Polymer replaces metal components to provide a lightweight, longer-lasting harvesting tool

16-Dec-11
When Saroplast, a specialist in product design and molding based in Treviso, Italy, was tasked with designing higher performing components for an olive and fruit harvesting tool, it chose in order to obtain superior wear and temperature resistance versus metal parts that had previously been failing. The metal parts were unable to withstand the high levels of wear due to prolonged continuous use and exposure to high operating temperatures. The use of VICTREX PEEK polymer in the molded parts helped meet the temperature requirements while reducing weight, lowering power consumption and reducing acoustic noise. Ergonomic and weight issues with the original harvesting tool lead to user fatigue and premature mechanical failure. "We began to evaluate the possibility of replacing metal components with thermoplastic polymers in order to achieve a lightweight and easy-to-use tool that also increased the lifetime of the device," explained Roberto Frare, head of Technical-Commercial operations at Saroplast. The new design has been tested successfully and VICTREX PEEK polymer now provides a lightweight solution that is easier for the harvester to use. "This design weighed ten times less than the original model, improved the acoustic index, and reduced power consumption. The new, highly optimized device has a better feel for the user, and we expect this to result in a significant increase in production," added Frare.
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