Intech Power-Core Thermoplastics Engineering Blog

Are steel cam followers overrated for use in packaging machines?

Posted by Simon Barrell on May 12, 2010 4:40:00 PM

“Metal cam followers are overrated” said one packaging engineer in a recent conversation when asked why he opted for Intech’s iCamFollowers®. Here is why we agree with his opinion:

It seems that a large number of cam followers, metal ones that is, are used for their convenience not their load carrying capacity. Tap out a hole and you are ready to install a cam follower, providing designers with an instant “wheel” that allows parts of machines to move back and forth. The cam follower was not selected for its load capacity, rather enabling a movement required by the process.

There is a price to pay for this convenience. The rail on which the metal cam follower runs has to be periodically lubricated, as does the needle bearing in the cam follower. Lubrication, especially surface lubrication can contaminate packages and is a constant burden on maintenance. If you do not lubricate, the rail will wear and if you apply too much grease, there is a good chance that some of it will end up on the product. Over greasing of the cam followers’ needle bearing may cause the cam follower to stop rotating and instead be “dragged” along, causing a flat spot on the outer racer and excessive wear on the rail. This can happen when the radial load is relatively light for the heavy duty cam follower or if the radial load drops to zero during the operating cycle, for example on cams where the cam followers are used to exert force in only a portion of 360° rotation of the cam.

To replace a damaged cam follower is relatively inexpensive, while replacing a fixed rail or a cam can cost days of down time. Grease contaminated products carry their own cost.

Intech’s iCamFollowers® eliminate both the need to lubricate and rail wear and offer a cost effective alternative to metal cam followers in most packaging applications. The easy rolling, precision ball bearings thermally installed in the plastic tire offer very little rolling resistance and are lubricated for life. This ensures a smooth rolling motion even in light duty applications. Not to worry, the iCams will also carry heavy loads. Intech engineers developed a load / life expectancy calculation and the resulting load data allows engineers to select a cam follower suitable for the load in their application. So for example the IPC – 1.500 iCam will carry 300 lbs for 100 million cycles (1 cycle = one 360° rotation) without developing a flat or wearing out. Most importantly, it will not wear out the rail, steel or aluminum.

In addition to being able to carry high loads, the plastic tire will absorb shock & vibration, reduce rolling resistance, cut noise by up to 10 dB, and will work in sub-zero temperatures. For wash down applications the cam follower is delivered with stainless steel shafts and bearings. All this without lubrication or rail wear.

Intech’s iCamFollowers® also open up the way to more cost effective designs. Since iCamFollowers do not wear out the rails, designers can run the iCams directly on aluminum frames, without having to use steel or stainless steel strips to prevent rail wear. To further simplify the design central lubrication systems’ need for cam follower lubrication can be eliminated.

Are metal cam followers in your application overrated? Intech engineers can help you to determine that.

Intech iCamFollowers

Intech’s long-wearing, lubrication-free, heavy duty iCamFollowers® replace conventional metal cam followers

Tags: cam followers, iCam Followers, lubrication-free, vibration, roller life, rail wear, flat spot, outer racer, prceision ball bearings, radial load

Combating vibration, shaft bearings are only as good as their grease

Posted by Simon Barrell on Mar 16, 2010 4:02:00 PM

Intech Power-Core™ guide rollers and iCamFollowers™ absorb shock and vibration and their life is typically calculated for 100 million cycles, a performance relying in part on longevity of the roller bearings installed inside the plastic tires. Tests have found that degraded lubrication is the leading cause of bearing failure.

In harsh environments with high shock load frequency, combined with high humidity, some grease types can liquefy, then this will cause leakage from the bearing seals or can produce an added churning-friction effect on the bearing. As a result, in high speed applications, the operating temperatures will rise significantly, compounding the breakdown of the grease properties and resulting in premature bearing failure.

We have identified a new type of lubricant to improve our rollers resistance to shock and vibration by providing lubrication to the bearing when operating under extreme conditions. The grease, NLGI No. 2, has shown a consistent mechanical stability and less churning or deterioration than other lubricants.

We have been able to apply this newly acquired knowledge in a case of premature bearing failure in guide rollers used in a train sliding door in Florida. Exposure to high frequency vibration and high humidity caused a bearing failure while the plastic tire remained intact. By regreasing the guide roller bearings with the NLGI No. 2 grease, we have been able to better match the expected life of both the plastic tire and the bearings.

Intech Corporation is constantly striving to improve its products and certainly the discovery of this grease’s properties helps our customers extend the life of our rollers and bearings in shock and vibration applications.

Cam follower for packaging application 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cam follower for packaging application

 

Concave, v-shaped, flat tire rollers

Concave, v-shaped, flat tire rollers

 Intech Rollers for High Security Door

Intech Rollers for High Security Door

Tags: cam followers, roller bearing, shock load, vibration, roller life, plastic tires, bearing failure, grease, lubrication

Crystalline structure absorbs energy in high speed Power-Core roller.

Posted by Simon Barrell on Jan 19, 2010 1:35:00 PM

A special design by Intech’s engineering staff, using a composite tire material, a tested method of manufacturing and assembly, all contribute to the exceptionally quiet performance of Intech Power-Core™ rollers.

Image100 Rollers

Intech Power-Core™ rollers


The design marries a precision roller or ball bearing with an Intech Power-Core composite tire. The quiet roller ride can be attributed to the tire material with its tension-free, homogeneously crystalline structure, achieved through a unique casting process. This fine crystalline structure exhibits excellent energy absorbing properties while resisting flat development under load, while the Power-Core tire also protects the metal rail against wear.

Tires are precision-machined, and then heated in an oven to 250° to 300° F before the bearing is pressed in through a specially designed snap-in lip. After cooling, the tire is effectively shrunk onto the bearing. The precision-machined tire, with OD tolerance within 0.0001”, has excellent roundness contributing to the smooth and quiet ride.

The expected life of the roller in number of roll-overs, and flat-free time under load, are determined with a calculation and data developed by a leading university.

Tags: Power-Core, reduce noise, wear life, Intech rollers, roller life

Guide Rollers Provide Secure Fit Under Varying Loads & Temperature

Posted by Alexander Bartosch on Aug 13, 2009 3:24:00 PM

Intech was selected by Bombardier to provide replacement rollers for the platform safety door on the Orlando People Mover System.

Bombardier Transportation, with a reputation for excellence in designing high capacity urban transit systems and automated people movers, required longer wear-life rollers, with increased reliability to reduced maintenance. Our design engineers at Intech Corporation, explored how the engineered Intech powercore rollers might address Bombardier Transportation’s requirements.

 

Concave Rollers For Sliding Door Hardware

Concave Rollers for Guide Door Openings Once application details, including angle, load, door weight, linear speed, temperature variations, humidity levels, rail material and cycling information were presented, Intech was able to custom design a concave roller. The assembly features a precision machined Intech Power-Core™ tire thermally installed over a sealed ball bearing. At a radial load of 100 lbs. per roller running at 53.82 ft/min, Intech determined roller performance life of between 500 to 700 million door-opening cycles, which could potentially provide the Orlando International Airport with 5 to 7 years of quiet, trouble-free and maintenance-free operation.

Intech Power-Core™ rollers do not absorb moisture and maintain outstanding performance characteristics throughout a temperature range that extends from -40°F to 140°F. The precision thermal-fit tire is credited with providing a reliable and secure fit under varying load and temperature situations.

After one year of continuous operation, there are no visible signs of wear on the roller surface. Additionally, Intech Power-Core™ rollers are being installed on the heavy 200 lb. glass station doors in order to reduce noise and increase resistance to grinding and wear. Station door rollers for Leg A2 are in the process of being replaced at the Orlando site with Intech Power-Core™ replacement rollers. Bombardier field technicians are installing the replacement rollers and, where applicable, will ensure that they are timed to open and close at precision-controlled intervals so that the doors orchestrate perfectly with the opening of train doors to provide a safe, smooth passage.

Please download a white paper showing many of the applications and advantages of intech rollers:

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Tags: Power-Core, reduce noise, wear life, sliding door hardware, Intech rollers, roller life, guide rollers