Reacting quickly and efficiently to a part failure is one way to handle a machine break down. Preventing an untimely part failure with routine maintenance and making better parts choices is another. Ordering the right part for the perfect fit is usually first priority and often challenging. Additionally, getting the best price and fastest delivery is very important. However, the true value of a replacement part isn’t always found in price and delivery alone.
When is a part more than a part? When it is an innovative solution or when it comes neatly packaged in a ready to install assembly. For clarity, let’s define an “innovative solution” as a part that meets all original part specifications but that also offers that little extra something that increases wear resistance or decreases set up times. That being said, these innovative solutions are not “Wonder Parts.” They are not the replacement parts that make claims that are too good to be true, rather these innovations can be something as simple as offering a machine part such as a split head, so that changing it doesn’t require removing the entire side frame.
A little extra effort and education can maximize an innovation’s effectiveness. Paying special attention to manufacturers supplied installation instructions will ensure that a part engineered to make a job simpler does just that.
For example, Corrugated Replacements, (CRI) offers a modified part, the quick release pull roll. See figure 1.1
Typically, adjustments to a pull roll are made by releasing the lock-up bolts. Not in the case of the quick release version. With a twist of the pull roll and a slide down a rack attached to the shaft, the pull roll snaps securely into its new location; reducing set up times and adding up to big savings. However, the big savings are realized only if the machine operator keeps the keyway on the rack clean by blowing out the accumulated board dust routinely.
CRI also offers a split version of the internal ring gear used on most Ward slotting heads, an innovative time saver, yes, but CRI then takes it one step further by adding a second set of threaded bolt holes so the gear can be rotated once wear occurs in its original orientation. See figure 1.2
These modifications, again, both increase wear resistance and decrease set up times which over time increase the bottom line. Ask your parts manufacturer if they have found a better way to make some of the parts you order everyday. Or maybe you have an idea for an innovation that could make a part function more efficiently.
Another way to save time, money and hassle is to purchase replacement parts for assemblies as the assembly itself, or “kit” as it is often called. More than just a clever sales pitch, purchasing parts assemblies makes good sense. This is especially true when a parts order includes a large percentage of the components to begin with.
Imagine spending six hours on a Saturday taking apart the pusher shifter gear box (See figure 1.3) on your 35- or 50-inch S&S to install replacement parts you purchased for an assembly only to find out that the new parts don’t fit correctly against the old.
Then imagine all the parts shipped to you already assembled, and manufactured to fit and work together the first time. Imagine installation of the complete assembly taking only about an hour and then you are back up and running again.
No one can completely avoid machine breakdowns. Improving set up times and increasing a parts wear resistance are just a couple of ways to lessen the impact of the eventual parts failure. Teaming up with a parts manufacturer you trust, who is willing to listen and who is skilled to make the small modifications which can turn a good part into a great part is another.
When ordering parts, ask if they are available in a kit and already assembled. The time and energy saved will often make up for the extra expense. A little extra effort and knowledge at the beginning of the day can make a big difference at the end of the day.