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Bucyrus International Inc.

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Bucyrus International Inc. is a manufacturing company for a variety of industries such as mining and construction. Its beginnings can be traced back to 1880 when it was founded as Bucyrus Foundry & Manufacturing Co. in Bucyrus, Ohio. It has since acquired and merged with a number of companies, moving the headquarters to South Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where it is currently based. Initially focused on producing a number of dragline series, the acquisitions have resulted in the expansion of the company's product line to include excavators, front shovels, and drills.

Bucyrus has contributed to a number of projects and have introduced a lot of ‘"firsts" in the industry. Its products have worked on the Panama Canal and the New York State Barge Canal. Bucyrus has built the largest earthmoving equipment in the world, the Big Muskie, and since 1910, its has built more than 1,100 draglines in 60 different models.


[edit] History

[edit] Early Beginnings

Founded by Daniel Parmelee Eells in 1880, Bucyrus Foundry & Manufacturing Co. launched its headquarters in Bucyrus, Ohio. In 1835, the steam shovel was invented by William S. Otis and patented in 1839. The patents for the steam shovel did not expire until the late 1870s.[1]

At this time there was a great demand for steam shovels because they were the only true earthmoving equipment to exist before bulldozers and scrapers appeared in the 1920s and 1930s. Steam shovels and draglines became paramount to the mining and construction industries and Eells responded to this demand.[2]

Originally a family business, Bucyrus took its first step into the market by purchasing a shovel built by Thompson Iron Shovel & Derrick owner John Thompson. The shovel was used in 1882 for the Toledo & Ohio Central Railraod project.[3]

Bucyrus changed its name in 1896 to The Bucyrus Co. and decided to focus on building specialty excavating machines and draglines. Bucyrus has experienced a number of changes throughout its existence, including acquisitions, mergers, product line expansion, and projects.

[edit] Acquisitions and Mergers

Bucyrus ceased to be an Eells family corporation when it purchased a rival company, Vulcan Steam Shovel Co. in 1911. Vulcan’s models, including the 14B, 18B,and 120B model that was developed in the 1920s were heavy-duty models designed with full revolution loading shovels. Purchasing the Heyworth Newman dragline excavator, Buycrus was catapulted into the dragline market by 1910.

It also merged with Erie Steam Shovel in 1927. Erie was one of the most important manufacturers of small steam shovels. The merge between the two companies launched the Bucyrus-Erie Co. Shortly after, it also acquired Monighan Manufacturing Co., a company that specialized in walking draglines and placed Bucyrus in the forefront with competitor Marion. Both companies would engage in a rivalry in producing the largest draglines.

In 1930, Bucyrus merged with British company, Ruston & Hornsby, a move that enabled it to expand into the European market. Bucyrus entered the drill market by acquiring Armstrong Drill Co. and the Osgood Co., a manufacturer of small power shovels, in 1955.

The company continued to grow throughout the years, acquiring Ransomes & Rapier Ltd., an English company, in 1988, and its lifetime competitor, Marion Power Shovel Co., in 1997. Acquiring Marion meant the addition of more than 120 operating draglines. In 2007 Bucyrus purchased DBT.[4]  In February 2010, Bucyrus International completed a US$1.3 billion acquisition of the mining equipment division of Terex Corporation.

[edit] Projects and Events

Bucyrus made many moves to ensure its present and future success. Aside from purchasing rival competitors and branching into new markets, Bucyrus has had a history of creating and inventing machines when a project has demanded something that didn’t exist.

The largest American project for which Bucyrus’ equipment was utilized was the project to enlarge the New York State Barge Canal from 1902-1912.

Another big project for Bucyrus machines was the construction of the Panama Canal. The project, which took place in 1904-1914, used 77 shovels to excavate 225 million cubic yards (171 million m3) of earth.[5]

Bucyrus also contributed to the Chicago Drainage Canal, shipping 24 of the 171 shovels it built in production to the project.

Tower excavators were used in the 1915 Missisppi River levee construction.[6]

During World War II, most of the products made by Bucyrus went to the government. As much as 60 percent went towards the war effort until it ceased in 1945.

One occurrence that had a direct effect on Bucyrus was the production and improvement of off-highway trucks in the 1960s. Builders in the mining industry began purchasing the newest and largest off-highway trucks available. When they did this, they usually upgraded their shovels and excavators. This trend led to the production of the 195B by Bucyrus-Erie to match massive off-highway vehicles that could be as heavy as 240 tons.

After the war, open pit coal mines developed and miners were in need of inventive shovels to serve their needs as they delved deeper into mines. Bucyrus responded with the Bucyrus-Erie 1050B in 1941, a 36-cubic yard (27-m3) stripping shovel.[7]

[edit] Novel Equipment Developments

When Bucyrus took on Vulcan Steam Shovel Co. and its products, it was a great expansion for the company, but the designers noticed that the Vulcan shovels lacked the ability of a full-circle swing. One of the first changes made to the new creation, the Class 5 which appeared in 1910, was to implement a fully revolving shovel with a 0.5-cubic yard (0.38-m3) dipper and a 55-foot (16.7-m) boom.[8]

By 1911, it was clear that Marion had emerged as a competitor. The creation of its 150-ton rail-mounted steam shovel led Bucyrus to create the 150B and 175B stripping shovels, with 2.5- and 2.7-cubic yard (1.9- and 2.05-m3) dippers, respectively. The models contained a three-point suspension system and screw jacks used for leveling.

With the First World War looming, Bucyrus shovels were getting bigger. The 225B, produced in 1914, weighed 300 tons and consisted of a six-cubic yard (4.56-m3) dipper, and a 75-foot (22.9-m) boom. By 1923, 90 of these models had been sold, making it the best-selling stripping shovel in the world.

With the introduction of mechanical electricity in machinery, Bucyrus was forced to develop its own system. The Ward-Leonard Control System was developed in response to providing Bucyrus' large machines with electrical capacity that could be handled and maintained by even the largest machines. While Bucyrus did produce the first electrical stripper in 1917, it did so with the help of the new system, as typical motors could not handle the quick cyclical power of the shovels.

The first heavy-duty revolving shovel built by Bucyrus was the 120B. By the time production ceased in 1951, 300 had been built.

It was not unusual for Bucyrus to build equipment based on the needs of its customers. In response to Michigan Limestone Co.’s request, Bucyrus improved upon the 750B model. The result was the first shovel to have a counterbalanced hoist system. The innovation increased the machine’s capacity by 50 percent and included a moving counterweight and a revolving frame that moved in vertical motions to balance the weight of the dipper while hoisting the load.

Similarly, the 950B machine was recorded as one of the largest of its time when it was erected in 1935 for the Shasta Coal Co. in Indiana. It also included a counterbalanced hoist system and a 30-cubic yard (22.8-m3) dipper. What made this machine unique was the rotating tubular handle. The characteristic of the rotating handle meant less stress on the handle and the boom. It also consisted of a rope-operated crowd motion. This feature mounted the motor on the spinning frame so it could reduce the swing inertia and conserve power. Bending stresses were removed altogether with the two-part boom.

The Big Muskie, built in 1969, was one of the largest earthmoving machines ever produced before it was discontinued in 2000. It consisted of a 220-cubic yard (168-m3) walking dragline, a speed of 9,000 feet (275 m) per hour. The Big Muskie reached as high as 22 stories, was 459 feet (140 m) in length and had a bucket comparable to a 12-car garage.[9]

The largest dragline in the world is currently the 2750WS, which was built in 1999 in Australia. The 2750WS weighs 15.9 million pounds (7.25 million kg) and is 413 feet (126 m) long with a 154.7-cubic yard (119-m3) bucket and a 316-foot- (110-m) long boom.

While shovels and draglines comprised most of Bucyrus’ notable contributions to the manufacturing equipment industry, it also produced drills, the largest being the current 59R blasthole drill.[10]

[edit] The Company Today

Bucyrus International Inc., based in South Milwaukee, Wisconsin, remains a leader in the design and manufacture of both underground and surface mining equipment. Tim Sullivan is the president and CEO of the company.

[edit] Equipment List

[edit] References

  1. Haddock, Keith. Bucyrus: Making the Earth Move for 125 Years. Motorbooks: 2005.
  2. Haycraft, William R. Yellow Steel: The Story of the Earthmoving Equipment Industry. U of Illinois P: Chicago, 2000.
  3. Haddock, Keith. Bucyrus: Making the Earth Move for 125 Years. Motorbooks: 2005.
  4. History. Bucyrus. 2008-09-22.
  5. History. Bucyrus. 2008-09-22.
  6. History. Bucyrus. 2008-09-22.
  7. Haycraft, William R. Yellow Steel: The Story of the Earthmoving Equipment Industry. U of Illinois P: Chicago, 2000.
  8. Haddock, Keith. Bucyrus: Making the Earth Move for 125 Years. Motorbooks: 2005.
  9. Haddock, Keith. Bucyrus: Making the Earth Move for 125 Years. Motorbooks: 2005.
  10. History. Bucyrus. 2008-09-22.

[edit] External Links