Reverse Engineering of a Conveyor Part
Problem Solving

Reverse Engineering of a Conveyor Part

Reverse engineering can be used for a wide variety of reasons. The process takes a part and deconstructs it to see how it was made and what material it is manufactured from. 

Why is Reverse Engineering used?

When technical drawings and material information are no longer available problems arise for manufacturers who are looking to replace machine parts. This can be a regular occurrence for those manufacturers with older machinery, but it isn’t limited to parts that are weathered. What if the current part (old or new machine) isn’t fulfilling its job due to the material that it is manufactured from? What if the parts are costly to replace or the lead time required to replace them results in down time for a machine for a number of weeks? Reverse Engineering is one tried and tested method to recreate those parts.

The Problem

One of our clients, a manufacturer of confectionary, were experiencing problems with a brass part for one of their conveyors.

They found that the part was wearing down at an expediential rate and becoming expensive to replace. Not only was it wearing down, but it was damaging other tools in the process, resulting in a machine that could potentially be out of action all together.

To replace the part, the OEM gave a 6-10 week lead time, resulting in down time for the client. The OEM part was expensive, so the continual replacement meant costs were stacking up. They required a part that fulfilled its function, but was also practical enough to replace if and when required.

The Solution 

Our client has been using Partwell’s service for many years, and they came to us with this problem, in the hope that once again, our engineers would find a solution.

Partwell Plastic Engineering specialise in the manufacturer of bespoke plastic parts, our engineers work with your engineers to provide a solution that is both practical and functional. 

On this occasion, one of Partwell’s engineers visited the client to fully ascertain the problem. Speaking with the Manufacturing Manager, it was soon understood that conversion from a metal to plastic part was required.

The part was ‘broken down’ and redesigned through the assistance of CAD. Partwell’s engineers then produced the new part on our 5 axis CNC machine using an oil filled nylon plastic. The plastics properties provided lubrication against other parts within the machine eliminating damage to other tools within the machine.

Instead of waiting between 6-10 weeks for the part, it was turned around within 48 hours, which our client was delighted with as they no longer had a machine out of action for weeks.

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