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Showing posts from 2019

Is eCommerce affecting ordering patterns throughout our industry?

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How many days a week do packages arrive at your household? For some of us, you could even ask how many times a day do packages arrive at your house? Buying habits and expectations have been changing for some time now, and these trends are forcing warehousing and manufacturing operations to adapt. There is little to no room for downtime, and forklift wheels and tires play a crucial role in keeping things moving during the seasonal peaks and shopping holidays such as Cyber Monday.
Current Climate in the World of Ecommerce Ecommerce trends are making order fulfillment more complex. In general, consumers are placing smaller orders more frequently. With the ease of online ordering, it is not unusual that someone places an order, then a few hours later, places another order with an additional item they forgot. With a just few clicks, a passing thought can become a purchase. Seamless operations provide the ultimate convenience for the purchaser, but behind the scenes with each order, invento…

The Effectiveness of Polyurethane Wheels in the Hyperloop Pod Competition and How It Relates to You

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When it comes to extreme applications, Stellana is known to be a leader in the manufacturing of engineered polyurethane wheel solutions. For that reason, we were excited when our involvement in the Hyperloop Pod Competition gave us a new reason to push polyurethane to its limit. We discuss the process we took to make the final wheels and what the competition findings could mean for the existing industries using Stellana wheels. The Process Our task was to engineer polyurethane drive, stability, and clamping wheels that could hold up to ultra-high speeds. Working alongside the student teams, we assisted in hub design, advised material selection, and produced the final wheels.

Design
Hub Design

Each university team provided us with their proposed hub drawings. Groups aimed to minimize the hub's weight without sacrificing load and speed requirements. The hub design process was iterative and accounted for manufacturing feasibility and the ability to work within the desired size, acceler…

HEXPOL Appoints New Controller of HEXPOL Engineered Products

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Jim Stevens has been promoted to Controller of HEXPOL Engineered Products as of October 25, 2019. This change will support strategic growth in the Engineered Products division and further diversify Jim’s involvement across the business segment.
In his new role, Jim will use data analysis to provide business insights that will grow the Engineered Products division.
“We are happy to share this opportunity with Jim as he has proven himself to be a valuable asset to the HEXPOL organization. Throughout his employment at Stellana, Jim has continued to demonstrate success through his analytical thinking and leadership skills. I am confident that Jim will contribute to HEXPOL’s continued development in his new role.” - Gabriela Karlsson, Financial Director.
Jim has extensive experience in accounting, management, and finance. Jim began his employment at Stellana in 2012 as an Accountant where he was further promoted to Controller at Stellana US and then Director of Finance and IT. In additi…

Understanding the Types of Rubber Tires Used Within the Material Handling Industry

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At Stellana, we are most well-known for our polyurethane wheels and tires, but we also manufacture
rubber tires. Let’s take a look at the different kinds of rubber tires available and how they are used within the material handling industry. Every tire material and structure has its pros and cons. Each one has an intended use that varies based on truck type, environment, and application.

POB or Cushion Tires
Polyurethane tires fill an essential gap in the material handling industry. These tires offer superior performance to rubber in many instances. The lightweight material provides durable abrasion and wear resistance, load-bearing capabilities, and impact resistance. These dynamic properties lead to stronger resistance to splitting, tearing, and chunking in comparison to rubber. This material is only suitable for indoor use, unlike rubber, but it is known to deliver a much longer lifespan. These tires also provide excellent traction and low-rolling resistance which enhances stability a…

Stellana Sweden Is Expanding Capacity This Quarter

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We are excited to announce Stellana Sweden will be adding capacity to its Laxå facility. During the fourth quarter of 2019, this location will install a new 4K-casting machine to streamline MDI production. The new manufacturing line will expand the production of the wheels and rollers that are critical to the material handling industry.
Erik Unnersjö, Sales and Marketing Director at Stellana Sweden, commented, "The new line will increase our capacity for MDI materials. These include our Powerthane, Powerfriction, and Powerthane Plus materials - which range in hardness from 65 to 95 Shore A. The increased capacity will also result in shorter lead times and improved customer service.”
The investment will support growth across Stellana's existing customer base while increasing its in-house manufacturing capabilities. An expanded manufacturing footprint will also allow Sweden's technical team to continue developing existing and new materials.
This facility has an experienced, we…

Six Questions You Can Use to Determine Which Polyurethane Tire You Need

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Six Questions to Determine the Polyurethane Tire You Need­­
When it comes to tires, we can agree that they are round, and they roll. So, selecting the right one should be pretty straightforward, right? If you have read our Picking the Right Polypost, you probably know that more thought must go into this process.

Back in February, we covered the basics of what to consider when selecting the best tire for your needs. We hope this information improved your polyurethane knowledge and confidence in material selection, but we realize the details might slip your mind when you are in the field. For this reason, we created a material selection guide that can be easily used to analyze a facility’s needs and identify the best-suited material. In a technical industry, the idea of chemistry and polymer formation can be intimidating to many of us. We’ve identified six simple questions that get to the bottom of your needs, stripping away the daunting engineering values that can be hard to interpret.…

Long Live the Stellana Tire: A remarkable life of 9,190.40 hours

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How long will a polyurethane tire last? This is a hard question to answer, and the best answer would be "it depends" because the life is not the same for any two products. Our engineers can calculate estimates for how long they should last, but the material, tire size, load, speed, floor, and environmental conditions all play a factor. The pictured tire may be an outlier, but its life span is pretty impressive. Bill Rohan, Parts Manager at Trupar America, sent us this photo of a diamond grooved Gmax™ tire that was just shy of turning four years old while on the job. After being placed on the equipment October 15, 2015, this tire just retired July 2, 2019, with total usage of 9190.40 hours. This tire's life in hours equates to 1 year and 18 days of use, but it was not running continuously. Impressively though, it was working around the clock approximately 47 hours a week over the last 193 weeks. This number, 9190.40, is over double a 4,000.00-hour life – which would be c…

Are excessive warranty headaches calling for a breakup with your supplier?

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Stellana wheels are used throughout several industries. In all cases, our wheels serve as a piece to a greater assembly. Our parts often provide mobility or movement to the equipment they accompany. When a wheel fails in production or the field, the structure cannot function as intended, and the customer file warranty claim. Frequent failure and warranty issues play a significant role in the buyer's decision to choose a new supplier.
Many of our customers have chosen Stellana as a supplier to escape their warranty issues. In one specific instance, we have sent a scissor lift manufacturer over 13,000 parts - many of which have been in use for several years. To date, the Stellana components that the customer has received have resulted in zero warranty claims – and this is a realistic expectation for your supplier. The elimination of warranty has greatly reduced their costs. Overabundant warranty claims should not be a part of your supplier relationship.
Why are frequent claims a pro…

What makes Stellana’s safety culture different?

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What makes Stellana’s safety culture different? Safety is a topic that is being heavily discussed by the material handling industry this month. Tuesday, June 11th marks National Forklift Safety Day. This day provides a chance for forklift manufacturers to highlight proper forklift usage, the value of thorough operator training, and the importance of regular equipment checks. While this is an event intended to raise forklift safety awareness, this day opens the dialogue for greater safety awareness in all daily activities. At Stellana, safety is a yearlong commitment practiced every day in all operations. After a recent plant-wide safety inspection, we find it timely to discuss how unified safety practices can create the best work environments.
To retain worker’s compensation insurance, we must receive quarterly inspections. During this time, losses from the year are reviewed, and the facility is toured to evaluate the practices in place, workstation ergonomics, and any other changes to…