From the President’s Desk
Rick Lindemann

Greetings All: What a difference a year makes. Last year we were in the early stages of learning about the Coronavirus. Most of us had never used the word Pandemic before. Nor did we commonly use the phrase: Shelter in Place or Social Distancing

ConExpo was in the works and we wondered who would be attending and at what risk. Fast forward 12 months and here we are, older, possibly wiser, but surely more informed. Let’s hope we don’t see that chapter in our lives again for a while.

As we roll into March, we are continuously adjusting to the new norm. New year, new business environment, new administration, and so on. At our recent board meeting, we discussed our annual Spring Meeting. We were all looking forward to getting together, socializing, learning events, and everyone’s favorite: Plant Tours!

Unfortunately, that’s not going to happen yet. In lieu of that, we will be having a virtual meeting – more details to come. One of the things I enjoy most as an ESA member is hearing of success stories and cool projects that our fellow members experience. I’d like to share a success story/cool project that we recently finished:

Recently we were contacted by our customer who rebuilds rail cars and rail equipment. They were working on a project for CP (Canadian Pacific) to refurbish a machine from the ’60s that was used as a “Spreader/Ditcher. CP wanted to use it for snow removal on the tracks up in Canada.

The Wing slides move in and out with large air cylinders. When the machine was originally built in the 60’s it had a hydraulic system on it to keep the wings in place. Several decades later, someone converted it to a mechanical system that performed poorly. They were asking for a hydraulic system to generate a large amount of force to hold the Wing Slides in place.

No problem, right? One small issue, the only power source other than the small generator for lights, was a diesel-driven air compressor. Our engineer designed a system that utilized an air over oil intensifier that provided 3000 psi to some 8 inches bore 2-inch stroke cylinders. Combine that and several other Pneumatic valves and components and away we go.

The machine has been delivered to Revelstoke BC and has passed onsite testing. At the end of the Day “Canada Pacific” saved hundreds of thousands of dollars by repurposing an old machine rather than buying a new one. Plans are to restore several more.

I share this story not to brag but to hopefully encourage you to share one of your cool projects. If you need any assistance in creating the article, please let Amy or me know. If we could get some pictures and the story, we will put it together for you. If we can’t get together in person, at least we can share our war stories virtually… for now.

Till next month.

Best Regards,
Rick Lindemann