Cascade Corporation Improves Part Quality and Performance with Key Wheelabrator Peening Technology

Burlington, ON - (August 24, 2009) - Founded in 1943 in Portland, Ore., Cascade Corporation is the premier supplier of lift truck attachments and related products including clamps, forks, fork positioners, hydraulic and electrical systems, rotators and sideshifters. As a worldwide manufacturer, Cascade has been working with Wheelabrator Group since 2003. Prior to this, there were two previous installations of a Wheelabrator® Automated Airblast system within their Guelph, Ontario and Findlay, Ohio plant sites. In 1995, Cascade began researching ways to shot peen their "L" shape lift truck forks. Cascade was using a successful forming process; however, they still wanted to improve the overall fatigue life for their lift truck forks. After research and testing, the shot peening process proved they could significantly improve the fatigue life of their part by using a Wheelabrator Automated Airblast Peening system. This peening process improved their fork fatigue life to one million cycles without failure. This lead to a second installation of a similar model at the company's Findlay, Ohio plant.

Cascade wanted to implement this new capability within all their global facilities to help provide consistency throughout their manufacturing sites. In late 2007, Cascade began working with Wheelabrator Group Technical Sales Representatives Ron Wright, Kumar Balan and Don Pelle to export this same process to its new plant acquisitions in Europe. "Due to the professionalism, vast knowledge of the product, and the courtesy shown by Wheelabrator as a company, and more specifically, the three (3) individuals whom I worked with - Ron, Don, and Kumar, I found that this entire project went extremely well, with very few snags or setbacks. All timelines were met and all equipment is currently in place and running problem-free.", confirms Mr. Bruce Kay, Production Services Manager.

After several months of refining the equipment to meet the requirements of the European facilities, the automated shot peening equipment configuration was validated. Cascade commissioned four (4) Automated Airblast models for their facilities in Germany (2), France (1) and England (1). The construction of the four systems took into account (1) height constraints within each site, (2) voltage constraints depending on each country's standards, and (3) customized design requests (i.e. pitless design). During the summer of 2008, Cascade personnel (five in total) from three European plants visited the Burlington, Ontario Technology Centre to inspect the machines prior to shipment and witness full-test runs. By Fall 2008, the four models were ready and shipped to their respective plants for a flawless start-up and installation.

"As production services manager, it was my responsibility to ensure that all equipment was delivered to our three (3) European facilities in a timely manner, and that all affected departments were satisfied with the performance and quality of the peening equipment.", states Mr. Kay.

Cascade is the only lift truck accessory manufacturer currently using the shot peening process in its daily operations, giving them a competitive edge. Each system has been programmed with all three official languages providing ease of use by any operator with a touch of a button. Each lift truck fork (weighing approximately 1,500 kg) is manually loaded onto a conveyor by a crane operator. Using S550 cast steel shot abrasive; each piece is thoroughly shot peened. The Wheelabrator Automated Airblast System can handle up to a 12-foot long by 6-foot high work piece and can clean up to 60 pieces per hour. A smaller version of the same model handles up to a 6-feet long by 3-feet high work piece and cleans up to 100 pieces per hour.

Cascade's decision to invest in Wheelabrator equipment has brought them many advantages. The use of the shot peening process on the products they manufacture has improved the overall quality and part fatigue life, allowing them to expand their market. All these features have lead to a value-added product line recognized on a global level.

Wheelabrator Group is a global provider of surface preparation and finishing solutions. Committed to offering the broadest array of technologies, products, replacement parts, services and technical know-how, the Wheelabrator Group works closely with customers to deliver the best solutions for their specific requirements. The company's strategically located and electronically linked offices allow Wheelabrator Group to provide unrivalled customer service and support worldwide. For more information on Wheelabrator, visit the website at or e-mail

Wheelabrator products are protected by patents issued and pending in the United States and other countries.

Wheelabrator reserves the right to change the specifications referred to in this literature at any time, without prior notice.

Wheelabrator is a registered trademark of Wheelabrator Technologies Inc.

Pamela Akin
Marketing Manager
800-544-4144, ext. 2295

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