A plastics company called us out to examine two shafts used on the wash line hopper on their recycled product lines. They take used plastic and create new hard pellet material that combine with other raw materials to make plastic bags used for retail. This hopper is the first in the wash line where the material is cleaned. These small shafts have a dual bushing design that in theory, should be grease lubricated and would wear as the machine operated. This would lead to the eventual need to replace bushings on the shafts but that would have been anticipated by Preventative Maintenance.
What we found instead was that the OEM (Original Manufacturer) used a soft shaft material that in less than three years wore to the point where a repair or replacement was needed. OEM spares were not available in North America and the lead time from Europe was too long. Repair of the shafts was the customer’s best option. Horner Coatings inspected and created a work scope that included spraying material that would be much harder than the OEM base material of the shafts. The customer approved and gave Horner the deadline of a few days for delivery.
Overnight Sunday a snow storm came in, but that did not stop the dedicated Horner technicians and machinists from making it into the shop Monday where the shafts were completed and picked up to be delivered. Not only did we provide our customers a “fix” that would allow them to run production again but we used our knowledge and experience to enhance an OEM part that will provide them longer life and completed this work on schedule and under adverse circumstances.