Newcomb Spring Develops Coil Auger Components
- Originally published by Newcomb Spring
Producing Custom Design When OEM Parts Not Available
Newcomb Spring announced that the company has supplied large, custom coil auger components to a national food distributor. Working on-site at the customer's facility, Newcomb analyzed dough mixing machinery and previous auger components, created drawings, and customized their manufacturing process for the new parts.
Previous parts in the customer's dough mixing machinery frequently failed, did not fit properly, and required maintenance. The mixing augers are vitally important to the dough preparation process – when they broke, not only did dough production stop, but total output was affected.
"The old replacement augers just didn't fit right," said Donald Jacobson III, Technical Salesperson at Newcomb Spring of Tennessee. "OEM replacements were not available, so the customer had to make do with what they could buy through distributors. They came to Newcomb to get a customized component that fit right, worked right, and was – as they say – the right tool for the job."
Newcomb Spring staff travelled to the customer's facility during a scheduled maintenance day, when all relevant equipment was shut down for cleaning.
"Us going on site, seeing the machinery, and working with the customer's maintenance and production personnel provided us with a unique insight into how these parts needed to work," continued Jacobson. "Our ability to plan this on a maintenance day also saved the customer a lot of money."
Newcomb Spring engineers created plans for the new parts based on the dimensions of the previous augers and the auger's position when mounted in the mixing machinery. The application and operating conditions of the parts were factored as well, which helped Newcomb to alter the design and also to recommend the best materials.
In a traditional order process, Newcomb Spring would receive specifications and often a CAD for a part that needed to be produced. The company would then custom manufacture the order to meet customer requirements. While the company often provides design manufacturing assistance, in this project, Newcomb Spring staff were involved from the initial design phase. They were presented with a problem part, then collaborated to identify the needed specifications and create a solution.
"It was a really interesting challenge—much more than just reverse engineering the old parts, since the old parts didn't work properly," said Jacobson. "We worked with the customer, reviewed their production processes and applied our years of experience to the design of these augers—which are really just giant compression springs. We made our processes easy for the customer's operations and delivered an end product that improved their production."
The new components have significantly reduced downtime and unscheduled maintenance. Order specifications for these parts are now stored in Newcomb Spring's archives, and the customer is able to easily obtain new replacement augers when they are needed.