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Reducing Caster Failure and Replacement Costs Food for Thought for Large Food Processor.

Situation:

In a classic case of low cost versus total cost of ownership, a large food processor was experiencing frequent caster and wheel failures. This was a problem that shortened the life cycle on the operation’s wash-down carts. The caster failure was that the bearing was seizing in the swivel section and eventually fracturing the kingpin. 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 downtime and frequent repair costs.

Solution:

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

Return On Investment:

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.