The team at Lutco excels at developing custom component solutions for our customers that enable them to save time and money. Our goal is to utilize years of experience and a variety of in-house capabilities to develop complete custom assemblies that can streamline your production schedule and reduce or eliminate unnecessary production costs.
Improving Lead Times by Streamlining Design Without Reducing Functionality
When a new client approached us with a project producing bearings for outdoor power equipment, we quickly realized there was ample opportunity to improve efficiency in the customer’s production process. The customer required a bearing for a trunnion assembly that mounts to a friction disk and was part of the variable speed drive on their self-propelled, 2-stage walk-behind snow blowers.
Our engineers explored how the bearing would be used in the end design and what the assembly it went into would look like. The initial design featured a bearing captured within two clamshell housings that would then be welded together. A broached screw machine part was then inserted in the bore of the bearing to which a plate was welded.
In order to identify where improvements could be made, the team found similar aftermarket equipment and reverse-engineered the final assembly. They were able to combine elements of the design and produce a single part that would simplify the customer’s assembly process, thus reducing time and cost associated with multi-step product assembly. This was done by incorporating the inserted tube in the inner race and affixing the plate to the extended race component.
Versatile In-House Capabilities for Enhanced Cost Savings
Our engineers identified areas where the assembly could be secured with tabs, which removed the need for welding. They also replaced the screw machine part with an extended inner race. A stamped triangular plate was then press-fit and staked to the knurled end of the inner race. A rubber drive disc is bolted to the plate and the ‘ears’ on the trunnion actuate movement. We also incorporated a hex bore inner race with housing that allowed for the actuation of the unit along the shaft.
Lutco was able to bring together multiple in-house capabilities (machining, customizing bearings, stamping, assembly) to reduce the cost of production, reduce labor, and simplify the assembly to make a more robust, reliable part. By consolidating this many required features, the customer was able to simplify their design from six parts to just one unit. The same principles can be utilized to overcome engineering challenges and refine equipment design in nearly all industries
Lutco produced a sample of the refined assembly design to present to the customer. Because we were able to eliminate a number of components by incorporating them directly into our design and because we were able to produce the full assembly using our in-house metal stamping capabilities, the customer would be able to save on production costs and streamline their overall production process. Pleased with the new assembly design, the customer opted to make it a permanent part of their equipment.
If cost containment, time to market and product quality are key issues for your company, consider a custom bearing assembly to help you reduce complexity, drive down total product cost, boost productivity and improve product performance.
For more information about custom bearing assemblies for outdoor power equipment and more, contact the experts at Lutco, Inc. today.