Innovation and Integrity

Engineered Rigging
Written by Robert Hoshowsky

Founded on decades of industry experience, Engineered Rigging prides itself on creating ingenious and highly flexible solutions for the safe lifting and transportation of equipment. The company provides unique solutions, many of them patent-pending, and has the skills, facilities, and industry know-how to create solutions that work for all clients.
Engineered Rigging has its headquarters in historic Russellville, Arkansas which is home to Arkansas Nuclear One, the only nuclear power plant in the state. The company actively serves a number of industries including nuclear plants, steel mills, and power plants to name a few. Engineered Rigging’s talented crew includes engineers like its company president, Christopher Cox, who is a professional structural engineer in multiple states. He, along with Engineered Rigging’s team of engineers, project managers, quality control inspectors, ironworkers, operators and pipefitters, ensures projects are completed successfully.

The company has a 16-acre compound and a well-equipped 40,000 square-foot fabrication facility where it efficiently creates practical solutions for customers across North America. Often, Cox himself will visit a client’s site to determine need, potential challenges and devise innovative ways of solving problems with the utmost safety. Having a highly experienced professional engineer as company president helps resolve challenges and potential issues quickly, without the red tape that comes with many larger companies.

“We are very flexible and nimble, and we can react quickly to our clients’ needs and challenges,” comments Cox. “I like to be very hands on when it comes to tackling a client’s engineering and logistical challenges.” He credits his field experience and tendency to think outside of the box with getting him where he is today.

More than a service company, Engineered Rigging is viewed by its clients as a trusted partner that provides logical turnkey solutions to complex problems through engineering and field expertise.

Engineered Rigging was created in 1986, on years of experience and industry connections, as a division of a parent company active in the nuclear power industry. Originally, the intent was to increase market share. The company was sold to employees in 2004 and remains a private, employee-owned enterprise to this day. After the original owner departed the business in 2007, the company refocused its services and today takes on more projects around the rigging industry, structural engineering, fabrication solutions, lifting solutions and transport solutions.

Joining the parent company in August of 1999 as a structural engineer, Cox worked his way up to vice president and has been president of Engineered Rigging for over a year.

“Since 2008 Engineered Rigging has increased our revenue by an average of 35% each year. Our growth has allowed us to expand our fleet of innovative heavy lift and transportation equipment, build a new fabrication facility and increase our manpower across the board. We are well poised to efficiently and effectively deliver solutions to industrial clients across the continent,” says Cox.

Cox realized years ago – while traveling and meeting other engineers and executives – that he wanted Engineered Rigging to be more than just a job for the staff. He has fostered an environment in which employees genuinely enjoy going to work. Treating others as he would wish to be treated is a driving force behind the business and is deeply ingrained in the culture of Engineered Rigging.

“From the beginning, my goal for Engineered Rigging has been to be a company people want to work for,” he says. “That has been one of the driving forces behind our company’s culture. We look at our clients’ needs and identify ways that we can help them be successful. We treat each project as a partnership and that approach has built long-term client relationships. Yes, I run a business and we must make money. But it’s more than that, it’s about providing a platform for our employees to showcase their talents and gain personal fulfillment from the work they do. Every individual at Engineered Rigging takes great pride in their work. It’s rewarding for me to be surrounded by amazingly talented people who give it their all every day. As Engineered Rigging continues to grow, each employee and I share in the success.”

The highly qualified team at Engineered Rigging realizes that every project presents unique challenges and devises solutions to meet tight deadlines, even under the most challenging of conditions. Through the implementation of safe and carefully planned solutions, the company addresses and overcomes complex rigging and transportation issues.

“Once an engineered design is approved, our project managers and highly skilled craftsmen meticulously execute the plans by leveraging proven practices, time-tested processes and world-class equipment,” says the company. “In addition, our designs incorporate quality assurance requirements that meet and often exceed project specifications and client mandates, enabling us to achieve superior functional integrity, quality and reliability.”

The company is proud to offer custom-tailored engineering solutions, including the design and fabrication of rigging components, lift systems and heavy transport. Among its many innovations are its patent-pending Pipe Modular Lift System, the patent-pending Scorpion System, torpedo car jack and slide system, knuckle boom crane system, modular jacking towers and gantry systems. Along with rigging components, the company’s heavy transport solutions include the state-of-the-art Self-Propelled Modular Transporter – or SPMT for short.

Addressing a common problem, namely the ability to remove degraded structures or outdated components from a plant within the confines of very limited space, the team at Engineered Rigging leverages the “unparalleled maneuverability,” of its fleet of SPMTs which includes two models: the Enerpac Model SPMU600 and the Goldhofer Model PST-SL-E 6.

The SPMTs are powerful and extremely compact, with a minimum height of two feet, seven inches, and a width of seven feet, six inches. The units fit into tight spaces, yet are powerful enough to transport up to 67.5 tons per unit, or 22.5 tons per line.

The two models can be configured to specific load requirements and have different configuration options, with idle and load speeds ranging from 1.6 to 6.4 miles per hour and .21 to .93 miles per hour. Designed for unrivalled maneuverability, the SPMTs boast individual self-leveling wheels to optimize control and traction and three steering and lifting cylinders. Among the unit’s many other features are a self-sufficient power source – which means no more power cords getting in the way – and the ability to maneuver into position through the narrowest of entries and rotate 360° without changing its midpoint. For clients of Engineered Rigging, the highly innovative Self-Propelled Modular Transporters have proven to be a tremendous asset.

Engineered Rigging’s keen focus on innovation means it continues to come up with new and better systems including the recently-unveiled Pipe Modular Lift System (PMLS), announced this May. The self-locking PMLS is unlike anything else on the market. Using a platform that mechanically lifts and lowers heavy cargo through a system of structural components, the system eliminates the hazards that come with suspended loads and its performance remains unaffected by unbalanced loads. The PMLS further enhances safety via perfectly synchronized lifting, “and positive mechanical engagement of the cargo on the platform – one hundred percent of the time.”

The PMLS’s highly customizable, freestanding, modular design was precisely developed and engineered to accommodate a range of lifting capacities: 400, 800 and 1,200 tons. And it has a vertical travel distance up exceeding 50 feet – depending on the application. The standard column section can be customized to meet client needs; likewise, the PMLS is configurable into various shapes based on site-specific requirements.

The PMLS is twice as fast as strand jacks with a lifting speed of twenty inches per minute, and is able to operate in winds up to fifty miles per hour – far greater than most lift systems. If, for some reason, it loses power, the load will remain safely in place on a secured platform until power is restored. These features and many others are an integral part of Engineered Rigging’s ongoing commitment to safety.

“We engineer safety into our systems,” says Cox. “Since we are engineers and transport rigging professionals, when we work on engineering solutions, we think about safety, quality and practicability from the beginning of a project. Our PMLS (pipe modular lift system) evolved around safety – our goal was to mitigate load risk, by removing the possibility of a suspended load. We are able to erect and deploy the PMLS System in a very safe and efficient manner that ultimately reduces manpower and minimizes load handling.”

Working from its facilities in Arkansas and Indiana, Engineered Rigging regularly assumes projects across the United States and recently bid on projects in Canada. Engineered Rigging has completed projects valued between $50,000 and $35 million.

“We embrace projects of all sizes,” states Cox, “Often, we’re called to address a small problem that can be taken care of relatively easy, without a lot of expense. That’s when we begin to build trust with a client. Then, when they have a bigger problem, they’ll remember that we were fair, honest and effective, and they’ll call upon us again.” For this reason, he says, the company doesn’t, “close doors on any opportunity.”

Cox states the reasons for the company’s growth include its commitment to innovation, hard work, fostering a positive culture, respect for clients and being transparent and upfront about costs. As for the future of Engineered Rigging, Cox sees continuing yet stable growth and the business increasing its scope as a solutions provider for the industries in which it is engaged.

Because many of its competitors don’t have engineers on staff, Engineered Rigging gets called upon whenever an engineered solution is required. “We can provide that expertise for them. When engineering solutions, many times we sign a non-disclosure agreement with our client; this allows the client to confidently share proprietary information with us. The more intimate we are with the problem, the better we’re able to engineer the best solution.”

“Engineered Rigging is multi-faceted: we can provide a turnkey solution including engineering it, build it, and install it. Or we can provide a single aspect of those things. It’s all based on the client’s unique needs,” he says.



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