Rebuilding heavy equipment makes good economic sense, particularly for the hydraulic components on construction and earth moving machinery. In fact, the trend since 2008 has been strong enough to support the addition of a machine shop as part of the existing hydraulics shop at Caterpillar dealer Whayne Supply. Key among the shop’s equipment is a Sunnen HTA tube hone, which allows Whayne to resurface scratched and rusted cylinder barrels, saving customers 80 percent or more over the cost of a new barrel. Brought in as part of a beta test of Sunnen’s new all-electric machine design in 2009, the hone has been used to process more than 1,000 barrels. Bringing this previously outsourced machining work in-house has helped the company add revenue and staff, while also improving control of delivery schedules and costs for customers.
Whayne is the worldwide leader in Cat-certified rebuilds of complete machines, having produced more than 400 on 33 different machine models since 1985. The company was honored for completing the five thousandth Cat-certified rebuild in 2011. Whayne has 14 locations and approximately 1300 employees, with 200 located in Corbin.
"Simple economics dictate that customers are going to be rebuilding machines until the economy – and the coal industry in our region – both strengthen significantly," said Mike Harbin, Manager of Whayne’s Power Rebuild Center. "We have customers who are tearing down machines in the field and completely rebuilding them. The machine shop and the honing system have helped us stay on top of this trend. We have added five people in our shop alone to handle the increased volume."
Whayne has rebuild centers in Louisville and Corbin. All exchange/re-sell goods are processed in these shops. The hydraulics shop in Corbin has eight cylinder technicians, three full-time machinists, three pump experts, plus a foreman and service coordinator. The Corbin operation added a machine shop to its hydraulics shop in 2009 that included two vertical mills, two lathes, drill press, rotary surface grinder, welders, and saws. The shop stocks various sizes of chrome-plated bar and DOM tubing, some of it pre-cut for standard Cat sizes. The shop has five cylinder service bays, one for suspension cylinders, one for lift cylinders on small loaders and three for high-force cylinders. "We can replace the barrel, rod, rod eyes, head/seal areas, hydraulic lines and connections, or custom fabricate new cylinders to spec," said Michael Carter, Service Coordinator. There are four hydraulic cylinders on the average Cat machine, so the shop stays busy, processing about 1,000 cylinders in 2011. "During the summer, we may have a hundred or more cylinders outside our shop waiting to be rebuilt, because our indoor storage is full," Carter added.
Re-surfaced cylinders save customers 80 percent or more over cost of new barrel. Cylinders up to 21-feet long honed successfully.
Caterpillar dealer Whayne Supply has honed hydraulic cylinders up to 21 feet long, saving customers 80 percent over the cost of a new barrel.
The HTA hone is designed for optimum performance with
Whayne honing operator changes abrasives to perform both
Whayne honing operator inserts the tool at start of a cycle. Whayne has honed cylinders with bore ID up to 17 inches. The HTA tube honing system handles parts weighing up to 8,000 lbs. (3629 kg) with ID ranges from 2.5 inches to 21 inches (63.5 to 533 mm).