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Case Study: Finding a Long-Term Cost-Saving Solution for Food Processor Use

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In a classic case of low cost versus total cost of ownership, a large food processor was experiencing frequent caster and wheel failures which shortened the life cycle on wash-down carts being used in operations. The caster failure was that the bearing was seizing in the swivel section and eventually fracturing the king pin. The wheel failure was related to moisture. The existing phenolic resin wheel could not hold up to the continual wash-down environment. The cost to the end user was significant down time and frequent repair costs. In a fit of frustration, the end user stated, “These casters are a piece of junk and must be replaced.”

Upon finding the Caster Concepts through an online search for a solution, they discovered Caster Concepts.

The Caster Concepts engineering team developed a kingpinless caster with a sealed swivel bearing. Using a sealed bearing prevented any moisture from entering the raceway, thus subsequent corrosion and poor performance was eliminated. The engineered solution for the wheel was the utilization of a polyurethane polymer that was moisture resistant on a grey iron core. To prevent rusting and deterioration of the core, the wheel core was plated. This prolonged the life of the wheel to guarantee lasting products.

While the customer’s initial cost of the caster purchased was 3 times greater than the previous, failing product, the new caster had a life cycle 5 times greater than the original product. Downtime due to caster failure and replacement costs was reduced by greater than 50%. There was also a 75% decrease in maintenance labor costs. The customer estimated that the ROI over a one-year period of time was in excess of 75% for this product.

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