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Steel / Aluminum / Metalworking Problems & Solutions

Clutch For Remote Car Shredder


Our customer wanted to set up a car shredding operation in a remote northern part of Pennsylvania. However, there was not sufficient electrical service in the area to drive the large electrical motors.


Our customer designed a diesel drive system which eliminated the need for additional electrical service. We supplied the Wichita clutches that allow the operator to use the diesels with a shredder. Starting, warm-up, stopping and overload protection are all accomplished with the air actuated units.

Detachable Clutch Reduces Steel Coated Downtime


A local steel finisher found that when the universal spindles on his coating line required rebuilding, he was losing an excessive amount of time changing out parts.


We came up with a spindle assembly which included a piloted bolt on his hubs on both ends. This reduced downtime from nearly an hour to a matter of minutes.

Medart U-Joint Upgrade


Our customer operates several old Medart straighteners which include fairly large custom fabricated universal assemblies. Over the years, the price and availability of parts for these custom assemblies had gotten worse and worse.


We did a careful review of the application with our customer. A preliminary review showed that we could supply a replacement of current design. In detailing a final selection, our customer asked if we could come up with a single shaft to replace the two different lengths currently in operation. Closer examination revealed that they were absorbing axial slip for roll movement in their gear box. We discussed using a mid-slip universal shaft for this purpose. On a subsequent visit, we took careful axial measurements and determined both installations could be met if the gear boxes could be fixed in specific positions. The result is one shaft for both locations. Additionally, the new assembly is a superior design with reasonable price and availability. This upgrade will result in less down time and lower maintenance costs.

Roll Change Timesaver


A local steel mill found that they were losing several hours at each roll change while disconnecting and reconnecting the universal spindle.


We reviewed the installation and found that working out the ten bolts in tight quarters was the time consuming part of the job.

Despite the heavy duty nature of this rolling mill, we were able to come up with a suitable quick release device. Fitting between the universal joint flange and roll flange, the shaft can be removed by turning a single bolt which is readily accessible.

We worked closely with the mill to detail the shaft changes to accommodate the quick release coupling.

If down time is your enemy, GET US INVOLVED.

Obsolete Electrical Wear Parts: Contacts - Brushes - Shunts


Several of our customers complained that they could not come up with a variety of electrical wear parts for their O/H cranes. Some components couldn't be identified, others had been obsoleted. In some instances parts were available but excessively expensive.


We have been able to pool some of our sources to come up with many of these hard to find parts at equitable prices.

If you can give us an OEM part number, sketch or used part, we will try our best. Don't limit your needs to O/H crane parts. We are supplying components for a wide variety of industrial equipment.

On some of the more expensive items - rebuild service is also available.

Fingers, silvertips, segments, holders, etc. - Let us see if we can help you.

Rolling Mill Spline Problem


This Pennsylvania steel rolling operation had a midshaft spline seize. The rest of the drive was in good shape and less than a year old. There hadn't been any serious "crashes", so they were puzzled as to what happened.


We reviewed the system and their operating procedures. We found that in order to facilitate quicker roll changes, the roll end companion flange bores had been opened up.

Our experience has shown that a "loose fit" at any of the connecting points will result in excessive mid-shaft spline loading.

Our customer replaced the shaft and tightened their roll end fit. Let us know if you would like us to review your drive system and operating procedures.

Large Spindle Upgrade


This steel mill is currently operating a slipper spindle coupling on their large reversing roughing mill. Unfortunately, they do have a high wear rate and the associated "slapping" causes other wear and fatigue failures in the drive system.


A more popular approach is to do half the upgrade at a time. Since the roll end is the higher wear side, it is possible to replace that side with a universal joint while keeping the slipper on the drive side.

This reduces the initial capital expense and outage time. The drive side can be upgraded at a later time.

This two stage approach makes slipper spindle upgrades much more practical.

Uncoiler Feed


Starting and threading steel from a 5000 pound coil to a slitter can be very tough. Our customer had a stand with a hydraulic motor and mechanical clutch to feed the coil strip. Unfortunately, the starting shock regularly destroyed the clutch.


We reviewed the installation and found a limited existing envelope and very high starting torque capacity from the hydraulic motor.

We decided to use a flexible coupling with a known overload limit and an over-running clutch for the automatic disconnect required once the feed process is complete.

After some custom modification and mounting, this unique assembly was installed. Not only did it work, but the automatic feature simplified the whole operation.

Wean Mandrel Wear Liners


During normal operation, four cast iron components ride against an unlubricated circular aluminum bronze segmented liner ring.

Unfortunately, this customer was experiencing high wear resulting in undersized inner coil diameters and steps in finished coils. The liners also required frequent replacement.


We were able to supply self-lubricating composite liners that lasted 6-10 times longer than aluminum bronze. Not only were maintenance costs significantly reduced, but productivity and quality improved as well.

If you have a high wear, troublesome liner problem let us find a better alternative for you.

Slitter/Rewind Excessive Brake Heat


Our customer operates an old slitter/rewind. As usually happens, they were pushing for more and more production. Higher speeds and increased tension resulted in excessive heat. The higher temperatures resulted in excessive brake wear.


This is a classic situation, trying to do more work than a brake was originally designed to do. The simple answer is a larger brake, however mounting and envelope often eliminate this approach.

We always try to upgrade friction material or other components prior to throwing out the original equipment. Given the location of the brake, this turned out to be the most practical approach.

We bonded a special plastic friction material to their existing 18" diameter disc. Testing was successful. The brake has been operating without problems for 2 years in Antarctica.

Universal-Joint Solves Misalignment Problem For Steel Mill


The existing Ajax gear coupling could not cope with the misalignment required for this pickling line drive. The lubricant leaks out because of grease seal wear causing the coupling to fail. Because there are a number of couplings involved, this problem generated significant down time and required a sizable investment in spare parts.


After a careful review of the application, we suggested a custom universal joint assembly that we could build to fit their floating shaft requirement. They liked the idea and were anxious to make the change, but were disappointed that their coupling stock would be obsoleted. It turns out that we were able to make up the universal shafts with special end plates that would drop right in with no modifications allowing them to use their old inventory.

This design has been running for several years and all of the gear couplings have been replaced. Let us know if you need a custom assembly for an upgrade.

Stamping Press Keyway Wear


Our customer operates a relatively large, high cycle rate press that consistently "wallowed" out the key way. As often happens, this situation snowballed until the key failed and the shaft was damaged.

Despite careful attention and tighter tolerances, they still found that this was their most frequent maintenance problem with the press.


The keyway involved was located in the hub of the air activated clutch on this press. Despite some significant space constraints, we were able to come up with a hub modification that included a mechanical clamping device.

This approach eliminated all of the clearance. As a result, they no longer experience key failure. You may want to try this, if you are limited by key life.

Reducing Maintenance On Overhead Cranes


Our customer was relining his drum brake shoes every 2-4 weeks. Since we were supplying the linings, it was good for us but we realized it was not good for our customer. We suggested that they let us review the application.


We found their highest usage was on their shipping cranes, which operated at capacity 24 hours-per-day, 7 days-a-week. The existing hoist brake was a 13-inch drum design. After a careful review of the mounting and envelope, we proposed a 17-inch diameter disc brake. We knew that the increased swept surface would significantly reduce the contact temperatures. As a result, we anticipated a large drop in friction wear.

It took a mounting modification, but they agreed it was worth a try. We were both right. The new caliper disc brake lasted a year prior to friction puck change. Since then, our customer has upgraded the brakes on all of their shipping cranes and is now working on production cranes.

Wire Processor Quick Coupling Repair


A steel wire processor used a rubber element coupling to drive a draw works. Over the years, shock loads and misalignment resulted in regular element failures. The coupling failures necessitated an extended down time because the motor had to be moved to replace the coupling element.


The tight envelope and mounting arrangement would not allow them to eliminate the misalignment. Given these constraints, we suggested they consider our HD coupling design, which offered a bit more misalignment capacity. Additionally and more importantly, our design allowed for element replacement without moving the motor, a significant downtime savings.

Our HD model also disconnects completely upon failure reducing the chances of additional damage. Let us see if we can help you reduce down time and minimize damage.

Crop Shear Safety Brake


Our steel mill customer experienced blade drift on his crop shear during "cobble cuts." This not only represented a safety concern, but it occasionally made contact with the steel, resulting in production problems.


We reviewed their overall process to identify location options for a parking brake. Additionally, they stipulated an electrically set, normally open design.

We came up with a caliper disc brake that would mount on their existing gear coupling between the motor and gear box. This approach did not require any major equipment movement or layout changes.

The result was a simple, cost effective solution to their shear drift problem—eliminating safety and production concerns.