Metals Production

Ensuring safety and efficiency throughout every step of the process.


Steel and other metals are integral to the world we live in. From the smallest gears inside wristwatches to beams in the world’s largest buildings, metal is all around us. And, with its necessity, comes a demand for smarter technology, increased safety, and more efficient production throughout every step of the process.

Columbus McKinnon provides innovative technology used in all stages of metal production, from scrap handling to distribution. We understand the need to work smarter and safer and are committed to developing solutions to help you do just that. 

Working together, our products help you monitor and precisely control the processes and machinery that are critical to your business while providing real-time diagnostics to keep you up and running. We know safety is a priority. With extreme ambient temperatures, high dust exposure and strict safety regulations, our products are built for durability and reliability in even the harshest conditions. 

Whether you need a complete control system, rugged wire rope and chain hoists, actuators for process synchronization, diagnostic tools for maintenance planning, state-of-the-art automation capabilities or even a simple plate clamp, Columbus McKinnon has the technical expertise to design custom products and systems for your unique applications.

Galvanizing into action: Temperature-controlled jacking system from Pfaff-silberblau for the steel industry minimizes downtime

Lifting heavy loads under the harshest of conditions has always been one of the specialties for the jacking systems from Pfaff-silberblau. With a clever special jacking system based on its versatile SHE worm-gear screw jacks, the company is now reducing downtimes for the steel industry’s galvanizing lines. The crucial feature: A special sensor monitors the temperature of the gearbox oil, and an active cooling circuit keeps it at the ideal level. Simultaneously, a contactless sensor constantly monitors the temperature at the screw and does not turn off the system unless there is a risk of overheating. In this way, system operators can ensure that their systems remain functional, but also help to minimize operational interruptions.

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Strong and robust: Ladle-car positioning system from Pfaff-silberblau withstands tough-as-steel conditions

There is hardly any other workplace in which conditions are as harsh as they are in a steel mill. Surrounded by scorching heat and loads of grime, the hardest work is performed primarily by machines, and such equipment requires a particularly robust design. For the continuous casting plant operated by one of Germany’s largest steel producers, Pfaff-silberblau Hebezeugfabrik GmbH of Kissing, Germany, used its SHE 150 worm-gear screw jacks as a basis to develop a special push-tube construction for positioning ladle cars. Having passed its “trial by fire” in the foundry, this encapsulated system solution from the Southern German specialist in actuator technology is now available for other heavy-industry applications in which heavy loads have to be moved in harsh environments.

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Now with unlimited duty cycle: 500-tonne lifting system from Pfaff-silberblau

Columbus McKinnon Engineered Products GmbH, Kissing, launched, under the Pfaff-silberblau brand, a jacking system specially for the large-scale production of galvanized steel sheet, which is used in the packaging industry and in vehicle construction. Now, the specialist for drive technology has continued to perfect its system solution to meet the demanding requirements of the steel industry for short idle times. Thanks to a newly developed active cooling circuit, Pfaff-silberblau’s 500-ton lifting system can now be operated without cooling times imposing limits on its duty cycle; further, it does not require automatic relubrication devices. According to the specific requirements in use, this heavy-duty lifting system with 100 percent availability can also be realized for loads of 750 tons and more.

Intelligent Lifting and Motion Control Solutions for the Steelmaking Industry

With more than a century and a half of experience in motion control products and solutions, Columbus McKinnon is developing technology and automation systems to create intelligent solutions for the steel industry. This brochure provides an inside look into how we are working hand in hand with the steelmaking industry to help support their needs.


Metals Production Case Studies

Browse all of our Metals Production case studies from developing a custom solution for magnet cranes to automating a hot metal monrail system.


From cranes handling thousands of pounds of scrap steel to those transporting liquid metal at very high temperatures, the safety of both workers and equipment is critical in a steel manufacturing plant. By building safety right into the equipment, systems and processes running in the steel mill, you can keep operators safe and better informed of what is going on through every step of the process.

Three Automation Solutions To Improve Safety

The demand to incorporate smart solutions and automation throughout every step of the steelmaking process is rapidly increasing. From steel production to distribution, innovative technology helps increase your safety, uptime, and productivity.

Learn About The Smart Solutions

Brands Serving the Metals Production Industry

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A steel mill with a two-vessel BOF (basic oxygen furnace) had an extremely labor-intensive production process. This included loading alloy batch materials into hand trolleys that were manually weighed, and then the materials were hand dumped into the BOF vessel. A Duff-Norton SuperCylinder was used to increase the speed and efficiency of the process.

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A steelmaking facility found their mill scale clarifier to be inefficient, occasionally causing equipment damage and interruptions to the production process. The system needed to be upgraded to keep this process running smoothly. Columbus McKinnon's Automation team provided an innovative solution.

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Custom Lifting Solution for Magnet Cranes

Dewald Stahlhandel sells and delivers rod steel across Europe for a wide variety of industries. At its location in Pleidelsheim, Dewald was seeking to expand its range of available products. The company required additional space and a stronger crane. Find our how STAHL CraneSYStems products were used in a custom crane solution tailored specifically to Dewald's workflow.

STAHL CraneSystems Crane for Metal Production

Pfaff-silberblau - product overview lifting and motion technology

We are technology leaders in components and system solutions for mechanical motion and lifting technology.

Our product portfolio includes #screwjacks, #linearmotion, #liftingcolumns, #liftingtables, #electric and #manuel #wireropewinches, #screws, #nuts, #bevelgear boxes and #accessories.

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