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Both arboricultural companies treating or felling diseased trees and forestry companies in the timber industry use specially designed crampons for their work, which make it easier to climb high trees. The aid is attached to the foot and calf area by means of sturdy Velcro fasteners, with the foot resting in a stirrup made of aluminum or carbon fiber. The actual climbing aid, however, is provided by a spike attached to the side of a shaft, which allows skilled personnel to first climb up the trunk and then, with a secure footing in the tree, work it with the chainsaw or remove it piece by piece.

FEINGUSS BLANK - Hidden Champion in the Heart of Upper Swabia

The family-owned company BLANK from Riedlingen in Upper Swabia is one of the leading investment foundries with a machining center in Europe. According to BLANK, no other metal-forming process is capable of producing similarly complex shapes under comparable economic conditions as investment casting using the lost wax process. The result is quality at the highest level, precision down to the smallest detail, and an almost inexhaustible variety of materials. All this has made FEINGUSS BLANK a premium partner in the automotive industry, in mechanical and plant engineering, in electrical engineering, in precision mechanics and in many other sectors for more than six decades - and now also in the wood industry.

Form follows function

The fact that BLANK now realizes said mandrel in investment casting has, on the one hand, economic reasons. The elongated geometry of the mandrel with its protruding tip ensures that a machining process, for example milling from a metal block, would lead to a significantly higher material input - which in turn would be associated with significantly higher costs. However, the investment casting process in itself also offers design advantages. For example, it allows almost unlimited scope in the geometric design of the casting, especially in the implementation of organic shapes. This topology optimization, i.e. the computer-based optimization to determine the most favorable basic shape of a component under mechanical load, can again result in significant material savings. Guided by the specifications, parts can thus be designed that exactly meet the subsequent requirements, especially with regard to stability and safety in use.

Take it easy

In the case of climbing spikes, however, it is not only the manufacturing process used and the load-bearing capacity that are important - since the crampon is attached directly to the foot, the weight of the casting also plays a major role in its realization. This is where the decades of experience of the BLANK Group come into play, as it has an almost inexhaustible variety of materials at its disposal to meet the demand for the lowest possible weight with undiminished high load-bearing capacity.

Towards the end, everything happens very quickly

The mandrels produced by BLANK are - depending on the application - between 31 and 57 millimeters long, with a varying tip height of 29 to 48 millimeters. Only a few mechanical processing steps follow the casting process. Firstly, the mandrel is sharpened slightly to make it easier to climb the tree, and the fastening to the shaft is also prepared. Finally, for maximum corrosion protection, the mandrel is thermodiffusion galvanized and coated with black PTFE, which is intended to make it easier to remove the mandrel from the tree fiber. No further machining steps are required thanks to the investment casting process.