Cleveland — When a rotational molder's machines gets old, company officials are faced with a decision to sell them, scrap them, "maintain and pray" they keep on running, or invest in rebuilding and upgrading, said Adam Covington, vice president of aftermarket at Ferry Industries Inc.
The Stow, Ohio-based Ferry Industries builds new rotomolding machines and does rebuilding.
For rotomolding machines, common rebuilding and upgrade areas on the arms include bearings, seals and chains. "The brains" — the electric cabinet and controls — are another area that can be updated to modern controls. He said controllers often need to be modernized when you can no longer find parts to fix them.
Typically, Ferry recommends replacing the entire cabinet with a new one.
"This is all breathing new life into the machine," Covington said in a presentation during the Society of Plastics Engineers' Rotational Molding Conference June 3-6 in Cleveland.
Ovens, including replacing old burner controls with new digital controls, are another good rebuilding option, Covington said. "It's important to keep this up to snuff," he said.
So are gearboxes and gear motors, carriage wheels and clutches and brakes. "These are things that, some of them can be repaired. Some of them need to be rebuilt," Covington said.
Covington said rotomolders should also upgrade operator platforms and regularly update safety equipment.
"Safety's really, really important. It's a top priority," he said.