Our competitors like to talk a lot now about the fact that they have a steel rib. The question is, what process did they use to end up with this type of rib. Answer? All of our competitors use the casting process. This process is inherently inferior to the forging process we use. Their ribs are approximately 34% lighter than ours when you pick one up. Where's the beef? When you can have up to 300 HP motors running on the roll box, good luck. There are always issues with tags and rib fires. Why? Accuracy. Precision. And...they just don't have it quite right in a key section of the rib itself. Vandergriff Ribs are forged from 1018 USA High Grade Steel Shafting. The forging process we use is proprietary. We have worked at this and used this method since 1995. This forging is then CNC Machined, and you end up with a solid, strong and accurate gin rib. The process we use is not cheap. Our profit margins have always been on the low side to keep us competitive in the marketplace. What some companies charge for a steel rib with a wearplate using the casting process....well it's about the same as we charge, and their cost of production is considerably lower.
Note this Lummus Cast rib and the price.
Other ribs are manufactured in India. Yes. They are cheaper. But they have always had performance issues. They still do. We constantly get calls during the gin season about Komet Ribs, asking if we can help them out. Of course we can. They like to talk about their steel ribs as well, but again...they use the casting process to make them.
Yes, Cast ribs. Made in India.
Cheaper is not always better when you are fighting ribs fires, tags and even broken saws. And..the fact of the matter is they are not all that much cheaper than ours now. Some are even more expensive. I have heard one company charges $70.00 or more for one of their ribs and they still use the casting process to make it.
Vandergriff Inc./CNC Performance Engineering do not have have a sales force out in the field selling our ribs. But our competitors do, and they don't always give you correct information. The only way we can combat the competition is through social media and blogs such as this. My criticism of competitors ribs is simply combating and responding to the competition. I have been involved and successful with this for over 25 years.
I know planting season is upon us now, and I hope you have a great crop, and a great ginning season as well.
Loyd personally writes the blogs and provides updates on what is going on with Vandy Inc and the industry in general.