Rulon® J has the Edge in Blade Manufacturing
One of our customers, a major player in the shaving industry, contacted us regarding bearing issues on their blade production line. On this line, the conveyor system has a section where titanium grinding wheels are used to sharpen stainless steel to very tight tolerances and thin cross sections.
The grinding process produces very fine particulate and the conveyor rollers were using Oilite bronze bushings, which (by design) release oil due to the porosity of the bronze. When combined with the titanium dust, a byproduct of the process, this oil became a lapping compound and quickly wore out both the shaft and bushings. This customer reported they were replacing the bronze bushings about once a week and the hardened steel shaft every 2-3 months!
Eliminating the Lubrication and Adding Wear Inhibitors Seemed Like the Right Path – Enter Rulon
TriStar’s engineering team looked at all the parameters of the application including speed, load, temperature, and potential cost savings and selected Rulon J to replace the Oilite bronze. We were confident the inherent self-lubricating capabilities of Rulon along with a filler in the J variant that adds great wear resistance, gave us a potential cost saving option.
One of the unique properties of Rulon is its ability to absorb large amounts of fine particulate into the bearing without adding any abrasion to the shaft. As a result of this change, the customer went from changing out bearings once a week to once every 5-6 weeks. The shaft was also protected and thereafter only had to be replaced once a year.
A Simple and Elegant Solution – with Cost Savings that Quickly Added Up
While this may not sound like a significant improvement, consider the fact that there are several hundred bearings in this production line and significantly reducing the number of ruined shafts and the cost savings in reduced maintenance and downtime added up quickly. Even with the higher initial cost of the Rulon J bearings, our customer estimates the change saved them over $100,000 per year. This production line runs 24/7, so it was a major victory for the maintenance team – and for TriStar.
TriStar is the Exclusive Distributor of Rulon in North America – Learn More About What We Can do for You
If you are interested in learning more about the versatility of the Rulon product line, we invite you to check our material product page and our library of case studies. If you think Rulon (or any of our high-performance bearing materials) can help improve your processes, please feel free to reach out with the details.