Hurricane Assistance comes in all shapes and sizes

“Having a knowledgeable sales person that could evaluate the situation and develop a strategic plan to efficiently process the roller allowed Berry to reduce the down time and continue to support their customers.”

Due to Hurricane Harvey’s  damage sustained at the Berry Plastics facility in Victoria, Texas, the Berry Plastics plant in Aurora, Illinois was called on to ramp up their operations to pick up the production lost in Texas. In order to keep running, Tim Neal, the Purchasing Agent at Berry Plastics in Aurora, reached out to Kastalon Inc. for emergency assistance on a roller that had imperfections and that needed regrinding.

Thanks to the technical expertise of the sales engineer at Kastalon, the roller was inspected at the Berry facility and sent to Kastalon for emergency repairs and an expedited return. According to Tim Neal, “Having a knowledgeable sales person that could evaluate the situation and develop a strategic plan to efficiently process the roller allowed Berry to reduce the down time and continue to support their customers.” When faced with critical disasters, it is imperative to have suppliers that not only have the expertise and ability to help, but the compassion to help where they can.

Kastalon offers complete roller services from the simple recovering of used rollers to regrinds, core repair, bearing assembly, balancing, and new core construction. We can work from samples, drawings or provide design and engineering assistance to develop the most effective solution. Learn more about our Roller Covering Solutions today!


Berry Plastics, is a global leader in packaging and protection solutions. They believe we have a responsibility to play a positive role in the communities and environments in which we operate and serve. From the way we operate our facilities, to the industry partnerships we have developed, to our community education programs, Berry is committed to designing our products with the environment in mind.

Hurricane Harvey – August 25-29, 2017

Polyurethane Gib Blocks vs. Babbitt Gib Blocks

Location: 84” Hot Mill Roll Shop
Originally reported:
April 3, 2009

At the 84″ Hot Mill Roll Shop, the Area Manager and his team were experiencing a short life span of three to four weeks from their Gib Blocks that had standard Babbitt material on their Herkules Roll Grinder. The Gib Blocks in question measured 5.118” diameter by 2.717” in overall height and 6.69” diameter and 3.11” in over all height. Two of each is required at time on this machine. Kastalon looking to always come up with a way to ease our clients pain, suggested replacing the standard Babbitt material used throughout the industry for this application, with our specially formulated polyurethane material. The roll shop has now been using Kastalon’s polyurethane Gib Blocks for over a year now with great success. The polyurethane Gib Blocks are lasting four to five times (12 to 16 week life span) longer than the Babbitt material Gib Blocks. Putting a cost savings number to this is as follows.

Due to this mill’s purchasing standards, the area manager was unable to tell us what they were paying for the Gib Blocks to be reconditioned with the Babbitt material, but they did gave us permission to quote him on saying “Kastalon’s material costs substantially less”

The price of the Gib Block reconditioned from Kastalon is as follows:
5.118″ diameter by 2.717” overall height $190.00 ea
6.69″ diameter by 3.11 overall height $225.00 ea
The machine uses two of each at a time for a total of $830.00

$830.00 x 15 times per year with Babbitt material equals $12,450.00
$830.00 x 4 times per year with Kastalon’s Polyurethane equals $3320.00
Savings per year to the mill: $9130.00

Using Kastalon Prices, with the substantial longer life cycle of the Kastalon Gib Blocks, we can show a savings to the mill of $9130.00 per year for one roll grinder. We have now moved passed the testing period and we are outfitting the rest of the grinders with the Kastalon Gib Blocks at the 84″ Roll shop.
In addition, weigh inventory costs, transportation costs, labor costs.

Kastalon Makes Big Dollar Difference for Rewinding Coils

In February of 2007 Kastalon was called to a Steel Mill for interest in our mandrel sleeves. We were called because this particular customer was having issues with the rewinding of their steel coils, as a result of the mandrel sleeves that were being used. They had also tried a few different mandrel sleeves from different vendors without the satisfaction they were looking for. Along with the operating issues, they were just not experiencing a longevity that they felt was adequate.

This particular line was a high speed steel processing line that converted hot band to automotive/appliance grade steel. The area of concern was at the end of the line where they have two rewind mandrels, that they alternate rewinding their finish product with. Most of their steel is considered exposed steel and they guarantee to their customers, 100 % coil usage.

Kastalon met with this customer and discussed their needs and concerns for this particular problem. We obtained drawings of their steel mandrel and engineered a mandrel sleeve that we felt would meet and exceed all of their expectations. In March of 2007, this customer placed an order for one mandrel sleeve for trial. The sleeve worked right out of the box and they ran it for three months, not experiencing any of the issues they had experienced with the prior sleeves. In July of 2007, they placed an order for the second sleeve and outfitted both of their mandrels with Kastalon Mandrel sleeves. They continued to see no reoccurring issues seen from the prior sleeves so they purchased two more sleeves as spares in November of 2007and continue to run problem free. Soon after the two spare sleeves were delivered to the customer, I stopped out and met with the customer to offer them with some tips on how to store and add operating life to all four of their mandrel sleeves. Tips that were never offered to them from previous suppliers.

In June of 2009 an order was received at Kastalon, Inc. for one sleeve. We called the customer to check in and we were told that they had an operator error and that one of the sleeves was tore and that they had to take it out of use. We asked them why they didn’t call us out to take a look at the sleeve before that was determined. They responded that the operator admitted to his error. And that the sleeves were just inspected a few weeks prior and looked as good as new, other that being oily from use. In November of 2011, two more sleeves were ordered. The customer was concerned that they have never had Mandrel Sleeve last this long and wanted to add two more to their inventory in case of a sleeve failure.

Since March of 2007, Kastalon has supplied a total of seven Mandrel Sleeves to this particular line. As of April of 2012, three of the four original sleeves provided by Kastalon are still in use. Remember, one was taken out of use due to operator error. This particular line is considered a High Speed, High Tension, Dual Rewind line. This customer has averaged 1,125,000 tons of steel per year that has been recoiled on our sleeves at an average speed of 1800 feet per minute. Their steel is considered very high quality steel which also adds something to say about our sleeves. (If our sleeves had poor cut resistant properties, we could also create them quality issues with their thinner gauge steel. But they have not experienced any of that.) Our customer has worked with us and together we engineered a sleeve that would meet and exceed their expectations. To say that they are satisfied with Kastalon Mandrel Sleeves is an understatement.

Update: 8/1/14
This customer placed an order for two more Mandrel Sleeves in July of 2014. Two of the original sleeves from 2007 finally wore out. That brings the total amount of sleeves ordered to 9 since 2007. Six of the sleeves are still in working order and are in their rotation being swapped out during downturns every three months.

Total cost of the nine sleeves that have rewound 9,000,000 tons of steel since 2007 have produced an operating cost for Kastalon’s Mandrel sleeves of $0.07 per thousand tons.

Sound Value Being Added to the Workplace

In 1987 society was introduced to a relatively new term called Ergonomics. By definition, the new buzz word means “The study of workplace equipment design or how to arrange and design devices, machines, or workspace so that people and things interact safely and most efficiently.” Countless organizations were formed and research groups began delving into the cause, effect and corrective action required to reduce the occupational injuries associated with the work environment.

As a result of studies and analysis done in the workplace, jobs have been made more efficient, less fatiguing and safer for the employee. OSHA has established a comprehensive strategy and has written a protocol for Developing Industry and Task Specific Ergonomic Guidelines published in June of 2004.

As we continue to search for ways to recognize and control potential hazards in the work place, nearly twenty years later, the newest safety concern to be brought to the forefront is Noise in the Workplace. Noise is often overlooked as a key “ergonomic” element in the workplace, however, the National Hearing Conservation Association has proven otherwise and has formed an alliance with OSHA to develop a hearing conservation programs that can be adopted by industry.

Studies have proven that excessive noise can cause lasting damage to hearing and can be considered dangerous if an employee is exposed to sound levels of 85 decibels or more for prolonged periods. Further, occupational noise has been written into General Industry Safety Orders for many states and has been named to the top 10 OSHA citation list with fines totaling over $206,000 in 2002.

According to OSHA’s 1981 estimates, at least one million workers in manufacturing and utilities had sustained occupational hearing impairments greater than OSHA’s definition of hearing handicap.

Unfortunately, although loss of hearing is the second highest self-reported workplace injury or illness in the United States, it is considered to be 100% preventable.

As automation continues to revolutionize industry, more and more facilities have integrated a material handling conveying system into their work flow in order to move product more efficiently. A conveying system not only brings an efficiency factor but adds an additional noise factor, as well. In conveying environments noise is created by not only the machinery itself, but also the product being conveyed across the belt or metal rollers. In addition, noise can be accentuated by conveying systems being operated at higher speeds.

According to a report published by the Conveyor Product Section of the Material Handling Industry “The primary goal should always be to reduce noise at its source.”

Different conveyor designs create different noise issues to be dealt with. For example Roller tube ringing is a common source of noise in roller based conveying systems. By covering metal rollers with Kastalon Koat-A-Roll® polyurethane conveyor roller sleeves , the roller surface is transformed to a non-marking, shock-absorbing, rugged “slip-on” polyurethane coated conveyor roller. Product is now transported across the urethane material and does not come in contact with the metal roller. Independent field tests have found that simple addition of polyurethane sleeves results in an impressive reduction in operating noise measuring 7-10 decibels.

Benefits of Koat-A-Roll®
Utilizing innovative components such as Koat-A-Roll® conveyor roller sleeves, legacy systems can be retrofitted in the field with inexpensive non-marking, rugged “slip-on” polyurethane roller covers. The value is not only limited to immediate reduction in noise, but the cost effectiveness becomes even more substantial when considering the greater friction and longer component life that is achieved.

For more information about Kastalon Polyurethane Products, visit www.kastalon.com or contact their client relations staff at 800-527-8566.

Steel producer in New Carlisle, Indiana. Mandrel Sleeve made by Kastalon Polyurethane

In May of 2007 we manufactured a mandrel sleeve for their high speed steel processing line. At the rewind end of their line they have two rewind mandrels that work in tandem with each other. Once our sleeve was tested for four months, they placed an order for two more sleeves. One to install on the other mandrel where our test sleeve was not on, and one for a spare. I then also recommended purchasing one more sleeve to make their inventory of mandrel sleeves in house to four. We recommended that because if they would change out the sleeves every six months and allow the sleeves that were just in use, to rest on the floor, that would also increase the longevity of the sleeves. Since May of 2007, they have purchased a total of seven sleeves. The original four were ordered IN 2007, and then one was ordered IN 2008 due to an operator error that tore one of the sleeves off their steel mandrel. And then in November of 2010 two sleeves were order for precaution because they have never experienced mandrel sleeves lasting this long. Three of the original four sleeves are still in service with the two that were ordered in 2010 sitting in their warehouse.

Two competitor’s sleeves of ours were used prior to 2007. Our customer explained to us that they had constant issues with the sleeve not performing correctly. Sizing issues from one sleeve to the next. Constant tension issues from the sleeves slipping (again sizing issues). And short memory life or sagging of the sleeves when the steel mandrel was collapsed for unloading of the coils.

This is a high speed line that usually runs around 2800 feet per minute. This customer has averaged running at around 78 percent of capacity since 2007. You can imagine the amount of times our four sleeves have expanded and collapsed in the past 5 years.

Originally reported in May, 2007