Our Engineers are regularly called upon to develop engineered solutions for a specific need, usually to bolster the output of a machine or improve efficiency on a production line or manufacturing process. Working this way, face to face, with our customers often leads to long term valued customer relationships.
One recent example involved a manufacturer who, having developed a new range of components used in pharmaceuticals, needed their tumbling machine modifying so that the deburring and polishing of the new parts could be successfully completed.
The tumbling machine, part of the customer’s finishing process, was originally designed for smaller components. As the new range of components was larger, they needed to use a bigger media. As the media was larger than the components, they needed a way of separating the components from the media by allowing the components to drop through the separator. This meant they essentially needed a ‘double decker’ separator.
With no drawings available, our Technical Sales Engineer arranged a site visit to meet with the Project Engineers and examine the tumbling machine. The machine was decommissioned and brought back to Partwell. This allowed our team to take measurements and dimensions in order to develop new parts.
Armed with a complete understanding of the requirements, the Partwell Engineering Team set about designing and manufacturing a ‘double decker’ part separator. The new separator was then delivered to the site for testing within the customer’s critical 4-day time frame. Testing was carried out thoroughly, overseen by our engineer who was on hand should there be any other requirements. After a few days on a trial period, we got the OK from the customer as they announced they were starting batch production using their new separator.
The new design allows the polished components to fall securely onto the base plate, while the media passes over the top and back into the machine. The design also includes a ramp that allows parts to move up into the top layer of the separator as required.
It was decided we would use HMWPE for this project, due to its cost effectiveness and material availability. We recommended a more resilient material for future replacement once the effects of wear and tear begin to show. But that will not be for some time. It was also imperative that the material selected would be lightweight and easy to carry as these separators are regularly changed over to suit different components in the customer’s product range.