Mechanical Engineering Design and Improvement
Niagara Falls-based GTG Engineering Canada Inc. is the exclusive distributor of LLFA® products, a stable, chemically inert and opaque rubber material used to repair, seal and insulate all manners of industrial components. One of its more popular products is ‘Smooth’ and ‘Smooth Thin’, typically used in medium-to-high voltage applications. While the main component for these products is sourced in large quantities from its supplier, Smooth & Smooth Thin are manufactured on a small scale with a homemade machine at GTG, which needed to be improved to produce a more consistent product more efficiently.
The solutions provided by the Research & Innovation division were applied to the existing machine, its current processes, and the design of a new machine and workspace. In addition to a new cutting jig design, the research team developed a more methodical process for material preparation. The process also included guidelines on placement and organization of the cut pieces. Also, a new optimized design to improve the hydraulic feed tube and die system was created using 3D CAD software. Other improvements include adding pneumatic actuations to the core chuck and rearranging the work cell to reduce stressors on the operator.