Unique Solutions Inc. (Lake Zurich, IL) manufactures custom packaging equipment, including the high-speed PunchPlus Inserter. Originally, the PunchPlus system, which includes a drive mechanism that employs several, precision timing pulleys, used pulleys that were machined from aluminum bar stock and then hard-coat anodized. However, this approach had a number of drawbacks: For one thing, it was costly to manufacture; for another, inconsistencies in the anodizing finish created fit and tolerance problems.

To solve these issues, Unique Solutions changed over to injection-molded nylon pulleys manufactured by Torque Transmission (Fairport Harbor, OH), a tool-and-die company that expanded into injection molding some years ago. Torque Transmission's product line includes worm-gear speed reducers, right-angle drives, thrust bearings, pulleys, roller-chain sprockets, and flexible couplings. Wherever possible, the company incorporates nylon components to reduce both weight and cost. Torque Transmission's customers include manufacturers in the medical, automotive, printing and semiconductor industries

"Replacing all-aluminum internal pulleys with molded nylon proved to be a smart move," says Norm Hendle, plant manager for Unique Solutions. "We saved significant money. In fact, all of the tooling and engineering was paid back in just the first production run. That's a huge ROI."

In addition to providing cost savings, the molded nylon pulleys are much quieter in operation than their aluminum counterparts. The injection molding process also offers better consistency from batch to batch and from pulley to pulley, eliminating the frustrating and time-intensive fitting issues that were a problem when Unique Solutions was using parts made from anodized aluminum.

For more information, call 800-544-6642, www.torquetrans.com or eInquiry 2.

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