Behind the Wheel is a blog created by Stellana for the wheel industry. Whether you are new to polyurethane wheels or have been in the business for a long time, this blog is a great tool for polyurethane education, industry safety, company news and updates, and much more.
New Tech Machinery (NTM), based out of Denver, CO, is the leading manufacturer of the portable rollforming machines that include seamless gutter machines, metal roof panel machines, and other specialty equipment.
NTM transformed the metal construction industry by bringing contractors easy-to-use rollforming solutions directly to the job site. New Tech Machinery was also the first portable rollforming company to commercially produce and market a polyurethane drive roller machine with separate forming rollers. Due to their history of innovation, NTM’s designs are frequently imitated throughout the industry and most have implemented this technology.
This machinery is used by contractors and other professionals within the metal construction industry to form metal sheets into rain gutters, metal roofing, siding, and more. NTM was experiencing continual adhesive and bonding issues in the wheels previously used on their equipment. These wheels serve dual purposes, one as a drive wheel and the others as idler wheels. Both are vital to the operation of the machinery. The drive wheel pulls through the aluminum sheets and the idler wheels help form the angles and bends needed.
These wheels require significant time and money to repair and replace, especially when the machinery is being used in the field. An obvious advantage of having portable equipment is that it is portable. These machines often travel directly to the different job sites which is seen as a convenience, but only when the machine gets the uptime you would except and can offer a continuous supply of panels. To reduce costs, downtime, and, headaches NTM sought out an alternate supplier.
Bond Failure Testing
Bond failure was at the root of the problem for the previously used wheels. To prevent this failure tests were conducted to ensure the new supplier could provide a stronger bond. To test the bond of the wheels, NTM performed a “crunch test”. This test uses a press and a fixture to slide down the side of the metal hub and strip the polyurethane from the metal hub of the wheel – therefore testing the bond. The previous supplier’s wheels produced unfavorable results during the test and the polyurethane popped right off exposing the metal hub and a slight presence of a bonding agent. Stellana provided samples for testing and the results were quite the opposite.
When the crunch test was performed on Stellana’s wheels, NTM could not strip the polyurethane from the sides of the hub. The initial test that forced the polyurethane off the previously used wheels left the Stellana wheels with only indentations from the fixture. The Stellana wheels required higher amounts of pressure to strip the polyurethane. In fact, rather than experiencing a bond failure that stripped the polyurethane from the hub, the material tore. Meaning bond failure did not occur due to an exceptional bond and the presence of a strong bonding agent.
Stellana’s wheels proved to be the cost-efficient option. Ron Schell, Service & Parts Manager at New Tech Machinery, spoke to the success saying, “Stellana was able to analyze the situation we were in and provide us with the solution we needed. Working together made it apparent that their product knowledge, engineering expertise, and manufacturing practices would allow us to get the performance we demand out of our machinery”. By increasing the run time, the portable rollforming machines are better able to deliver the many advantages associated with the product.
Stellana US is a world-class manufacturer of solution-oriented polyurethane wheels, tires, and custom parts. Stellana provides solutions for forklifts and other material handling equipment including AGVs, automated equipment, and more. To learn more about our capabilities at Stellana, visit us at stellana.com/us.