Harbor Manufacturing

Case Studies

Engineered Solutions - Down Time Virtually Eliminated

A local manufacturing company was having problems with slitter and guide rolls. The greasy, grimy and dirty environment was causing contaminates to fall into the bearings, and as the swarf built up the bearings froze ultimately cutting the slitter and guide rolls. The bearing boxes were getting so chewed up they needed replacement time and time again.

The customer's mill was shutting down almost four times per week creating backlogs and frustrated tier 1 customers. So Harbor, in partnership with the customer, designed a protective barrier that would prevent the bearings from the elements. The shield was installed and immediately the customer saw results. By keeping the swarf off the bearings it allowed the line to run continuously and hasn't shut down for the same failure since 2007.

Annual Savings $150,000+

Our customer has saved over $150,000 annually just by not having to replace the slitter and guide rolls. Additional savings have been realized due to the virtual elimination of downtime over the past few years.

New Equipment Retrofit to Meet Customer Needs

A local Tube Mill purchased a $750,000 saw and as is often the case, began having problems with the gear box soon after the warranty expired. The saw was breaking down two to three times per week so Harbor's engineering staff began working on the root cause - the gear box.

After diagnosing the gears to be too soft and gear ratio too small, Harbor specified a hardened gear and a ratio large enough to handle the tensile strength needed in the application. Testing proved that their solution was working. All they needed now was a new bearing box so Harbor built them one of those as well.

Annual Savings - Priceless. ZERO breakdowns since 2008.

Replacement Parts No Longer Needed

The customer was having continuous wear issues with their 9' long x 10" o.d. shafts. The shafts were wearing in a 2' section but the entire shaft was being scrapped. They were averaging three per month at $5,000 a piece, resulting in expenditures upwards of $250,000 annually.

Because the shafts were only wearing out in a small 2' section, there was no need to scrap the entire 9' shaft. Harbor suggested trying a keyed-in sleeve, welded into place and machined down to size - all being done at Harbor.

After establishing the sleeve specs to a higher ultimate tensile strength and testing, the shafts were put back into production without any interruptions of production.

Annual Savings $150,000+

The customer went from buying three new rolls at $5,000 each every month to repairing the existing rolls for $500 each, but needing only two per month because of the hardened sleeves.

Retrofit - 10" O.D. Mill Shaft and bearing box
Repaired - Shaft with 2' section repaired and ready for final turning

Brake Rigging

Brake rigging has been a specialty of Harbor's for many years. A combination of finesse and power come together to create a perfect engineered solution for our customers. These kits came together in order to offer the customer one place to shop for all of their brake rigging needs. We combine castings, weldments, stampings, machined steel and engineering to help form the brake rigging of a rail truck.

Not only did Harbor create a variety of kits to fit any need, they also re-engineered the clevis to reduce weight, raw material costs and machining costs.

Customer specifies the number and type of components for each kit which is then manufactured to specifications and delivered directly to the line for assembly.

Cable Reels

An OEM maker of cable reels approached Harbor with an opportunity to manufacture and assemble all of their large cable reels in North America. Armed with engineering, machining and fabrication capabilities, Harbor took on the project and evaluated the best manufacturing method for each component. The cable reel uses stampings, machined bar/flat stock, formed tubing and purchases only one part from the outside (the motor).

Harbor even built a small paint line to handle the specialized color needed to complete the cable reel. As part of the entire assembly, Harbor also builds a very complex subassembly (slip rings) used to power the retraction of the wire. These reels are all built to order, packaged and shipped throughout North America.

Customer reduces vendor base from five to one, eliminates a non-core business and manages distribution and sales only.

Oil Strainers

Oil strainers are used on locomotives and involve every facet of Harbor's capabilities. First we machine the ductile iron casting that serves as the strainer's base. Next we roll form sheet metal and weld into the "tube" in which the filters will be enclosed. We then take a perforated filter, roll it and weld it so it will slide snuggly into the bottom of the tube. Harbor presses a stamping that serves as a stop then welds it to a long, threaded rod that holds the entire assembly in place.

Initial testing revealed that the loctite used to secure the tube and casting was not holding up. Harbor solved the problem by specifying and implementing a more permanent Heliarc weld.

Harbor now makes several variations of this all-in-one fabrication, resulting in reduced vendor base, and an engineered solution to an ongoing quality issue.

Give us a call now at 708.614.6400 or request a quote online and discover why our customers use Harbor for all of their CNC machining, contract manufacturing, repair/rebuild, assembly/fabrication, precision grinding, prototype, low volume and machine shop needs.

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