Seneca Sawmill has revolutionized the lumber industry nationwide. The Eugene-based company has multiple lumber production systems, each with a large number of critical components and dedicated teams to ensure those systems operate reliably and efficiently.
As with many businesses, in a sawmill, downtime costs tremendous amounts of money in lost production and staffing. Failed components are not an option. To those ends, after some disastrous break-downs prompted by another manufacturer’s cylinders, Seneca hired Purakal to address the reliability of one of Seneca’s operations.
Our mission? To identify and implement cylinders that would withstand the grueling battery of heavy, repetitive use that characterizes a sawmill. At the time that we were called in, the company’s aggressive quad setworks system and the related cylinders that powered the equipment were regularly failing. The quad setworks and saw change cylinders were scheduled for six-month routine maintenance rotations, but the seals would often begin leaking within three months.
We’ve seen this sort of situation many times and know that when repeated cylinder failure has occurred, it is imperative that the proper research and observation of the current processes is conducted at a micro and macro level. We knew that although Seneca had simply requested that we design a cylinder that would eliminate leakage and withstand the routine rigors and stress of the timber that came in contact with the setworks system, we needed to really understand the rigors and other drivers contributing to the failures.
We had designed and produced a cylinder that extended the cylinder’s life to 18 months, nearly 60 weeks longer than the previous equipment.
Based on our review and the collaborative input from the maintenance and management team, we designed and produced a cylinder that would at minimum fulfill Seneca’s measurement of success: a cylinder that would function smoothly for a year without attention, allowing Seneca to follow a predictable schedule for maintenance.
Initial performance of the new cylinder was exceptional, and we were thrilled that the customer was extremely satisfied. We knew the solution would outperform and outlast the previous cylinders. But even our team was impressed when the final results were reported: We had designed and produced a cylinder that extended the cylinder’s life to 18 months, nearly 60 weeks longer than the previous equipment. Frequent replacements, unexpected downtime and lost production were a thing of the past. Neither Purakal or Seneca could be more pleased.
Lansmont Corporation has provided test and measurement equipment as well as engineering services to an impressive client base for over 45 years, paving the way for increased product reliability and longevity. The company is behind the scenes of some of the fastest evolving, best performing products available. The stakes of its testing systems are high: For example, the company simulates the impact of road-side bombs (IED) upon military vehicles.
We were honored when the company called on Purakal to provide cylinders for a large assortment of the company’s shock, impact and drop testing labs. Like Purakal, Lansmont tolerates little error, and insists upon robust, well designed products that offer consistent and reliable performance.
One of our most rewarding Lansmont projects involved engineering and provision of a cylinder that would later be installed on the company’s Horizontal Impact Test System (HITS). The HITS is used to simulate the explosive impact of such actions as an IED, in a controlled testing environment. Success requires the successful operation of each individual unit, as well as full function within the larger testing system.
Purakal’s sales and engineering teams collaborated with the Lansmont engineering team to provide guidance on the design and operation of the cylinder — defining expectations before final production began, to assure full satisfaction.
Purakal’s sales and engineering teams collaborated with the Lansmont engineering team to provide guidance on the design and operation of the cylinder – defining expectations before final production began, to assure full satisfaction. Then, the pneumatic cylinder was installed and tested. It performed as specified, with seamless integration into the HITS system. The Purakal design was able to deliver the force and speed that was required to accurately recreate the shocking impact of a road side bomb – no small task.
The results? The cylinder became a critical part of a system that taken as a whole, helped to fulfill Lansmont’s mission to provide state-of-the-art manufacturing, testing, and measurement products to the world’s leading companies. And in this particular case, we felt directly connected to an effort that ultimately saved lives. Today, we continue to support Lansmont’s work, and are a proud partner in their certification of products that function as promised.
In an age in which plastics and consumables abound, steel remains highly sought for buildings, art, and vehicles of all shapes and sizes. Just the sound of it – “steel” – is solid. Not surprisingly, steel is a foundational building block for hydraulic and pneumatic cylinders. It doesn’t get heavier duty than that.
Cascade Steel Rolling Mills is based in McMinnville, Oregon and is a Purakal supplier – and a customer. Far from the Midwest, the quintessential source for metals, the company has established a reputation for quality construction rebar, flat and cylindrical bars of steel for industrial applications, and wire rod that’s commonly used in chain link fencing and nails. More in keeping with its Northwest roots is this: All of the steel the mill manufactures is formed from recycled products.
One of the methods Cascade utilizes to produce its steel rebar is an enormous furnace. Large blocks of steel are inserted into the furnace using hydraulic cylinders and heated to 2400 degrees F. Then, the steel is funneled into a forge, forming rebar at a truly blistering pace. Cascade’s original cylinders were manufactured abroad and plagued the mill’s maintenance crew with their unwieldy construction, metric specifications and routine failures. In several cases, the cylinder components failed. Thankfully, no one was injured. Yet it was clearly time for a change: Cascade called on Purakal.
Throughout the process, we took a step-by-step approach that kept in mind our customer’s needs.
Our engineering department provided a full redesign of the problem cylinder. The new design greatly enhanced the safety and reliability of the furnace. We chose more application-appropriate materials and construction, and to minimize frustration for the maintenance crew, we opted for standard specs, rather than metric. Essentially, we eliminated all chances of catastrophic failures.
Throughout the process, we took a step-by-step approach that kept in mind our customer’s needs. For example, we provided engineering analysis and a project timeline suitable for the mill to continue production without skipping a beat.
Since the completion of the project, cylinder failure has been eliminated and the time spent on constant maintenance is instead spent on the production of steel – steel that Purakal can put to use for other customers, too.