Anthony Lift Gates
Pontiac, IL United States | 2021
The aging Cameron Memorial Community Hospital in Angola, Indiana was torn down and rebuilt in the spring of 2013. At that time, a liquid-painted dock leveler was purchased and installed in their loading dock. This loading dock is unique in that there is a concrete landing in between the dock leveler and the overhead door, resulting in a dock leveler that is perpetually exposed to the elements of Northern Indiana; rain, snow, and worst of all... salt! Being exposed to these elements, the existing dock leveler showed significant signs of premature corrosion. Upon assessing the condition of the existing dock leveler, it was determined that the unit needed to be replaced. Obviously, hospitals are essential in any community. In Angola, which is a smaller town that has only one hospital, it is critical that the facility be up and running 24/7, 365.
After completing this project and being satisfied with the final product, this opens up new possibilities for Vestil Manufacturing to offer hot-dip galvanized dock levelers to other customers that may face similar issues in their loading docks. The hot-dip galvanized coating offers an impressive alternative finish to the traditional liquid paint, which Vestil Manufacturing has relied upon for decades prior to this project.
When it was decided that the existing dock leveler needed to be replaced, the idea was brought up, “Why not install a hot-dip galvanized dock leveler due to the environmental factors?” Vestil Manufacturing presented this idea to the folks at Cameron Hospital and after learning more about hot-dip galvanizing, they were totally on board!
The design of the Vestil Manufacturing dock leveler had to be modified and adapted in multiple ways. The biggest hurdle to overcome was the hinged lip, which is integrated into the deck assembly. The concern was whether or not the hinged lip would be fused solid and immovable during the hot-dip galvanizing process. To overcome this hurdle, the lip and every-other-hinge-tube (which are welded to the lip) were separated from the deck, to be dipped as its own separate structure. The size of the hinge tubes were increased, as were the openings in the hinge tubes, to allow more clearance between the hinge tubes and the hinge pin that spans the width of the deck. In addition to this change, hanging points were determined for the deck and the frame, which sub-sequentially determines zinc flow when the components are being dipped. Drainage holes needed to be added, and any potential air pockets needed to be opened up. The structure of the leveler needed to be adjusted so that there would be consistent material thicknesses to avoid any potential warpage, once dipped.
Vestil Manufacturing collaborated with the galvanizer to ensure that the modifications made to the design were optimized for their galvanizing processes. Vestil Manufacturing was thrilled with the final product, and it is now installed and in use at Cameron Hospital.
Given the unique environmental factors of this scenario, the galvanized coating has proven to be superior to liquid paint! The hot-di[ galvanized unit is going to hold up far better to corrosive elements, and equips the hospital to continue ensuring that their loading dock is safe; free of ice and snow during the wintertime, without a concern of the salt and melted snow having such a detrimental effect on their dock leveler.
Original Equipment Manufacturing
Angola, IN United States
Coating Durability, Corrosion Performance
Electric Hydraulic Dock Leveler
Vestil Manufacturing Corporation
Cameron Memorial Community Hospital
AZZ Galvanizing - Hamilton
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