In our industry, the biggest money waster is downtime. Nobody likes it, nobody wants it, but it exists and we have to deal with it. Just because we have to deal with it, however, doesn’t mean we can’t do everything in our power to minimize it.
Here are some common practices to extend the life of your hammers:
- Avoid large volumes of hardened steel at one time. Hardened steel is tougher on the hammers, so the more you do at once, the more it breaks down your hammers. To extend the life, expand your hardened steel throughout the day.
- Harden new hammers by running heavier material for a period of time. Prepping your hammers with this method will increase their strength and helps the integrity of the hammer last longer.
- Install a new set of hammers in the center spots, harden them, then move them to the outside positions. Less material goes through the outside hammers than the center, so they don’t get hardened the way center positions do. Switch them out, then enjoy the benefits of hardened outside hammers.
- Inspecting hammers at the end of the day and adding little welds to lower spots. This technique is more hands-on. When you notice a dip in a hammer, go ahead and weld a little extra in to bring that spot back up. This keeps your hammer more even and prolongs how much those spots will break down.
- Invest in alloy hammers. They keep shape better by having harder key areas. It may cost more, but it will bring in a longer life for your hammers. Longer life means less time switching them out.
- Work with manufacturers on the chemistry of your hammers. Hammers aren’t made the same, so what may work best for one company may not work best for another. Consider talking to your manufacturer to see if the chemical composition of your hammer is giving you the most bang for your buck.
- Regular maintenance. Last but not least, take care of your hammers. With regular maintenance, you will see a longer life than if you just set them and forget them.