Performance Improvement Solutions
Better Than OEM
Buying an OEM replacement part does not always mean you’ll get the best possible performance, and repairing a part to OEM specifications only suggests you’ll get the same lifespan as you did before. In many cases, Atlas can offer a design change that will notably increase performance or lifespan - either before a part is put into service, or as a step in our repair process.
Performance-enhancing design changes might include the use of an alternate base material, lubrication passage modifications, a tool steel weld overlay, or perhaps a wear-resistant thermal spray coating.
Atlas also offers high-performance solutions developed in-house specifically for the steel industry. See our Steel Mill Solutions to learn more.
Atlas’ engineering team has the experience to quickly perform a design review of any machine component and suggest potential modifications to suit your application. The examples below are actual completed (or ongoing) projects.
Hydraulic Cylinder Rods
Probably the most common performance improvement application at Atlas is the use of HVOF carbide coatings to replace chrome plating on hydraulic cylinder rods. In this application, carbide coatings outperform chrome in every way and in many cases allows for a faster turnaround time as well.
Classifier fans, used to separate (or “classify”) different dust particle sizes in the air, are subject to extreme abrasion wear. They are basically being sandblasted the entire time they are in operation, and steel cannot withstand such abuse for very long – it just gets eroded away. This is a perfect use-case for a tungsten carbide coating, which increases the useable life of the fan by multiples.
Pinch rolls, particularly in steel processing, are expected to wear over time and typically get re-ground as the roll face gets to a point that can cause imperfections on the sheet. This is the case no matter what material the roll is made from, but Atlas can offer tool steel weld overlay options to bring the roll back to its original diameter and also drastically increase the time between grinds. This saves the purchase of a new roll (as well as the time required to receive one), and saves downtime by reducing the frequency of roll swaps.
Steam Engine Pistons
During the refurbishment of steam engines on a riverboat of comparable age to Atlas, our engineering team redesigned the pistons to incorporate integral bronze wear bands to help decrease cylinder wear. The bronze was welded directly onto the steel pistons and, incidentally, produced a beautiful result. While this example isn’t exactly a common one, the upgrade itself can be utilized in a number of different applications to help with component wear, while eliminating the need to mechanically fasten a bronze plate, band or ring in place.
Atlas has encountered many cases in which companies will utilize a machine in an application other than that for which is was designed. As one might imagine, this can cause unforeseen issues in terms of safety, performance, or component life.
This was the case for one of our customers running homogenizer machines. The machine was designed for use with dairy, but this company uses it for a different product entirely. Atlas’ engineering team worked closely with the customer to solve the array of issues they encountered with cooling, lubrication, and serviceability through extensive design modifications, standard replacement parts, and even a custom tool to assist them in performing machine maintenance.
A sudden major breakdown at a U.S. steel mill reduced its production by 50%--potentially costing the mill hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost..