Pit and Quarry Direct
How innovation drives idler success
A Q&A with Precision Pulley & Idler’s Jim Masek

Pit & Quarry Direct had a flash interview with the always-busy Jim Masek, idler product engineering manager for Precision Pulley & Idler (PPI), before he had to get back to the many roles he plays in the Idlers operation of the company. Masek has worked for the Pella, Iowa-based PPI since 2003. He says one of the biggest challenges in his role is to deliver on increasing demand for drawings, 3D models, charts, phone calls, emails, special quotes, special orders, new product designs, product improvements and more in the fast-paced world of equipment design and support, especially at PPI, which is known for offering the quickest service possible.

Jim Masek

What is PPI’s product philosophy?

PPI's philosophy follows the principle of supplying the best conveyor components solutions for our customers. We are continually looking at a variety of applications and investigating to make and provide a product that works for each customer’s unique challenges.

What are you currently doing to offer customers the variety of idlers they need?

As many customers already know, we are set up to quickly supply idler retro rolls to fit any frame in the market. In addition to this, we are experts in the art of customization. We have engineers and designers looking at customer request to see how we can create an idler that solves their issues. Sometimes this means creating a slight variation to an existing product, and other times it is an entirely new design solution. Our sales team works with our customers side by side to gather as much information as possible, and then, within PPI's resources, we come up with the best possible solution.

Precision Pulley & Idler Retro Roll Measurements

Mike Roozeboom, product manager at PPI, talks through the process of measuring your idler roll to ensure you have proper data for the PPI Retro Roll.
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What materials are you currently testing in the field for quarry application?

Some of these roll materials have been out there for many years, and we continue to test in different applications and environments. That includes Aluminum, High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE), Nylon, Urethane, SBR rubber, Neoprene rubber, EPDM rubber and others.

One of our newest products is a roll with ceramic rubber discs. Ceramic is incredibly wear resistant, but also very brittle. The downfall of using ceramic on an idler roll is that the ceramic would break and fall off the roll. Combining the ceramic tile into a rubber disc eliminates this problem and creates a durable wear-resistant roll covering.

Why is it important to innovate?

There are many reasons: To grow our core business at PPI, add to the diversification of products offer, to continue to differentiate PPI from our competitors and, most importantly, to growth customer satisfaction. Our goal is to expand and innovate into new market areas while avoiding pitfalls and increase safety factors in every new development.

Are new products going to be available soon?

Many of these new products are currently available in a small number to be tried by PPI customers.

How does the future look at PPI?

PPI is always looking to add strategic products. We continue to work closely with customers and partner globally to find the right solutions. We just inaugurated our new Technology Center building in Pella, Iowa, where the entire operation is a reflection of our commitment and dedication to our customers.

Pit & Quarry Direct provides professionals in the aggregate mining industry with insights on timely innovations in equipment and technology. This newsletter was produced by North Coast Media’s content marketing staff in collaboration with PPI.

For more information about PPI, visit www.ppi-global.com.

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