Winkle lifting magnets reach deeper into the pile for increased productivity on every lift.



Crawfordville, IN - As America's steel mills continue to grow their appetite for custom-blended melt mixes, the recycling yards that feed the mills with scrap iron are pressed to move ever more material faster and at lower cost.

Like any successful business, David J. Joseph Company ("DJJ") attained its position as one of the world's largest scrap companies by keeping ahead of customer needs. For its facility in Crawfordville, Indiana, strong relationships with mills throughout the Midwest, including the local Nucor mill, are simply a reason to keep raising the bar for competitive service and in productivity.

"Every day, we're processing about 7 to 10 different commodities into various mixes for our customers," says Dan Surface, DJJ's Maintenance Coordinator in Crawfordville. "As a blend yard, we don't just move material, we have to be very precise with the types of scrap we put into these rail cars."

Its Dan Surface's job to keep the equipment well maintained and the scales properly calibrated so the yard can run productively. Increased productivity was also the reason he switched to Winkle Industries for his new scrap magnets.

Winkle is a long time supplier of specialized lifting magnets and other lifting equipment for the Crawfordville Nucor mini-mill. Based on those credentials, Dan agreed to meet with the Winkle sales representative at Nucor, Mike McCray.

"Mike approached me with an offer to bring in one of the Winkle scrap magnets on demonstration. I was using magnets from a couple of different suppliers before but I was so impressed with the Winkle magnets, I haven't used anything else since.” As a result of that demonstration, DJJ has ordered Winkle magnets for several other facilities in the region.

Moving more with less
"There's really no comparison," he says. "The difference was immediately noticeable when we were loading borings into the rail cars. That's a very fine material and, with the other equipment, we would get a normal looking load lifted under the magnet. The Winkle magnet was the same size but it was so powerful that it actually sucked material right up over the top of the casing! When we weigh it up, the total material on the Winkle magnet was about 1 to 2 times what the other magnets were lifting."

By lifting more weight and moving more material per shift, Dan says he gets his cars loaded faster so he saves the fuel cost to operate the crane as well as the operator time. Each machine earns more every hour. But he also says the Winkle magnet does more than simply lift a larger load. "It's just a better design. It's well made, the casing is very heavy-duty, there's better protection for the cables. So the maintenance cost is less, too. We're used to having problems with magnets because they operate out of sight so much, sweeping out the inside of a rail car for instance. The cables get damaged in there and then you get controllers burning out or the mag coils burn out. But we've been running our two Winkle magnets for two years now and we've never had that problem with the cables!"

More recently, Dan replaced an older 66" magnet with a 68" EDSA magnet from Winkle. "The common knowledge is that, with a copper coil, the other magnet should lift more. But, again, the new Winkle magnet will lift nearly double what the old one did! We even checked the resistance across the coil but there was virtually no difference. It's simply more efficient."

R&D investment pays off
At Winkle, Mike McCray explains that his company has invested heavily to achieve these performance results. "A few years back, our Engineering Department did a lot of first-hand testing and research with different magnets and different types of scrap. Then they combined the study results with some high-end computer modeling technology to help us design the magnets. And they keep on refining the technology for new applications. So our team has a real understanding of how to get the right balance in the coil windings, the casing design – the material, size, weight, heat dispersion – to produce a magnet that can really reach deep into the pile and keep doing it all day long."

Since acquiring his first Winkle magnet, Dan Surface has been finding more reasons to call Mike McCray. Winkle Industries supplies a wide range of maintenance and repair supplies for lifting equipment. The Winkle factory is also fully equipped to rebuild all types of lifting devices and, recently, DJJ sent one of its grapples there for remanufacturing. "I always feel that Mike is actually looking out for our interests, not just his own. These are people that do what they say they will."

"All of our buying decisions here are based on the overall cost-effectiveness and productivity that we can get from the equipment that we purchase. We have morning meetings with our Site Manager Tom Dindino and crew. We are always looking for a way to cut our costs. All of us agree purchasing magnets from Winkle was a good decision.”

About Winkle Industries

Winkle Industries is a worldwide leader in engineered solutions for users of mill-duty material handling equipment. Capabilities include below-the-hook lifting devices, mill equipment, crane products, engineering services, aftermarket services, machining and fabrication. Winkle’s experience and resources is “raising customer expectations” on a wide range of needs, from innovative product design to customer process improvement. 

2080 West Main Street, Alliance, Ohio 44601
Tel: (330) 823-9730 Fax: (330) 823-9788

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For more information on Winkle Industries and their complete portfolio of products and services, contact:

Mark Volansky
Director of Sales

Winkle Industries

2080 West Main Street
Alliance, Ohio 44601
Ph: (330) 823-9730
Fax: (330) 823-9788
Email: Visit the web site at: