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Wacker Equipment Travels Long Road
Large core equipment arrived at the WACKER POLYSILICON site in Charleston, Tenn. this week. This equipment—used for WACKER’s production process—arrived by barge to a unique location, and then traveled to the company’s construction site by various methods including a self-propelled transportation unit.
“The arrival of this core production piece is an exciting and momentous occasion,” said Dr. Martin Richtberg, vice president of engineering and head of the WACKER POLYSILICON construction project. “Detailed planning for this arrival began in March this year. It was necessary to find barge access that could accommodate equipment this size, and to determine the most efficient road transportation route.”
The equipment arrived in Mobile, Ala. earlier this month after crossing the Atlantic Ocean. Additional preparations were made to ensure the equipment was protected: four large steel stands were custom-built and welded to the barge so that the equipment would travel securely.
After travelling along the Mississippi and Tennessee Rivers, the equipment arrived in Decatur, Tenn. The location, however, had not previously been used for barge access and advance groundwork was necessary.
Prior to the barge’s arrival, transportation specialists developed a strategy for preparing the area. New gravel and crane mats were added along the shoreline. This preparation offered additional protection to the riverbank, and minimized the possibility of damage to the barge.
“Safety and environmental protection are core components of all processes at WACKER,” said Dr. Konrad Bachhuber, vice president and site manager for WACKER POLYSILICON North America. “We take proactive steps to ensure every activity on our site is accomplished with the highest attention to environmental care and safety, therefore we have ensured the transportation of our equipment would be carried out with this same level of care.”
Two onshore machines gripped the barge on either side and pulled it in, allowing preparations for road transportation of the equipment to begin.
Engineering experts and transportation specialists reviewed the equipment’s route in advance, noting asphalt conditions and critical points such as road corners.
At no more than two mph, the equipment travelled through Decatur with these experts walking alongside it. Each expert carried a remote to make adjustments and alter the axles individually, ensuring the weight was evenly distributed and that the equipment would not be twisted.
“Every second someone is checking the machine and making sure the next step is possible,” said Ulrich Dankerl, project manager and lead logistics/engineering for the project. “This equipment cannot twist even slightly, therefore it is necessary to navigate uneven surfaces by continuously evaluating the height of each wheel.”
Two trailers were used to transport the equipment through Decatur and to the Charleston site. Both trailers had 13 axles—each connected to the trailer hydraulically—with eight wheels per axle; the weight of the equipment was dispersed over 26 axles and 208 wheels.
“This method of transportation offers less surface impact than a standard transportation trailer because the weight is more evenly distributed,” added Dr. Bachhuber. “Additionally, these trailers have rotating plates to allow for superior navigation; roads with turns and slopes were manageable.”Thursday, July 26 2012, 09:48 AM EDT
More Business News
Last Update on August 28, 2014 17:08 GMT
WASHINGTON (AP) -- After a bleak start to the year, the U.S. economy rebounded vigorously in the April-June quarter, growing at a brisk annual rate of 4.2 percent, slightly faster than first estimated.
The upward revision supported expectations that the second half of 2014 will prove far stronger than the first half.
The Commerce Department's second estimate of growth for last quarter compares with its initial estimate of 4 percent. The revision reflected stronger business investment in new equipment and structures than first thought.
The seasonally adjusted 4.2 percent annual growth rate for the gross domestic product came after the economy had shrink at an annual rate of 2.1 percent in the January-March quarter, the biggest drop in activity since the depths of the Great Recession.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits slipped 1,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 298,000, a low level that signals employers are cutting few jobs and hiring is likely to remain strong.
The Labor Department says the four-week average, a less volatile measure, dropped to 299,750. That's just 6,000 higher than four weeks ago, when the average fell to the lowest level in more than eight years.
When employers hold onto their workers, it suggests they are more confident in the economy and could step up hiring.
The applications data is the latest sign that the job market is steadily healing. Average job gains since February have been the best in eight years.
PENDING HOME SALES
WASHINGTON (AP) -- More Americans signed contracts to buy homes in July, a sign that buying has improved as mortgage rates have slipped, the number of listings has risen and the rate of price increases has slowed.
The National Association of Realtors says its seasonally adjusted pending home sales index rose 3.3 percent to 105.9 last month. Still, the index remains 2.1 percent below its level a year ago.
The pressures that caused home sales to stall last year have started to ease. The average 30-year fixed mortgage rate has dropped to 4.1 percent, a 52-week low. Prices are no longer rising at double-digit annual rates, thereby helping to improve affordability.
Pending sales are a barometer of future purchases. A one- to two-month lag usually exists between a contract and a completed sale.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The average 30-year U.S. mortgage rate remains at a 52-week low this week.
Mortgage company Freddie Mac says the nationwide average for a 30-year mortgage is 4.10 percent, the same as last week. The average for a 15-year mortgage, a popular choice for people who are refinancing, has risen to 3.25 percent from 3.23 percent.
At its 52-week low of 4.10 percent, the rate on a 30-year mortgage is down from 4.53 percent at the start of the year. Rates have fallen even though the Federal Reserve has been trimming its monthly bond purchases, which are intended to keep long-term borrowing rates low. The purchases are set to end in October.
The low rates appear to have boosted U.S. home sales.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- U.S. banks' earnings rose 5.2 percent in the April-June quarter from a year earlier, as banks reduced their expenses and lending marked its fastest pace since 2007.
The data issued Wednesday by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. showed a robust picture as the banking industry continues to recover from the financial crisis that struck six years ago. The improving economy has brought greater demand for loans and stepped-up lending.
The FDIC reported that U.S. banks earned $40.2 billion in the second quarter of this year, up from $38.2 billion in the same period in 2013.
The number of banks on the FDIC's problem list fell to 354 in the second quarter, the lowest number in more than five years and down from 411 in the January-March period.
KAMPALA, Uganda (AP) -- The World Health Organization is urging airlines to lift most of their restrictions for flying to Ebola-hit nations because a predictable "air link" is needed to help deal with the crisis.
The WHO's assistant director-general for emergency operations, Dr. Bruce Aylward, says "there is a super risk of the response effort being choked off" if airlines restrict flights to Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.
TEWKSBURY, Mass. (AP) -- Workers at the New England supermarket chain Market Basket are cheering the return of former CEO Arthur T. Demoulas (deh-MOO'-lahs), following a feud with his cousin that saw him fired.
Demoulas announced Wednesday that an agreement has been reached for him to buy majority stake in the business -- $1.5 billion the 50.5 percent of the company owned by his rival cousin Arthur S. Demoulas and his allies. The deal is expected to take several months.
There was uproar after Arthur T. Demoulas' firing weeks ago, with workers revolting and customers boycotting the business.
In a speech at company headquarters today in Massachusetts, Demoulas told workers, that he's "in awe of what you have all accomplished."
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