20 Years Strong – Retractable Roof Springs

#20YearsStrong #RetractableRoofSprings #AstroBaseballStadium In this project, the project manager needed a specialized spring that would compress when the wheels met a high spot on the rail. The Uni-Systems design team, along with engineers at Kastalon Polyurethane Products, selected a specialized Kastalon Polyurethane to make the elastomeric springs. With the planned two-decade lifespan now almost upon us, we are bringing out the plans and molds again! Thank you for this repeat business and we’re proud of the success behind Kastalon Polyurethane Spring Systems. If you need a non-metalic, or partial metallic/elastomeric spring system, call on Kastalon today!


Polyurethane covered plates absorb the force of the initial impact on flight deck

Kastalon’s polyurethane covered plates help absorb the initial impact of the cable assembly on the flight deck, of the new aircraft carrier, the CVN 78 Gerald Ford.

Kastalon is proud to be a Department of Defense (DOD) sub-contractor for the new aircraft carrier, the CVN 78 Gerald Ford. Not only is the Ford class aircraft carrier the most powerful ship in the world, it’s technology is the most advanced in the entire fleet. If you look at time frames 2:10 through 2:27, you will see 3 angled areas on the deck just after the arresting cable. These are polyurethane covered plates that absorb the initial impact of the cable assembly with the flight deck. To get an idea of the forces and nature of the impact at 2:22 you will see sparks from the cable dragged across the deck after the polyurethane absorbed the force of the initial impact. This is incredibly brutal to the arresting wire equipment. Without the protection provided by the pads the arresting wire would be compromised which could result in failure and the loss of the aircraft, perhaps the pilot as well.

During the ship’s Independent Steaming Exercises (ISE), USS Gerald R. Ford’s crew tested and evaluated the ship’s capabilities, including 83 aircraft launches and recoveries. For these flight operations, the new launch and recovery technologies, Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS) and the Advanced Arresting Gear (AAG), were on display.


We are very proud of the fact that Kastalon worked with Navel Engineering to develop the design and is the only manufacturer qualified to supply these pads. Kastalon’s parts and products are in nuclear submarines, mining, heavy equipment, material handling systems, steel and metals manufacturing and processing, converting, food, packaging, aircraft, and even on the space shuttle and space station. From deep sea to deep space, Kastalon manufactures the most innovative, highest quality polyurethane components for military, industrial and commercial equipment systems.

The Aircraft Carrier Industrial Base Coalition (ACIBC) represents businesses that supply parts, equipment and services for the construction and maintenance of U.S. Navy aircraft carriers. Established in 2004, ACIBC seeks to preserve the strength of the aircraft carrier force and promote the value of the aircraft carrier industrial base as a vital part of the nation’s overall defense structure.

Source: US Navy. Originally reported by ACIBC (The Aircraft Carrier Industrial Base Coalition). Photo Credit: US Navy/Erik Hildebrandt

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

Filler Plates – Cargill Steel

As the global demand continues to grow for light gauge metals in the automotive, appliance and building material markets, the metal coil processors must adapt to the unique challenges of producing surface-sensitive materials.

Because the pre-finished metal surface is more susceptible to scratches or damage, they must pay extra attention to the equipment and the handling of the coils.

Cargill Steel, East Chicago addressed their desire to successfully process light gauge materials by purchasing a new re-coiler reel for this application. Unfortunately, they continued to experience creasing, “head-in” damage, and marks on their finished product. They made several process changes as well as modifications to the reel but could not obtain an end product that they believed would be acceptable to the market that they were trying to attract. As a result, they moved away from those customers.

Cargill Steel started investigating ways to eliminate the damage they were experiencing and sought the assistance of Kastalon Polyurethane Products , who are well known for their coil protection solutions. After many months of design and engineering reviews, Kastalon made the recommendation to outfit the reel with a multi-segment bolt-on set of engineered polyurethane filler plates.

Once the filler plates were installed and put into service, several different gauges were run. The first was a .070/.071 thickness. This coil ran twice through the line and re-coiled twice on the filler plates. No markings could be felt. The second coil run was considered light gauge at .017 thickness. This coil also ran through the line and re-coiled twice on the filler plates. Again, the Quality Control Supervisor reported no marks.

Customer Value

The success of these coils has since allowed Cargill Steel to go after the light gauge market. In addition to the added business opportunity, the Kastalon Polyurethane Filler Plates are far lighter than steel, thereby allowing for faster change-outs and reduced maintenance costs have further improved operating efficiency.

Koat-A-Roll® – Doncaster Gear Products

Doncaster Gear Products specialize in forging and machining their own gears. As part of the forging process, they blast many different parts. For this process they make steel fixtures to set the parts on as they are fed into the automatic blaster. These fixtures represent a significant investment as hundreds are made annually, however, the blaster wears them away over time.

Attempting to find a way to give these fixtures a longer life, Doncaster Gear purchased Koat-A-Roll® polyurethane sleeves to put over the fixtures. Although not a standard application for Koat-A-Roll conveyer roller sleeves, the exception wear properties of the material and the cylindrical shape made it a perfect fit.

Customer Value
Within the first year, Doncaster realized a $2,000-$3,000 savings in material and machining cost. According to Dave Quarnstrom, “Although this is an unconventional use of the product, it was a great investment.”

Fork-Kushions® – Siding Manufacturer

A quality control supervisor of a globally recognized manufacturer of engineered wood siding was continually experiencing significant damage caused by their forklifts picking up bundles of siding. Unique to the industry, their siding boards are denser and more rigid than traditional strand board siding, however, this rigidness also makes the sharp edge more susceptible to damage when coming in contact with the back of a lift truck. As a result, the supervisor searched for possible solutions.

Upon investigation, the supervisor learned of a revolutionary forklift bumper system called Fork-Kushions® that had proven to provide impressive damage control. Due to the sharp edge of the siding, it was determined that the “cut-resistant” style with its durable outer surface and it’s shock absorbent center would be the best fit to test against their application.

Customer Value
After 2 weeks of putting the Bumper into service they saw a 30% reduction in Broken Board. There was also a reduction in Siding interlocking with itself when the forklift picked up the tiers of newly milled siding. Although this was not a defect, it did cause safety and ergonomic issues and was greatly reduced by using the bumpers. The only concern they had was that they were going to have to purchase a longer fork for the forklifts to make up for the 1-1/2″ they lost for the bumper and it’s bracket.

After a full 3 months in service, the Fork-Kushions combined with the hydraulic carriage dampers for the fork lifts resulted in about an impressive 60% reduction of in process damaged board.

Fork-Kushions® – Masonite

Exemplifying manufacturing excellence, one of the a world’s leading manufacturer of interior doors, entry doors, french doors and glass doors felt it important to address the scratches and dents being caused by the forklifts transporting their product throughout the production facility and shipping area. The challenge was to find a process improvement that could realistically and economically prove effective, and increase the volume of quality going out the door.

Having heard of the new innovative bumper system developed by Kastalon , the plant management enlisted our assistance in matching the right bumper for the application. Kastalon recommended a soft grade Fork-Kushion® to absorb the doors impact while providing a non-scratching, non-marring surface for the doors to rest as the load is shifted back on the forks.

Customer Value

Customer immediately saw a reduction in their damage. The improvement not only saved significant dollars in the time and material used to touch-up and repair the damage, but it also improved the shipment times. Within 30 days, the reduction in damage was so significant that management issued a mandate that all forklift trucks be outfitted with a set of Fork-Kushions.

Expanding Mandrel Sleeves – Titan Steel

Challenge/Problem/Issue –
Titan Steel was not satisfied with the scrap rate they were experiencing on the coil processing lines and wanted to find a way to maximize their output.

As one of the worlds largest distributors of tinmill and an important distributor of steel plate including pressure vessel plate, hot and cold rolled steel, coated steel products including galvanized steel and prepainted steel, efficiency are extremely important.

Kastalon engineered expanding mandrel sleeves made from specifically formulated Kastalon Polyurethane® with exceptional wear properties and expansion capabilities. The mandrel sleeve not only increased the diameter of the mandrel but significantly reduced the damage and reduced the manpower required for change-outs.

Customer Value
According to the Plant Manager, “Kastalon’s Expanding Mandrel Sleeves virtually paid for themselves the moment we unwound our first coil. With coil prices at a premium, every effort to maximize our output must be made and we look to Kastalon to help design products such as Mandrel Sleeves. An initial investment on our part has optimized our production, giving our customers an excellent finished product while maximizing our operating profits.”

Running 180,000lbs per day, Titan Steel calculated a yield of 50-75 more sheet-per-coil on their blanking line using Kastalon’s Expanded Mandrel Sleeves. At a estimated cost of $2.00 per sheet, that represents a savings of $800-1000 per day, which does not include the huge cost savings in the manpower required to scrap the previously damaged sheets.

Member Spotlight on Bruce DeMent of Kastalon, Inc.

Chicago Family Business Council: Congratulations on celebrating your company’s 50th anniversary! Can you tell us a little history on Kastalon, Inc.?

Bruce DeMent: Kastalon, Inc. is in the business of designing, engineering and manufacturing polyurethane rubber OE and MRO components for a wide variety of applications and industries. Some of our primary industries are: steel and metals manufacturing, heavy equipment, military, aerospace, materials handling, industrial machinery, food, mining, appliances, building materials and any opportunity requiring high quality polyurethane parts.

The company was founded in 1963 by my father Robert DeMent and 2 of his friends. This was one year after John Glenn orbited the earth and the term “space-age” material was first coined. Like most entrepreneurial starts, my father was a partner in a very small company and was looking for a new opportunity. He “put the word out” that he was looking for something to do and was approached by two friends who were looking for a partner to help them launch a new business. They had heard about a new material called polyurethane that was the next best thing since sliced bread. They were unsure what the material would do, but it was great! Outside of not being able to pronounce the name of the material, and knowing it was “space age material” my dad and his friends began the partnership. My dad would work, they would invest.

During the first year, the business was housed in a space equivalent to a one car garage which was borrowed from one of the partner’s fathers. My dad worked long hours and would bring home parts he made during the day for my brother and I to trim, clean and get ready for shipment in the morning.

After the first year, the business was in the red and the partners had enough. They expected to make at least double their money during this time. My dad knew the company was about to make a profit, but they had enough. In an act of bravado, my dad offered to buy them out for the return they wanted. He thought they would see his confidence and stay in the business. Instead, they accepted his offer, and for the second time in a little over a year my dad had to beg and borrow from the family and anywhere he could to obtain the money. No bank would touch the loan. He was “all in”, on his own and had to vacate the borrowed location. These were very tough times.

Subsequently, we moved, expanded, and moved again to our current 50,000 ft. facility. We grew from a one man shop mixing chemicals in soup and coffee cans that my brother and I collected and washed, to a 75 person state-of-the-art manufacturing facility supplying industries from deep sea to deep space with highly engineered polyurethane elastomeric components.

CFBC: What family members work with you in the business?

BD: At this time we have 4 family members in the business, myself, brother, a cousin and my son Bob who is a member of Aperion forum.

CFBC: How did you hear about the CFBC and what motivated you to join?

BD: I am a charter member of the CFBC. I was contacted in a phone call by Dennis DuBois asking if I would be interested in joining an exclusive organization of family businesses that was being formed and affiliated with UIC. I hesitated and he said there was a kick off dinner at a penthouse atop the 4 Seasons Hotel. He had me then!

The dinner got me started, I heard the spiel about meeting with other family business CEO’s and the very interesting concept of forum. I joined, figuring if this was bogus I would be quickly gone. After the first forum meeting of the Alpha forum I was sold. The people, experiences and opportunity to learn in a way that was not available anywhere else. I have been involved as much as possible ever since.

CFBC: How has the CFBC helped your company succeed?

BD: There isn’t enough room to tell how the CFBC has helped my company succeed! Briefly, the CFBC has provided me with access to resources, both with our strategic partners and membership I would not have otherwise had. The education I have gained from the many excellent speakers, seminars, discussions and interaction with other CEO’s has given me great insight in guiding my company over these many years. This insight has helped me to avoid many pitfalls and appreciate many opportunities that I would have missed without my CFBC experience and support.

CFBC: What has been the most rewarding aspect of your experience with your forum
and the CFBC?

BD: By far the most rewarding experience of the CFBC is the friendship and support of the wonderful like-minded people I have met, many of whom have become close friends. Without the CFBC I would never have been able to meet these people or know them on such a close personal level.

CFBC: Is there one thing you have learned from being a member of CFBC that has impacted your business or your life the most?

BD: There are so many things I have learned that have had great positive impact on me, boiling down the experience to one thing does not do the organization justice. But to answer your question, the one thing that has had the greatest impact is the application of forum protocol and its application of Emotional Intelligence in both my business and personal lives. This has literally been life changing for me. Without the CFBC, I would never have learned of or understood this powerful way of thinking, living.

CFBC: What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

BD: One thing I greatly enjoy in my free time is riding one of my motorcycles. I have a 1996 Road King that I just had completely reworked. I love that bike, I am a bit vertically challenged, but now that it has been lowered, it is really sweet. I also have a 2012, Soft Tail Convertible Screaming Eagle. I took that for a break in ride last May to the Smoky Mountains with my forum bother Tony Gfesser. I have made many rides with others from the CFBC and am going to Sturgis this summer.

CFBC: What one book would you recommend to your fellow CFBC members?

BD: I have a whole bibliography of business related books that have greatly benefitted me and my business, but if I had to narrow it down to only one, without a question it would be Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ by Daniel Goleman.

CFBC: What are your plans for the future?

BD: My plans for the future were in a bit of a state of flux. My brother, and equal partner, is retiring late next year. We have been considering our options regarding succession. For a time we were strongly considering selling and retirement. I was ambivalent about retiring and since then we have reached agreement where I will purchase my brother’s interest. I will continue to work at what I love to do for some years to come. (I will hire people for the other parts!)

CFBC: What was your first job?

BD: My first job was at the age of 11, my brother and I cut grass for some neighbors and friends of our family. The most memorable and worst was the lawn of a home with 3 large dogs. Hot August days weren’t pretty! We had these lawns because other kids wouldn’t cut them. The lesson of doing a little more difficult things, and the little greater reward associated with them has carried over into my business life. We still produce many things our competitors cannot or will not manufacture.

CFBC: Can you describe your ideal customer?

BD: Our ideal customer is one who appreciates our customer intimate approach and allows us to use our skill and expertise to solve their problems. We are expert in our field and when we have a customer who allows us to utilize our abilities we can provide our customer with the greatest value. Not only does this provide the greatest benefit to our customer and ourselves, we have more fun!

This entry was posted in Blog, Spotlight and tagged 50th Anniversary, Bruce DeMent, CFBC, Chicago Family Business Council, Entrepreneurs, family business, Kastalon Inc. Posted on February 8th, 2013 by Judy Hogel