The PEM Technology Gateway is co-funded by the Government of Ireland and the European Union through the 
ERDF Northern & Western Regional Programme 2021-2027

SpecDrum Engineering

Specdrum Pulley3

SpecDrum Engineering, a global leader in conveyor pulley supply, caters to industries spanning aviation, recycling, materials handling, and crushing & screening. Operating manufacturing facilities in Ireland and China, they produce over 50,000 pulleys annually, boasting extensive expertise in metal-mechanical developments and offering specialty drum and wing pulleys with metallic and rubber coatings.

Problem to Be Solved:

When confronted with a new abrasive conveyor system, SpecDrum faced a critical challenge. Traditional rubber lagging, when applied to a new abrasive conveyor system, exhibited significant wear and delamination under high-speed rotation and mechanical loading conditions.

Through collaboration facilitated by IntertradeIreland, SpecDrum joined forces with the PEM Technology Gateway and ATU Sligo to find a solution

How PEM Delivered Solution for Industry:

The goal was clear: enhance the performance and durability of the conveyor pulleys in extreme operating environments.

The Solution: Over the course of 18 months, the collaborative efforts yielded remarkable results:

  • In-depth material properties assessment, leveraging expertise from both academia and industry.
  • Exploration of advanced metal pulley surface preparation techniques
    Reviewing manufacturing processes and controls.
  • Developing a new rubber coating suitable for extreme conditions.
  • Leveraging expertise in Polymer Process Engineering to assess elastomeric properties and processing conditions.
  • Implementation of refined control measures in the vulcanisation process.
  • Development of a cutting-edge in-house testing apparatus to simulate real-world operating conditions.
How Gateway Delivered Solution for Industry:

Impact on the Company


The Impact: Through collaboration with rubber suppliers and PEM, we achieved significant breakthroughs:

  • Mechanical characterisations identified post-processing material behaviour
  • Peeling tests enhanced understanding of delamination mechanics
  • Exploration of metal pulley surface preparation and manufacturing methodology adaptations
  • Implementation of enhanced vulcanization process control, reducing witness marks and delamination occurrences

Innovation in Action: We developed an in-house testing apparatus to simulate extreme conditions, enabling us to:

  • Replicate and address previous issues
  • Establish a tool for quality control and consultation
  • Recommend suitable rubber compounds for specific usage conditions

The knowledge gained, processes developed, and technologies implemented during this project will continue to drive excellence in Specdrum’s operations for years to come. Their commitment to innovation and collaboration remains steadfast as they push the boundaries of what’s possible in the world of conveyor pulleys.


David Glasgow - General Manager

“ Working alongside the PEM Technology Gateway provided the Project Manager and the SpecDrum team with the equipment, advice and know-how to professionally test the previous product and successfully develop the new process and product to meet and surpass the demands of the application. The sincere teamwork between the Project Manager, Academic Supervisor and Company Supervisor was key to realising the total success of the project and providing benefits for all involved. " David Glasgow- General Manager, SpecDrum Ltd.