WEST SPRINGFIELD, MASS. — Tri-Star Plastics Corp. of Shrewsbury, Mass., unveiled May 23 at Eastec 2000 in West Springfield its newest product — a composite insert to replace greased ball bearings used in such products as conveyer belts. The product, which goes under the trademarked name Ultrasert, was developed to extend the life of conveyer bearings for the food and beverage industry, said Daniel P. Cedrone. He said the average life of the ball bearings on the belts was one year.
"The average wear [of the composite insert] is double that of a ball bearing," he said, noting that the mounted spherical bearings had high chemical and temperature resistance, and were self-lubricating.
He credited the company's technical director, George Taber, and its vice president of operations, David Mello, for their development work during an 18-month period.
Cedrone said the insert is used as a replacement for greased ball bearings on equipment for the food and beverage industry; timber, pulp and paper handling; mining and mineral processing; and waste water and water treatment.
He said the product already has exceeded its sales projection, which he declined to quantify. He expects sales to reach $5 million within five years.
Another version of the product, which is graphite-filled, is used in railroad components.
Tri-Star, which started operations in 1982 in Worcester, Mass., moved to Shrewsbury about seven years ago. Richard Cedrone, Daniel's brother, is president, while their father, Paul Cedrone Sr., is chairman of the board.
The company employs 75.
The company's 40,000-square-foot headquarters also distributes stock shapes such as sheet, rod and tubes made from high-performance resins.
Tri-Star also runs facilities in Charlotte, N.C., and Brea, Calif.