After years of building pulverizers for other suppliers, King Machine & Tool Co. now is making its own line through its subsidiary, Global Cutting Systems LLC.
Global Cutting Systems was created quietly last summer. But this year marks the coming-out party for GCS, which will exhibit in November at the Rotoplas trade show in Chicago. The company also will exhibit next year at NPE in Orlando, Fla., said Greg Shook, vice president of marketing and sales.
King was behind the scenes, Shook said. Now we're going from a supplier to an OEM, a manufacturer. We wanted to come out into the public eye and sell direct to the customer base.
King Machine has a long history of making pulverizers machines that use round disks, made up of special blades, to cut plastic pellets into the powder form needed for rotational molding. King manufactured Reduction Engineering Inc.'s first pulverizer in 1994. In 2003, King began building machines for Powder King LLC.
King Machine President William Kapper said the relationship with Powder King ended in 2009 when that company opened its own factory in Arizona.
In Massillon, King Machine does high-precision machining of components for a range of customers, including those in medical, food processing and aerospace. The company also makes specialized production equipment.
King employs 20 machinists in its 22,000-square-foot building.
For the plastics industry, GCS also makes dies for underwater pelletizers and rotors for strand pelletizers, and services and repairs those components. In addition to rotational molding, GCS serves compounding and extrusion markets.
There isn't anybody else out there that's building pulverizers that has the manufacturing capabilities that we do here, Kapper claimed. And that's why all of them used us to get that first step into the business. Well, now we're doing our own manufacturing.
Kapper, Shook and Matt Grim, who handles GCS technical sales and service, and research and development, explained the company's strategy during an interview at the plant in March.
King Machine formed GCS in mid-2010. Company officials decided to take some existing King Machine innovations, like controlling airflow through the mill housing and hold-down retaining rings to securely mount the disk, with new features like the Deuce Cut design of cutting-teeth, which the company said boosts output.
The Massillon machine shop has four creep-feed grinders to cut the disks investments made when King was building the other pulverizer brands. In creep-feed grinding, the grinding wheel cuts teeth with two passes, so the grinding machine is very rigid and powerful.
Because of the rigidity and the strength of the machine, we are able to produce a more high-tolerance part, Shook said.
Grim perfected the Deuce Cut blade design. Each blade tooth becomes two teeth at the outer edge of the disk. Because it uses the entire cutting surface more efficiently, the Deuce Cut can boost throughputs by 30-40 percent compared with standard disk blades, according to the company. The design also produces higher-grade powder, Shook said. CGS can customize by making different tooth configurations for different materials and power output of the pulverizer.
Currently, employees are building the first GCS pulverizer. This summer, the company will move fabrication and assembly of the pulverizing machines into a dedicated 2,400-square-foot building, a former storage area behind the main building.
We went back to the drawing board and felt that we could design a better machine, above what is out there in the market. And that's where we're at today, Shook said. It's a new technology. It's going to take pulverizing to a whole new level.
CGS has designed the pulverizers to be flexible, from clean-out to removing the cyclone.
Other features include:
* The design of the classifiers, a stack of sifters on top of the machine. According to Grim, sifters on other pulverizers are run off two crankshafts with a connecting rod and a counterbalance. That can lead to vibration and shaking of the sifters. In the GCS setup, the stack of sifters rotates from a single point on the bottom, and the stack is suspended on four U-joints so the machine doesn't shake around.
Finished, screened power can be removed in three directions to either side or the back of the machine. Kapper added that the sifter boxes are made of light-weight aluminum instead of wood, so a forklift can remove the entire stack assembly for easy cleaning. They can be power washed.
* Built-in contours on the cyclone. Everybody uses cyclones, but ours is designed to be more efficient, said Kapper. The cyclone and air-lock assembly also can be removed by a forklift.
* A safety feature on an outer retaining ring. The outer ring is dovetail-mounted to an inner retaining ring to lock the grinding disk into the machine, instead of using standard bolt holes. King Machine holds a patent on the retaining rings, which come standard on GCS pulverizers. The company also sells a retrofit kit to convert existing machines.
* Independent management of airflow through each mill, a patented feature. Kapper said more air flowing through keeps materials from overheating so they won't melt when ground at higher temperatures. Our mill is kind of air-cooled, he said. The mill housings are cast steel.