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 Needed to reduce caster wheel failure, downtime, delivery lead time, and replacement costs

Situation

A large EV manufacturer was using a paint skid to transport large parts from the paint area to the assembly area. The skid traveled inside on smooth flooring and outside on the rough pavement. When traveling outside, uneven pavement and loose gravel frequently caused the imported phenolic resin wheels to chip, gouge, and break,  causing wheel damage and caster failures. This was a problem that shortened the life cycle of the operator’s transfer carts.

Because the existing phenolic resin wheels could not hold up to the continual rough environment, the cost to the customer was significant. Expenditures included caster-wheel failure, downtime, long delivery lead-time, and frequent replacement costs.

Solution

Twergo Wheel with T/R 95 Tread

To solve these challenges, the 77 Series maintenance-free caster from Caster Concepts was chosen with a Twergo® Wheel and a T/R 95 tread.  The 77 Series Caster incorporates a dual (sealed precision) bearing design to keep out dust and dirt while ensuring a smooth and easy swivel section rotation with a maximum capacity of up to 3,500 lbs per caster.

This caster series is the first in the Maintenance Free line to support 3″ wide wheels up to a 10″ diameter. When coupled with TWERGO 3″ wide wheels, this caster provides excellent ergonomic performance, even with a wider wheel. One main reason is that Twergo features 3 separate wheels that spin and rotate independently.

This design minimizes friction and reduces the force needed to start the cart rolling and moving. The precision dual bearings in the swivel section also help reduce push force when starting the cart rolling, while the wheels are not all parallel.

The outdoor application also required a tough poly wheel, which is why the T/R 95 tread was chosen. While many polyurethanes offer a 95A Shore hardness, the T/R 95 tread achieves a higher tear resistance and greater strength for extended wear in difficult applications.  This formulation also achieves good solvent and oil resistance.

The next step was a trial run which proved immediately successful. The casters/wheels held up to the rough outside environment and ran smoothly on the inside of the plant.

Results                                                                                                                                      

Eliminating the need to ship parts from Europe reduced delivery time from 16 weeks to 3 weeks. This also significantly reduced freight costs since parts were now shipped from Caster Concept’s facility in Albion, MI. In addition, costs associated with expedited air freight were eliminated.

Another important consideration was the dollar value realized with less downtime. It was costing the customer approximately $1,000 every time a caster had to be replaced, and at ten-plus casters a month, including the costs of maintenance, it was costing thousands.

In the end, the customer was extremely satisfied with CCI’s response time and expertise in providing exactly what the customer needed. Caster Concepts is looking forward to future opportunities with the customer.