Industry News & Blog

Summary: A Copper Recycler in NE Indiana faced consistent issues with their Main Geared Drive Shaft breaking at the key slot. Toolcraft, LLC collaborated with the customer, changing the shaft’s material and refining its specifications. This resulted in a more resilient shaft, reducing operational interruptions and downtimes significantly.

Industry: Copper Recycling
Process: Engineering, Machining, Heat Treating, Grinding
Category: Engineering Parts

A Copper Recycler in NE Indiana encountered a recurring problem: their Main Geared Drive Shaft, a critical component in their operations, kept cracking and breaking at its key slot. This flaw not only disrupted their recycling processes but also led to frequent downtimes as the shaft required replacements.

Identifying the core issue, Toolcraft, LLC, in collaboration with the customer, reevaluated the shaft’s specifications. Originally made of 4140 Steel RC 45-50, Toolcraft recommended a switch to 4140 Pre Hard Steel (RC 28-32), opting to Induction Harden only the gear end to RC 45-50. Additionally, the engineering team made precision changes by tightening the shaft’s tolerances and introducing radius corners at the base of the key slot to further enhance its structural integrity. While Toolcraft managed the machining, heat treating, and grinding of the shaft, we strategically subcontracted the gearing portion to another specialized vendor.

The results were evident and immediate. The reengineered Main Geared Drive Shaft stopped cracking and breaking at its previous weak point, the key slot. The revamped shaft’s enhanced durability not only meant fewer interruptions to the recycler’s operations but also a marked decrease in downtime, which was previously needed for frequent replacements.