Outsourcing vs. In-House Engineered Solutions

DN Staff

August 14, 2009

3 Min Read
Outsourcing vs. In-House Engineered Solutions

Over the past 40 years, Acrison has established itself as the industry's leading authority in dry bulk solids handling, specifically the precision metering of dry solid ingredients by volume or weight and the closely related proportioning, blending, storage and hoppering of these materials. While Acrison offers the most comprehensive line of volumetric and gravimetric feeders in the marketplace, the company has an aggressive R&D program to ensure it maintains a leadership position through in-depth knowledge of the latest industry applications and engineering issues. According to Paul Matarazzo, senior mechanical engineer at Acrison Inc., one of the company's strengths is its use of the various metal coating technologies available.

"Metal coatings play a critical part in the performance of our products primarily because of the variety of applications our products serve," he says. "The principle issue is the reduction of friction on our metal feeders to prevent the materials from sticking. Coatings with a lower coefficient of friction (COF) prevent build-up on the machinery and in cases where materials such as pigments are used; accuracy is critical."

Machinery abrasion from certain dry bulk solids can also create issues for customers, as well as additional expense. In other cases, Acrison's customers have applications where materials will react with stainless steel, which is an issue because most of the company's parts are made from stainless steel. Chlorides like ammonium or stannous chloride will react, causing corrosion and even pitting on the steel.

Acrison also uses metal coatings for applications that require a release property in high-temperature situations, such as feeding into a furnace at up to 1,000F. These applications require coatings that are able to withstand high temperatures while providing functionality. Acrison has four main coating options when manufacturing equipment: chrome, ceramic, Acrison's own in-house coatings and coatings provided by General Magnaplate Corp.

Given the available options, why would Acrison outsource coatings as it's traditionally more expensive to send parts out for coating and also adds time to the overall process?

"General Magnaplate has built a reputation similar to ours," says Matarazzo, "as industry experts that you use not only to provide a product, but to solve engineering applications, as well. Because of their immense industry experience they are able to provide us with release coatings that outperform others available in the marketplace - they provide a much lower COF."

"Recently we had a customer whose materials were reacting with our steel parts in a rubber compounding application, so we turned to Magnaplate to solve the problem," he says. "If they do not have a coating available to solve the problem, then they'll engineer one that custom fits the application."

Matarazzo says Magnaplate provides a wide variety of proprietary coatings, many of which meet strict federal standards such as FDA and USDA compliance. "Most importantly; however, is the life-span that Magnaplate's coatings offer metal parts," he says.

"Some of the machinery we produce is expected to survive 20 years, being used on a grueling daily schedule, and we need to provide customers with minimum downtime and a low cost of ownership," he adds.

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