A major pipe manufacturer located in the southern United States was facing recurring problems with the polyurethane V-rollers used in their pipe processing operations. These rollers were failing too often, causing interruptions in the manufacturing process. The results were high maintenance costs and lost revenues due to downtime. The company needed a reliable domestic source to decrease the cost of replacement parts and provide them quickly.
Caster Concepts conducted a thorough investigation of the failure mode of the polyurethane V-rollers. They quickly identified a polymer with better dynamic properties that offered a significantly longer product lifecycle. It became evident that the failure mode was very similar to that encountered with many cart applications.
First, we developed a process to remanufacture and recover existing failed rollers, saving the customer significant costs from replacing expensive parts. Second, the new polyurethane product outperformed the failed material in terms of dynamic properties, resulting in increased lifecycle and decreased downtime for the pipe manufacturer.
The benefits for the customer were two-fold. First, by recovering the shaft from the failed part and applying the new polyurethane roller, they saved on replacement costs. Second, the new polyurethane product offered a longer lifecycle, decreasing downtime and maintenance costs. The return on investment (ROI) for the project was estimated to be well over 100% during the first twelve months of product development.
In conclusion, Caster Concepts was able to help the pipe manufacturer reduce downtime and maintenance costs by identifying the root cause of the failures, developing a new polyurethane product with better dynamic properties, and recovering existing failed rollers. The solution was so successful that the ROI was estimated to be well over 100% in the first twelve months of product development. Our partnership continues to benefit the customer, as they pursue innovative ways to prolong the life of the rollers and offer even more cost savings.