C1 Machine Shear Belt Reconfiguration

Industry: Film & Plastics


Kodak's plant in Columbus, GA manufactures aluminum plates for the printing industry. The C1 machine takes large rolls of aluminum through a wash process, a treating process, a slitting process and cutting process to convert the rolls into sheet format before they are sent on to become printing pads.

Kodak needed greater range of product size capability on the C1 Machine to accommodate changes such as a new customer, a new application, or a new product (smaller plate sizes requiring center slitting).

Optimation was suggested as a subject matter expert on converting and a trusted supplier to Eastman Kodak Company in Rochester, NY.


One engineer and two designers visited the site to determine the scope of work and take field measurements, done within a six-hour window of machine shutdown.

The design was based on production experience and capability of the plate machine located in the Osterode, Germany facility. Optimation provided detailed design to fabricate new rollers, utilize as many existing parts as possible and modify other existing parts as needed.

Optimation purchased rollers from American Roller and fabricated mounting hardware at sister company Kingsbury Corporation. Parts and tool boxes were shipped to Columbus with five skilled trades professionals and one engineer to install components within a planned one-week shutdown

Optimation skilled tradesmen altered the shear belts from a 490 440 490 mm configuration to a 565 290 565 mm configuration, replacing three (3) drive rollers, thirty-three (33) idler rollers, drive roller mounting hardware, six (6) pillow block bearings and seventy-two (72) self-aligning bearings.

Optimation welded vertical pivot blocks to the existing support framework, utilizing an alignment fixture for proper positioning and Kodak's onsite welding equipment. Using a mag drill and Kodak's onsite mill, Optimation's skilled tradesmen modified the machine's existing parts. Optimation riggers removed and installed the hardware using Kodak's overhead bridge crane.


This new configuration will provide sufficient contact and support of the plates on the outer belts, enabling product widths as narrow as 288 mm to be center slit and separated.

To address the issue of belt tracking, crowned drive rollers and two sets of crowned idler rollers were provided. Along with these rollers, the pivot mounts for the drive rollers were modified from a horizontal plane adjustment to a vertical plane adjustment, providing a much more effective steering action on the belts.

This project was completed within the one-week shutdown requirement, and is now in use in its new capacity.

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  • Film & Plastics

  • Machine Design
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Mechanical Project Management

  • Converting & Finishing

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