Damen Anchor & Chain Factory (AKF), based at Schiedam in the Netherlands, has completed the refurbishment of 12 giant lifting hooks for Tata Steel in IJmuiden. Each hook has a lifting capacity of either 225 or 240 tonnes and they are used to lift the enormous bowls (known as ‘ladles’) than carry and pour out molten iron and steel in steel foundries. AKF is one of the few companies in the world capable of doing this work. Its ISO 3834 welding certification demonstrates its ability to undertake such high precision work as well as manually weld towing chain up to 95mm in diameter.

To ensure safety and efficiency at steel works, all such lifting hooks undergo regular inspections and repairs. This is determined for each set of hooks based on its operational profile. Tata Steel transported its hooks to AKF where they were dismantled (each is made up of a series of plates), inspected and repaired as required. They were then reassembled and realigned, and 42mm rivets used to bind each hook into a single, solid structure. The final stages of the process then see manganese sleeve bearings pressed into the arms, Hardox plates welded on to the lifting areas and rubbing plates welded onto the lifting hooks to protect them from damage.

Damen Anchor & Chain Factory is able to offer such specialist services thanks to its experienced team and having the skills and equipment required for the design and manufacture of anchors and chains that are themselves large-scale, high-precision steel assemblies. Its ISO 9001 and ISO 3834 certifications demonstrate that AKF follows stringent quality management systems and has strict procedures in place for its welders and welding procedures.

“Our ability to handle heavy-industry projects such as this demonstrate the capabilities that we have at AKF,” said General Manager Laurens van Gelder. “We have both the skills and equipment to fabricate and repair very large-scale steel components of all types to the highest tolerances, and welcome enquiries from all sectors.”