Go to In-depth Balcrank Product Breakdowns:

MO Meter Product Breakdown
TM Control Product Breakdown

 


 

 

 

115 Years of Balcrank

2021 marks the 115th anniversary of Balcrank Corporation. Below you will find topics and images celebrating Balcrank’s achievements from its inception, products and more throughout the year

 

 

 

January

Balcrank Then vs. Now

Cincinnati, OH Facility

Cincinnati, OH Factory

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Cincinnati Ball Crank Company was founded on July 12, 1906 by Thomas L. Pogue, Clifford Gren, James A. Forbes and Henry and Louis Wessel in the heart of Cincinnati, Ohio’s “Machine Tool Colony”. The first products produced by Balcrank were hand wheels and cranks used by the machine tool industry. The Cincinnati Ball Crank Company got its name from the production of ball-sockets and hand cranks and was commonly referred to as Ball Crank.

Balcrank is one of the oldest manufacturers of automotive lubrication products. Since its beginning, we have been providing our customers with the best products for the ever changing Automotive Commercial and Industrial markets. Our products service automotive quick lubes, dealerships, fleet, and commercial vehicle centers. Our product line has expanded, encompassing the heavy-duty market, which includes: trucking, municipalities, railroad, marine, industrial and mining. Our new line of Lion pumps, large hose reels and high volume control handles allows us to dispense oil products up to 32 gal per minute and grease up to 88 lb per minute.

Weaverville, NC Facility

Weaverville, NC Factory

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

115 years later, Balcrank Corporation provides system solutions for all types of vehicle maintenance facilities and industrial manufacturing. Our goal is to continue our traditions and evolve in markets and applications that make sense for our continued growth.

 

 


 

February

Humble Beginnings

“Balanced” Three-Ball Crank

Ball Crank’s line of cranks, handles and wheels

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From humble beginnings in 1906 to being one of the oldest manufactures of automobile lubrication products, Balcrank continues to be focused on high quality, fast delivery and excellent service to our customers.

In 1906, Ball Crank was the first to mass produce “balanced” three-ball cranks, cast steel and aluminum hand wheels for the machine tool industries. The innovative three-ball design kept the cranks balanced after adjustment to lock it in place to prevent it from moving.  Today these ball-cranks are still proudly made in the USA.

Shortly after the three-ball cranks introduction to the market, a line of control handles was created.  These control handles became the high-quality choice for demanding builders of machine tools, valves, actuators, instruments and control systems. Balcrank controls are strong and reliable enough to be found in the most sensitive applications – medical and military – where precise machine response is imperative.

 

 

Steering Drag Link Advertisement

Steering Drag Link Advertisement

Official Patent on Ball and Socket Technology, 1931

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The leading company of firsts and innovation, Ball Crank also became the first mass producer of starting cranks for automobiles. In 1908, Ball Crank introduced the steering drag links to the automotive industry. Almost every automotive manufacturer adopted these drag links and for the first time, steering a car became an easy task. The ball and socket technology behind the steering drag links would then be perfected and officially patented in 1931.

 

 


March

Growing into the Lubrication Markets

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Always looking forward, in 1922 Balcrank entered the lubrication field by inventing and producing the first electric grease gun. The following year Balcrank was the first to patent the hydraulic coupler and fittings which are still universally used today. In 1923, Balcrank  introduced the foot operated Model D grease gun into its fast-growing grease gun line. 

The early 1920’s was a busy and prosperous time for Balcrank as they continued their pattern of “firsts”. In 1924, the first air operated high-pressure/volume grease gun was developed and then just 2 years later, the first air powered lubrication pump was developed. These pumps came in high and low pressures with a “DeLuxe” shell. DeLuxe pumps were finished in red and black enamel with highly polished chromium trim. Portable Deluxe units were also available with large noiseless composition casters and chromium handles.

After these successes, Balcrank began to branch out into more industrial markets by introducing its “AA” Air Lubricator specifically designed for trucks, busses and other large industrial vehicles.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


April

Then vs. Now: Product Evolution – Hose Reel

 

In 1930, the Model R-20 Balcrank hose reel with hose stops made its debut, marking it as the first Balcrank hose reel developed. It was an air reel that was adaptable to ceiling, wall or floor installations. The standard unit was finished in black enamel with white lettering.

 

Starting in the 1940’s and into 1950’s, as more types of hose reels were developed, the Lubette was created. The Lubette was a special cabinet that would fit between the bays of a typical 2 bay service station that would house hose reels, meters, and then later, the famous “Jet Power” pump which was introduced in 1948. The cabinets would be mounted on the floor and came in a variety of models.

Fast forward to today, and the Balcrank hose reel line has grown to accommodate all matter of installations and applications with its Signature Series Reels.

 

Balcrank Signature Series hose reels are built for the toughest environments and applications. The Evolution is lightweight but extremely durable.  The Classic reel offers over a decade of proven performance and is an excellent choice for general duty, automotive dealerships, and service garages. The Premium reel features improved serviceability and advanced design features for long life in the toughest environments while reducing overall weight.

For heavy duty environments choose the EV, EVX & EVX+ reels.  These reels are designed for larger hoses, higher volume and flow requirements in industrial, construction, and mining environments.

 


May

Branding

 

The Cincinnati Ball Crank Company got its name from the production of ball-sockets and hand cranks and was commonly referred to as Ball Crank. In 1933, 27 years after Ball Crank’s inception, the Board of Directors voted to officially change the name Ball Crank to Balcrank, Inc.

Throughout the century of Balcrank’s history, the company grew and changed not only in size and product offerings, but in its brand and marketing image. The company rebranded 8 separate times before landing on the most current logo being used today.

Below is an estimated timeline of the evolution of Balcrank’s logo:

Here is a closer look at each logo with an estimated time of how long it was used as its branding image. More often than not, the logos listed below have a transitional overlap in which two logos were used at the same time.

Estimated 1928 – 1931

Estimated 1935 – 1940

Estimated 1940 – 1957

Estimated 1944 – 1959

Estimated 1953 – 1970s

Estimated 1980 – 1994

Estimated 1994 – 1996

Estimated 1997 – Present

 

 


 

June

The SHOTT Chair & WWII

During 1940 Balcrank began the mass production of steel outdoor furniture/chairs.In a short time Balcrank was producing over a thousand complete chairs per hour, packed and ready for shipment. Balcrank installed its own mill for the manufacture of steel tubing used in the chairs. These chairs are marketed under the trade name of “SHOTT”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Due to an increasing demand for aluminum chairs, a new building was erected in 1953 giving an additional 60,000 square feet of manufacturing and storage space. In less than one year the metal chair division was producing 6,000 aluminum chairs a day in addition to the steel furniture.

In 1955 a hydraulic extrusion press capable of producing 25 miles of seamless aluminum tubing a day was purchased and installed for use in the manufacturing of aluminum chairs. The operation of this extrusion press enabled Balcrank to manufacture aluminum chairs of the finest quality at the lowest possible price to the customer.

SHOTT chairs and furniture were categorized into 6 groups: Deluxe Webbed, Economy Webbed, Luxury Padded, Umbrella Table/Chair, Steel All-Weather and Tables. The production of the SHOTT chairs slowed and ended in the 1960s. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Balcrank and its employees played an important part during both World Wars by producing various war materials of precision in highest production. During WWII, May 29th, 1943, Balcrank was awarded four Army-Navy “E” awards for outstanding production and construction work. 

The Army-Navy “E” Award was an honor presented to companies during World War II whose production facilities achieved “Excellence in Production” (“E”) of war equipment. The award was also known as the Army-Navy Production Award. The award was created to encourage industrial mobilization and production of war time materials.

The award was presented with a pennant (to be flown) to the company and the employees present would receive individual pins.

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

July

Balcrank Then vs. Now: Product Evolution – Air Operated Pump

 

In 1948, Balcrank engineered and released the new Jet Power air operated pump. The Jet Power pump has been called the “heart and soul” and also the “bread and butter” of Balcrank, especially during its debut into the market. The idea that sparked the creation of the Jet Power came from engineer Mr. Butler while flipping on a light switch one day after rigorous research

and development. The simple switch motion resulted in the poppet air valve which helped propel the creation of the new Balcrank Jet Power air operated pump.

Early literature has stated that the Jet Power “pumps the greatest volume of any lubricant at any temperature at highest pressure” making this a huge seller of Balcrank for many years with its simple design remained heavily unchanged until its discontinuation in 2002. This heavy-duty pump with a 45:1 pressure ratio offered several features: no dirt or foreign matter can enter, simple construction, easy servicing, lowest cost maintenance, no air bleeding necessary, lightweight and an automatic visible oiler that gives oil film with air supply. Other pressure ratios offered were a 4:1 version and a 15:1 version.

As Balcrank was phasing out the Jet Power pump, the newest direct replacement become the Panther® Series pumps. In 1999 the Panther® HP 3:1 and 5:1 air operated pumps were developed and launched into the market.

Pride Series pumps are manufactured with a mechanical air valve and piston design which is more forgiving to environments with contaminated air.

The 3:1 version is a medium pressure pump for supplying higher volume than the 5:1 version but at lower operating pressures ideal for medium pumping distances and overall flow rates of 4-5 gpm.

The 5:1 version is a medium pressure pump for supplying higher pressures and for longer pumping distances than the 3:1 version but at lower volume ideal for longer pumping distances and overall flow rates of 4 gpm.

A few years later in 2002, the Panther® HP 50:1 grease pump was developed. These pumps are designed for lower volume users up to 2 dispense points. Designed for 25-35, 120 and 400 lb. drums and ideal for lower volume grease fittings on trucks and farm implements. Panther® pump is a double acting positive displacement capable of delivering up to 3.4 lbs. per minute.

 

 

 


MO Meter Product Breakdown


 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mechanical Oval Gear (MO Meter)

 

MODELS AVAILABLE EXTENSION TYPE & NOZZLE EXTENSION CODE U/M
Verify ID of ATF fill port for compatibility.
3330-205 Flex-memory | 1/4 turn – OIL 3332-093 QT
3330-206 Flex 90 | 1/4 turn – ATF 3332-104 QT
3330-207 Rigid | 1/4 turn – OIL 3332-091 QT
3330-208 Flex 90 | 1/4 turn – OIL 3332-092 QT
3330-212 Flex-memory | 1/4 turn – OIL 3332-093 L
3330-213 Flex 90 | 1/4 turn – ATF 3332-104 L
3330-214 Rigid | 1/4 turn – OIL 3332-091 L
3330-215 Flex 90 | 1/4 turn – OIL 3332-092 L
3330-204 Bare QT
3330-211 Bare L
3330-209 Meter only L
3330-210 Meter only QT

Features
• 6-digit totalizer; keeps lifetime record of volume dispensed in gallons
• Meter with odometer display, works without batteries and performs well in all environments
• No calibration required; precision machined metering chamber assures repeatable accuracy
• Ergonomically designed grip handle for optimum comfort
• Unique 1/4 turn manual non-drip tip; fast, simple
• Included swivel hose-end cover, protects vehicle or machine surfaces from scratches

Fluids
• Synthetic and mineral based lubricants
• Gear Oil
• Hydraulic oil and fluids
• ATF
• Anti-freeze (Glycol) and anti-freeze water solution

Markets Served
• Car and truck dealers
• Fast lube and maintenance shops
• Fleets
• Mining and construction
• Lube trucks

 

Specifications:

Units of measure
(in 0.01 increments)
Quarts & Liters (totalizer Gallons)
Accuracy +/- 1%
Flow range 0.25 – 8 gal/min (1 – 30 l/min)
Max pressure 1,000 psi (70 bar)
Swivel inlet 1/2” NPT (F)
Dispense Nozzle OD Auto=0.605″
Manual 1/4 turn for Oil =0.705″
Manual 1/4 turn for ATF =0.315″
Verify the ID of ATF fill port for compatibility
Operating temp 14ºF-160ºF (-10ºC-70ºC)
Battery 2 x 1.5 v alkaline “AAA”
Weight 4 lbs (1.80 kg) (meter)
Compatible fluids Oil, transmission fluid, hydraulic fluid, and anti-freeze
Wetted materials Acetal, aluminum, stainless steel, NBR, Zinc plated steel, TPU, Polyamide

 

Product Flyer

 

 


TM Control Product Breakdown


 

TM Control

 

MODEL AVAILABLE  
3110-033 TM Control

Standalone tank controller with 4 channels capable of controlling up to 4 different tanks or fluids. Each channel can connect to a solenoid valve, remote alarm or strobe light.

The TM Control can be used as a high or low-level control to prevent overflow, or as a pump shutoff to prevent the pump from running dry, and allowing air to enter the system.

Features

  • Controls up to four channels. Each channel can be assigned to a different tank, or multiple channels can be assigned to a single tank
  • Each channel controls solenoid valves, relays, external alarms, etc.
  • This unit can be a standalone unit; no need to connect to auxiliary software or systems
  • TM Control works with Tank alert strobe light and alarm 3120-029
  • One button for setup, resetting alarms, and system test
  • Use the key switch for bypass mode control, setup access, or rebooting the system
  • Status LEDs: yellow indicates bypass mode and white on indicates system status; on
  • Input LED for each channel; red blinking LED indicates level warning
  • Outputs can be configured to “normally- open” or “normally closed”

 

Technical Data:

Function Stand alone tank controller
Requirements & Limitations 4 tanks or 4 fluids

Power
  • Input – 110-230 V AC
  • Required Voltage – 110/60 Hz 240/50 Hz V AC
   

Product Flyer