Recently, United Equipment Accessories was approached by a winery located in Hood River, Oregon. Their Bertolaso five head capsule sleeker for wine bottles, originally built in Italy, was in need of a replacement slip ring. The motor has five heads and rotates as the wine bottles pass through on a conveyor belt. Each head is driven to spin by the motor. The power going to this motor travels through the slip ring. The spinning head reduces the size of the tin or aluminum capsule by rolling and is then placed on top of each bottle. This is the finishing touch surrounding the cork seal. The machine will do thirty bottles per minute or about eight thousand per day.
The problem was the slip ring was simply worn out. The Italian replacement parts would have been over two thousand dollars, if they could even supply the parts, which they could not. This prompted an internet search resulting in a call to UEA customer service. After going over the details of the application, we were able to suggest a very fast and inexpensive solution. One of our off-the-shelf, Quick Ship slip rings seemed to be the perfect fit. The 1.5” bore slip ring with four conductors rated 20 amps @ 600 VAC, including a spun aluminum cover, was more than adequate for their machine.
Twenty-four hours and less than $200.00 later, the slip ring was on the way to the Mt. Hood Winery in Oregon. We received a very nice thank you note from this customer with the comment. “It works great! In fact, I don't think the machine has ever worked this well since we have owned it. And thanks for a great USA made product.”
Although UEA can and does make some very customized slip rings for specialized machinery, sometimes as in this case the solution is fast, inexpensive and on the shelf.