Designing Rollers – Kastalon helps companies save by joining their design team!

When designing a roller assembly it is critical to take into consideration the actual application and environment that rollers will be operating in. Although the drawing might be accurate, it is essential to involve your roller manufacturer in the design phase to assist in choosing the right polyurethane compound that the roller will be covered with. Not all polyurethanes are the same, but understanding how the roller is going to be used and where the roller will be located, is essential in choosing the right material that will result in the best performance.

To avoid over engineering a roller assembly, which can affect the cost and lead time, the roller manufacturer can help choose the proper material with adequate tolerances for the specific application being planned. For example, calling out a very tight tolerance can drive up the cost of the roller unnecessarily.

This is where Kastalon can help.

Recently, a customer gave us a drawing for a new roller assembly for a new process. The engineers called out a TIR of .005. After several months of receiving the rollers as requested, they sat down with us and shared their concern that the cost of the rollers was negatively impacting their ability to sell their new system. Once they shared the actual application and environment with our design engineers it was determined by opening up the tolerance to .015, the cost could be reduced by more 20% with no effect on quality, life expectancy or system efficiency. The lead time was also significantly reduced and the outcome was the customer’s ability to deliver their new system at a lower cost and a reduced lead time.

We like to think that having us on your design team is a win, win proposition!

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