 38,000 lb. engine lathe and a 68,000 lb. vertical boring mill. The facility first considered using their own overhead crane to move the equipment; however, since the crane only has a capacity of 15 tons it would only be sufficient to move half the equipment.
Next, they examined contracting a firm to move the equipment using two massive forklifts. This idea had four main problems associated with it:
- Cost – contractors were going to charge $450 an hour and estimated that it would take 10 hrs. to complete the job.
- Safety – contractors were going to utilize two forklifts in a delicate balancing act over 200 feet.
- Maneuverability of the forklifts would have been extremely limited due to the close confines of the shop environment.
- Floor loading was not sufficient to hold the weight of the equipment plus two fork lifts.
Airfloat provided four of its 36-inch air skids, which boast a combined capacity of 125,000 lbs.
The engine lathe was floated over 200 ft. in just eight minutes, saving the power plant thousands of dollars in rigging costs and lost downtime.