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Jan 29 13

The Death of Planned Obsolescence

by Rick Mathis

With the shift in our society to a “throw away” mentality, it makes me wonder why. Why have we become such a wasteful society who thinks that a 2 year lifespan on a product is perfectly acceptable?

Much of this is based on the manufacturers of goods and the practice of planned obsolescence. Planned obsolescence has allowed for higher corporate profit on the sales side of things, but has caused consumers and end users to spend considerably more, faster.

At Kenrie, we feel that the old way is the right way. We believe in building machines that last, and in supporting machines that still serve a useful purpose.

We receive many calls about spare/replacement parts for Buss Wood Planers, B&T Die Cast Equipment, and Micromatic and Ex-Cell-O Honing equipment. We pride ourselves on being able to support a wood planer from the 1800’s because the machines were built to last. Nowadays you can pick up an old wood planer for pennies and while it may cost you a bit to get it back to working order, it will last you almost a lifetime with proper maintenance and produce years and years quality work.

On a similar note, while many American Die Casting machines (and companies) have either been sent overseas or scrapped, many still exist and we pride ourselves on being able to support the B&T Die Cast line. If you need a tie bar, linkage or even just a washer, we can provide it. Not many companies these days can say that about a machine that was built 20, 30, 40 or even 50 years ago.

With 2,000 square feet of old engineering and the know-how to find what a customer needs, we are proud to be able to build machines that last and support machines that were built to last. Planned obsolescence may have worked on things like cell phones and computers, but we still believe in customer service and standing behind what you build instead of forcing the consumer to buy more and more failing junk.

Oct 24 12

Bearing Raceway Honing

by Rick Mathis

Engineers have long acknowledged that a series of balls rolling in a raceway is the most efficient means of minimizing friction between moving surfaces. This recognition has led to the use of anti-friction ball bearings in numerous applications from tiny precision instruments to huge machinery of all types

As bearing loads and operating speeds increased, functional characteristics of the ball raceway surfaces became correspondingly critical. At the same time, the demand for ball bearings followed a steady upswing. It was apparent there was a need for a process that would generate greater accuracy on a more productive scale than offered by the methods that were currently being used at the time.

Micromatic research and development of Microhoning techniques along these lines produced the first successful method for automatic processing and handling of raceway rings on multiple spindle machines. Production increased several times over the output of former methods. Even more significant was the ability of the Microhoning process to improve these raceway functional characteristics:
1) Curvature – true path across raceway;
2) Macro geometry – waviness around the raceway;
3) Micro geometry – surface roughness and lay of the raceway.

Processing economies were also affected. Microhoning capabilities made it possible to reduce grinding time and to eliminate polishing operations.

Since the quality of any bearing can be no better than the surface on which the balls roll, the slightest imperfections in the raceways tend to increase friction and noise, as well as reduced bearing life.

The noise that a bearing emits when rotated under load is more than an indication of surface condition and how smoothly the balls roll. It is an important functional factor in itself, especially in such instances as mounted type bearing used in industrial fan applications. Because the fans are usually mounted on structural steel and there is duct work around them, the noise of these fans is amplified several times over its natural level.

Quieter running, longer life bearings result from Microhoning’s ability to:
1) improve concentricity between raceway and bore;
2) remove high spots in raceways and true the plane of the track;
3) correct track curvature for a greater degree of contact with balls;
4) simultaneously improve both accuracy and surface finish.

Although the generation of torus-shaped surface of a bearing raceway might be considered a unique application of Microhoning, the above results are achieved through adaptation of basic Microhoning principles. Primarily, they are (a) a combination of motions that generates more accurate geometric form and keeps the abrasive stick self dressing, (b) low-velocity abrading with controlled pressure, (c) a float (in the tool) which allows the abrasive stick to align itself with the ball track.

Both inner and outer raceways are Microhoned on multiple spindle machines. The number of spindles is dependent upon the size of the bearing and production required. Positioned on an oscillating arm, the tools pivot about the center of the raceway arc. As the rings rotate, the abrasive sticks sweep across the tracks, removing irregularities and leaving a surface clean of smeared or deformed metal.

Techniques for locating, holding and rotating the rings are continually being improved to assure more uniform wall thickness and greater accuracy.

Through critical checks and comparative performance studies, bearing makers and users are convinced that bearings with Microhoned raceways run smoother, quieter and longer than those processed by any other method.

Although refinements in equipment and methods are always under constant cultivation, Microhoning on a production basis has been economically feasible for many years. Many very prominent bearing manufactures are currently utilizing the Microhoning process on a production basis.

Whether you need new raceway honing equipment or you would like to refurbish/retool your existing Micromatic Microhoning machines, Kenrie can help. Contact us through our website or call us at 616-494-3200.

Apr 10 12

Job Honing

by Rick Mathis

As the market progresses and outsourcing becomes the norm, we here at Kenrie have decided to utilize our inventory of machines to provide job honing to all market segments. This will allow companies an option when it comes to fulfilling their honing needs. Kenrie is committed to quality and by utilizing our over 100 years of archives, our experienced staff and our size we can offer the best product available in the industry.

Jan 27 12

Made in the USA

by Rick Mathis

After receiving an e-mail from one of our assembly personnel, it got us thinking.  How much of every machine we produce is American-made?  Well, from this point forward we are going to find out, keep track, and do our very best to increase that number.  ABC News runs stories called “Made in America.”  One of the stories talked about home building in this country and it was stated that if each builder could increase the amount of American-made products they use in building a home, by 5%, it would create 220,000 American jobs.  That’s just the construction industry and just 5%.  Imagine if every manufacturer here followed suit and went to 7.5% or 10%!  We are going to do everything we can to increase the amount of American-made products to help put Americans back to work and we challenge every manufacturer who is owned and operated here to do the same.  Together we can put Americans back to work!