Intech Power-Core Thermoplastics Engineering Blog

Cannex 2013 - Booth 934 Atlanta May1-3 2013

Posted by Alexander Bartosch on Apr 22, 2013 2:03:00 PM

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Cannex 2013 May 1 -3.  Intech is proudly presenting its full line of light-weight , long wearing, and self lubricating components for the can making industry. Stop by Booth 934 for more information about Intech's patented self lubricating Square Rams for Belvac Neckers, Our Patent Pending line of Cam Followers, and our full line of necker and body maker gears, Inker blades, and air selector face seals.

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Following in the tradition of engineering and manufacturing light weight, self-lubricating gears and cam followers, since 1993 Intech has been developing long wearing, lubrication free machine components for the can making industry. These components, some running several times longer than the original components, reduce operating costs by eliminating lubrication, allowing increased output by lowering inertia and by reducing the amount of maintenance and down time through increased component life. Reduced energy consumption comes as a welcome bonus.

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Eliminating lubrication while increasing machine speed and at the same time reducing wear and extending components’ life seems contradictory, yet we accomplished this goal by using new light weight materials, advanced coatings, and by improving existing design.  We also use the latest engineering software to design and calculate the structural integrity of the parts.


Our engineers spent time analyzing the reasons for high wear, high rejection rates and component’s premature failure. Based on the analysis, we were able to design parts to counter the forces leading to wear, failure, etc., often developing new engineering calculations to assess the useful life of the components. In the process we registered several patents. Our efforts are rewarded with parts that last beyond our initial expectations, and produce savings greatly improving the ROI. For example, many of the patented Intech square rams initially installed in the year 1999 on a 595 Belvac necker are still in operation, continuously running between 2450 and 2700 cpm without lubrication, and a measurement of  electrical consumption on the 795 line with installed Intech rams show 25% energy savings.


With the introduction in 2006 of Intech composite cam followers in the necking operation, we have succeeded in developing a 100% self lubricating ram. No more grease build-up on the turret and perhaps more importantly, no more cam wear. 

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Download a whitepaper on how and why Intech designed it's patented sqare rams by following the link below:

Download the design case study

Tags: Intech Necker Gears, Cannex 2013, Belvac 595, Plastic Cam follower, Intech Rams

Actuator Redesign For High-Speed Belvac 795 Can Making Machine

Posted by Alexander Bartosch on Feb 25, 2013 12:01:00 PM

Though the necker on a can making line performs a very specialized task, the mechanical subsystems found on this machine offers a number of design lessons that can be applied more broadly by any engineer working to improve the performance and reliability of high-speed equipment.

Consider, for example, the necker’s cam-driven ram actuators. Mounted on a rotating turret and moving at speeds up to 250 strokes per minute, these rams push the round can shell onto a series of shaping dies that gradually reduce the diameter of the can to form its neck.

Traditionally, these Belvac rams have consisted of a round moving pin that translates axially within a barrel-like steel housing, with a machined keyway to keep the pin from rotating. The ram was driven directly via a pair of metal cam followers that mount on the rear end of the pin and engage a stationary cam.

That design, however, suffered from three problems in the field. For one, it required an aggressive lubrication regimen to combat ram and cam wear. For another, it allowed the pin to lift and twist in the barrel, causing premature wear that extends all the way back to the can. And lastly, the traditional design limited the operating speed of the necker.

We eliminated all three problems with a radical redesign of the ram that:

  • Eliminated the need for lubrication. The redesign replaced lubrication-hungry metals with lube-free polymers wherever possible. The redesign completely does away with the metal-on-metal wear between the cam and cam followers, which had been the primary failure mode with the traditional ram design.

  • Optimized the geometry of the ram. The redesign features a square ram, rather than round. The square ram does a far better job at managing the actuator’s on- and off-axis forces. It also guides the pin more effectively, reducing wear.

  • Removed moving mass. Thanks to the use of polymer components and structural aluminum, the redesigned ram weighs in at less than half the weight of the traditional round ram design. Total reduction of moving mass on a 10-stage line is nearly one metric ton.

Now in use by can makers around the world, the redesigned ram has offered a compelling payback. It has resulted in reduced maintenance costs, including the elimination of expensive automated lubrication systems. It has also contributed to reduced defect rates and faster line speeds.

Learn more about the redesign in our latest design case study, Redesign Improves High-Speed Can Making Machine. The case study offers a deeper look at our design process, including a glimpse at the finite element analysis (FEA) work that guided some of our decisions. The case study also highlights the side-benefits of designing for lubrication elimination.


Download the design case study

Tags: Belvac 595, cam follower, cam followers, reduce noise, reduce shock, reduce vibration, Self-lubricating, non-lubricated, cams, PA12GC, iCamFollowers, Cast Nylon, can making, low inertia, high load capacity, friction-reducing coating, production line shut-down, Belvac necker, Belvac 795, Belvac super k