Silicone Feed Tire for Mass Transit Fare Collection Equipment

At Megadyne Belt Corporation of America, we have a reputation for going beyond what is expected to meet the quality requirements and delivery expectations of our OEM customers.

One such customer, a manufacturer of mass transit fare card reading equipment and pre-paid parking ticket dispensers, approached us to produce a silicone feed tire they had been purchasing from another supplier. The supplier was not meeting the OEM’s expectations in terms of lead times and delivery. Since they had worked with us in the past, they were confident we could meet delivery targets that aligned with their production flow.

Megadyne Belt Corp was supplied with a sample, a CAD drawing, as well as material specifications. Production of this feed tire was extremely labor intensive and somewhat challenging due to its small size and narrow dimensions of 1.00” ID x 0.50” in width x 0.25” in thickness. In addition, it required a two-step manufacturing process that added to the complexity.

Megadyne Belt Corp assembled an in-house product development team to review and plan the best way to manufacture the feed tire in a timelier manner while maintaining the quality and integrity of the product. Materials specialists spent weeks in our R&D lab formulating the compounds, while manufacturing specialists engineered the two-stage process that involved:

  1. Applying an internal liner of cured ground urethane over a mandrel
  2. Applying a silicone top coat with a high gloss finish. This high gloss finish was necessary to enable smooth travel of the cards through the reading and dispensing mechanisms.

Using a custom-engineered equipment configuration, Megadyne Belt Corp fabricated these small tires accurately at fast cycle times. Quality control inspections including dimensional measurement of length, width, outer diameter, and inner diameter validated that we upheld close tolerances of ± .001”. Our fresh approach to production allowed us to ship quality products within the time constraints needed by our client.

The feed tire manufactured by Megadyne Belt Corp now provides reliable card capture and return performance for the mass transit fare collection system and has proven to keep up with the fast pace of busy commuters and travelers. We continue to manufacture these feed tires that work as well, if not better, than the original, at the rate of 2,000-3,000 units annually. To learn more about our expert belt manufacturing capabilities, contact us today.

Product Description

Silicone Feed Tire for Mass Transit Fare Collection and Dispensing Equipment

Capabilities Applied/Processes

Multiple Compounds
Two-stage manufacturing process consisting of:
Cured ground urethane over a mandrel
Silicone Top Coat with a high gloss

Overall Part Dimensions

Thickness – .25″
ID – 1″
Width – .5″

Tightest Tolerances

± .001″

Material Used

Urethane
SIlicone

Material Finish

High Gloss

Industry for Use

Mass Transit (Fare Collection)

Volume

2,000 – 3,000 per year

Delivery/Turnaround Time

6 Weeks

Feed Tire for High-Speed Mail Scanner

An OEM was interested in prolonging the lifecycle of a feed tire in their high-speed mail scanner. The OEM, an existing client, approached us to engineer a new version with enhanced wear resistance.

The existing belts were constructed from isoprene and were degrading due to friction from fast moving pulleys. The customer was in dire need of stronger belts, as the feed tires were literally melting during the mail scanning process.

Our team of design engineers set out to improve the materials used to increase the longevity of the belt, while maintaining the necessary characteristics required by the application. The feed tire design was revamped by changing the material from isoprene to a mill urethane substrate and then adding a non-glazing blue rubber cover that we co-molded. This new design provided the necessary coefficient of friction to keep envelopes and paper from sliding off the belt; the design also provided the desired extended resistance to wear and abrasion.

However, the challenge was to develop a molding process to bond urethane to natural rubber, which involved considerable research and development efforts. While the customer liked our design, they were impatient and took the design to another belt manufacturer. Unfortunately, the feed tire they produced underperformed.

In the meantime, for two years Megadyne Belt Corporation of America continued to pursue our goal and developed a breakthrough method for molding rubber over urethane. We also had a strategic advantage: the ability to mill urethane at close-dimensional tolerances, which is a notoriously difficult task. Due to our perseverance and technical competence, Megadyne Belt Corporation was contracted by the OEM to begin production.

Measuring 2.5” ID x .610” in width x .25” in thickness and produced to within ±.005” tolerances, these feed tires are constructed from natural blue rubber molded over a urethane liner. The feed tires feature a ground surface finish and exhibit outstanding wear properties. In use, they outperform the previous product by a factor of almost 7 to 1. While the older version wore out after 300,000 cycles, our upgraded version performs reliably for more than 2 million cycles – a remarkable improvement.

Megadyne Belt Corporation of America’s diligence and hard work improved the quality and performance of this OEM client’s mail sorting equipment. Contact us today if you are interested in more information about Megadyne Belt Corporation of America.

Product Name and Description

Feed Tire for High-Speed Mail Scanner

Capabilities Applied/Processes

ID- 2.5″
Width – .610″
Thick .25″

Tightest Tolerances

± .005

Material Used

Urethane
Blue Natural Rubber

Material Finish

Ground Surface

Industry for Use

Mail Sorting

Volume

5,000-6,000 a Year

Delivery/Turnaround Time

4-6 Weeks