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Building Oil Shear Clutches & Brakes
since 1969
Call Today 800-829-3244

Force Control Industries, Inc.
3660 Dixie Highway
Fairfield, Ohio 45014 USA
Phone 513-868-0900 | Fax 513-868-2105

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In the metal stamping business, precision, repeatability and uptime are key. But stamping accuracy suffers when improper tension on the coil feeders incorrectly supplies metal to the presses, resulting in off-spec parts and increased rejections. ART Technologies relies on an oil shear clutch brake to supply constant, reliable tension on the coil feeding one of their 400-ton presses to give them the precision and repeatability they need, with no downtime for maintenance or adjustment. When the plant is working 20 hours a day, that uptime is as critical as the tolerances they maintain.

ART is a full-service global supplier of precision metal stamping components, thrust bearings and coining services for raceways and washers. With 11 presses ranging in size from 45 to 800 tons, they stamp out a wide range of products for the automotive, truck, bus, solar, HVAC, agriculture, defense and other industries.ART Technology

They currently operate a single shift, but when business demands it they operate two ten-hour shifts, or nearly around the clock. Whether they are cranking out miniature thrust bearings for the automotive industry or thick stampings for the truck market, repeatability is key in all that they do.

A Pressing Problem

One of their Minster 400-ton presses has a ½ hp motor which pulls the stock strip though the press, keeping tension on the steel at all times. This tension is a necessity because of the Die Design, and ensures consistency of the stamped product and optimal productivity. Engineering Manager Fred Meinhardt, explains it this way: “We need to keep tension on the stock and to be able to run the drive unit at a speed slightly faster than the feed, so that when the feed stops, the clutch slips. When the feed restarts again, the stock tensioner takes up the slack and keeps tension on the stick as it moves forward.”

The company had been using a mechanical clutch that was slipping all of the time, with unsatisfactory results, including feed problems, out- of-spec parts, and press down time. In addition to the production problems, the dry friction clutch would wear and require adjustment, maintenance or replacement, to the tune of four to five hours per week. According to Meinhardt, the production loss due to downtime was 20 percent.

 Meinhardt estimates that the old style clutches were replaced every six months or so, in addition to the four to five hours per week of maintenance. At the time, the plant was working two 10-hour shifts, or nearly round-the-clock, so that level of weekly downtime for maintenance and adjustment was substantial and unacceptable. To top it off, the extra time to replace the clutch-brakes was even more troublesome, because the failures rarely occurred at convenient times. Then Meinhardt found help right around the corner, literally.

“My brother works for Force Control Industries (the manufacturer of the oil shear clutch brake) which is within a mile of our plant, so I knew all about their capabilities,” he said. Installing the oil shear clutch break was hassle free, and the little effort required reaped a significant return on investment. In the two years that the Posidyne 1.5 clutch brake has been installed on the ½ hp motor to tension the coil stock, there has been no unscheduled downtime for maintenance or repairs. At two years and running, the Posidyne 1.5 has already lasted 4-times longer than the dry clutch, and is still working fine.ART Technology2

How Oil Shear Technology Works

Normal dry clutch brakes employ a sacrificial surface—the brake disc or pad—to engage the load. Having no good way to remove the heat caused from engagement between the disk and plate, this material must absorb the heat. These extremely high temperatures will eventually degrade the friction material. As the friction surface wears away and begins to glaze, the ensuing torque fade causes positioning errors, which then require adjustment or replacement of the friction surface.

Oil-shear technology plays a major role in ensuring that the coil feeders at ART Technologies operates at peak efficiency—even at a much higher cycle rate. A fluid film flows between the friction surfaces, and is compressed as the brake is engaged. The Automatic Transmission Fluid (ATF) particles in shear transmit torque to the other side. This torque transmission causes the stationary surface to turn, bringing it up to the same relative speed as the moving surface. Since most of the work is done by the fluid particles in shear, by the time the surfaces actually meet or “lock up” wear is virtually eliminated.

In addition to transmitting torque, the ATF also helps to dissipate heat, thanks to a patented fluid recirculation system. Along with torque transmission and heat removal, the fluid also serves to continually lubricate all components—thus extending their service life. Oil Shear Technology also provides a “cushioned” stop that reduces shock to the drive system—further extending service life.

Unlike dry clutch brakes, the totally enclosed oil shear system is impervious to external elements such as wet, dusty or dirty environments, as are common in many manufacturing plants. Since the layer of oil eliminates wear, the Posidyne clutch brake provides a long service life. With elimination of wear comes elimination of adjustment—and increased “uptime” for ART Technologies.

The reliability and durability of oil shear technology helps plants with a critical pathway maintain high production. Oil shear technology has helped ART Technology’s plant increase precise control and stamp out downtime. Production is up 20 percent, with reduced scrap rates, fewer out-of-spec parts, and more parts per coil. The resulting efficiency and profitability keeps ART’s machines precise and reliable—giving them a competitive edge in a competitive industry.

For more information:
ART Metals Group Phone: (513) 942-8800 www.artmetalsgroup.com Force Control Industries Phone: (800) 829-3244 www.forcecontrol.com

APRIL 2017 Power Transmission Engineering


A call from the second shift with maintenance troubles shouldn't be among the things that keep you awake at night says US company Force Control Industries.

FOR years, the cranes at a plant that manufactures telecommunications buildings would fail in the middle of the night, and the unfortunate head electrician was only a phone call away, no matter the hour of night. Since a switch to oil shear crane brakes, however, the cranes and hoists are running and, as importantly, stopping, through the night, allowing that electrician to finally get a good night's sleep.

The structures that the plant manufactures work their way through  an assembly line-like process, with components, utilities and sub-assemblies added along the way. One 7.5USt Yale and six 20USt ShawBox cranes service the various areas of the plant floor. Workers often jog the cranes forward and backward to get materials into the precise spot. While that's convenient for the workers, the constant stopping and starting wreaked havoc with the Stearns and Dings dry brakes that were originally installed on the cranes. The disc stacks would fail, requiring hours of maintenance time. Just when one was fixed, another would go down.

"It was astronomical the amount of downtime and man-hours we were spending," the electrician remembers.MSB FINISHED CUTAWAY

Seemingly once a week, he would have to shut down the crane, causing a domino effect that stopped production across the facility. The cost of having a production line down for maintenance adds up quickly and takes an exponentially long time to recover from.

Once, the second shift maintenance team had been working on the crane for four hours before calling for advice (in the middle of the night). Sure enough, the team hadn't inspected the brakes, which had failed. It didn't take long for the plant manager to pressure the team to either find a different brake or a different hoist: anything to save the plant from the amount of downtime they were experiencing.

“Just as the plant was desperate for a solution, it came in the form of a visit from the regional sales manager of Force Control Industries. Ken Kelly visited to talk about Magna Shear Brakes, which employ oil shear technology to ensure a longer service life. The head electrician agreed to put a MagnaShear MB8 brake into service on one of the ShawBox 20USt cranes as a test. The MagnaShear worked well - and more importantly, required no service for maintenance or adjustment. Within a month, the maintenance team was convinced and rallied support from the plant manager and executive team to invest in the new brakes.

MagnaShear Brakes employ oil shear technology to ensure a longer service life.

With several brakes on seven cranes, plus additional hoist brakes, replacing the brakes outright was a significant investment. Still, the cost of the facility going down for crane maintenance was adding up even more and something had to be done.
"The next thing I knew, we were putting a Force Control Brake on every crane that we operate," the electrician said.

“The MagnaShear worked well - and more importantly, required no service for maintenance or for adjustment."


16 LIFT & HOIST INTERNATIONAL • LIFTANDHOIST.COM                                                  JUNE 2018