Homerun for Harkness!

 

We wanted to share an interesting, successful project we worked on recently with our client, ProBatter Sports.

ProBatter Sports has been designing and supplying state-of-the-art pitching systems since 1999. Mike Suba, VP of Engineering came to Harkness with two goals in mind:

1) Improving the performance of the urethane in ProBatter’s current pitching system and

2) Reducing costs while maintaining or improving quality.

The original wheels used on their systems were made by bonding a soft urethane tread to a metal hub.  The urethane allowed the wheel to grip the ball and throw realistic, simulating pitches to provide batters with the best training possible. The company has been very successful in providing the baseball industry with pitching systems but it doesn’t stop there. ProBatter Sports has also successfully created systems for the softball and cricket industries.

Harkness helped ProBatter modify the design of the metal hub so that it could be replaced by a high hardness urethane with excellent dynamic performance. The modification of the hub design paved the way for Harkness to use its unique manufacturing process to adhere the hard urethane hub to the soft urethane tread in a one-step continuous process.

ProBatter Sports realized several significant benefits with this new design:

  • The ultra-strong bond between the hard and soft urethanes eliminated past bond failures of the soft urethane tread to the metal hub.
  • Harkness’ manufacturing process produced a dual hardness wheel that extended life expectancy by tens of thousands of pitches and eliminated the balancing cost required on all previous designs.
  • Lastly ProBatter got a surprise when shipping the new pitching wheels … the polyurethane hub weighed much less than the metal hub helping them save money on freight.

This is what we do best: bring us your problem and let our team knock it out of the park. We had fun collaborating and working with ProBatter Sports and we look forward to tackling new challenges in the future.

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