It was determined that the best solution would be to replace the existing I-beams as previous attempts at patching the cracks appeared insufficient as the beams continued to fail. Data was collected on the loads that the beam would be under, including the weight of the paper rolls, Lowerator blade, and hydraulic force. A 16 x 16 x 5/8″ HSS was selected for the new beam. Due to the significantly larger cross-sectional area of this beam compared to the existing 1-beam, supports at both ends and between the I-beams were reinforced and enlarged to allow for attachment. The connection points of the hydraulic cylinders to the HSS were also reinforced with larger plates to better distribute the load exerted on the beam. With proper system calibration, this solution will be robust enough to withstand the cycling of these immense loads.
The biggest hurdle will be getting the HSS itself into position as piping, cable trays, and conduit clog the area near the damaged beams. There has been discussion regarding pipes that will need to be permanently relocated as they interfere with the large attachments, but elevating the beams into position will be a delicate process and may require further re-routing or modification of piping.