Why NTN’s Ultage series is a popular choice in recycling sector

While Australia’s recycling sector has grown considerably since the 1990s, there is increased pressure on operators to recycle waste more efficiently – particularly in the wake of the China National Sword import restriction and a media focus on Australia’s waste management facilities.

This is why it’s essential to keep the rotating equipment at Recycling Plants in good service, says industrial bearing expert, Tony Tormey.

“The NTN Ultage spherical roller bearings are a popular choice among clients in the recycling sector because they offer superior longevity – up to five times longer service life than other spherical roller bearings,” explains Tormey, who is CBC Australia’s Product Manager for Industrial Bearings.

“Nearly all of our customers in the recycling industry are using Ultage bearings in at least one application at their plant.”

Unlike its traditional spherical roller bearing predecessors, the NTN Ultage series comprises a completely new design. The main feature of this design is the increased roller diameter which makes the Ultage bearings suitable to all applications with high radial loads.

“The Ultage is the ultimate spherical roller bearing that NTN produce. This series provides an industry-leading performance with dynamic load ratings of up to 65 per cent more than NTN conventional spherical roller bearings, in addition to an increased service life of up to five times more than our traditional spherical roller bearings and at least one and a half times increased fatigue strength,” says NTN-CBC Product Manager for Bearings, Fabio Rebecchi.

“With environmental demands being more prevalent and the recycling sector growing so rapidly, we’re seeing a significant increase in demand for these spherical roller bearings.”

Spherical roller bearings are used in all recycling material recovery facilities. Typical applications include conveyor rolling systems, vibrating screens, sorting machines, shredding machines, grinding machines, crushing machines and in all pulp and paper mill machinery.

Rebecchi points out that the Ultage series has a custom bearing type to suit each and every one of these applications.

“There are six types of Ultage bearing types that we stock for use in various Recycling Plant applications. In fact, the name ‘Ultage’ is a combination of the words ‘ultimate’ and ‘stage’, which indicates NTN’s intention in designing an industry-leading performance spherical roller bearing that can be employed in a diverse range of applications”, explains Rebecchi.

“The Ultage series bearings have the world’s highest standard load capacity. This has been achieved by maximising the roller diameter as well as the number of rollers and roller design.”

Another key benefit of the Ultage series range is that they will function at optimal capacity in temperatures of up to 200 degrees Celsius. Ultimately, these features provide significant cost savings from a total cost of ownership perspective.

“The service life that operators are getting from the NTN Ultage series is just first-class. Not only do operators within the recycling sector get increased productivity from their equipment, these high-performing Ultage bearings also reduces the amount of maintenance needed on machinery,” says Tormey.

Customers within the recycling segment also stand to gain from the unique joint venture between CBC and NTN. Particularly as one of the NTN-CBC company directors, Mr Jerry (Takao) Maki, is based locally.

Maki has held various posts within NTN and has been working with the Japanese manufacturer since 1981. His ability to tap into the NTN global network and directly communicate with the company’s manufacturing and design divisions makes him a great asset to NTN-CBC Australia.

“In the recycling sector, the focus is always on uptime of machinery and NTN being able to provide superior products for applications in this segment,” explains Maki.

“The Ultage series bearings are highly-engineered products. We have total access to the manufacturing division and can ensure our customers in Australia are paired with the correct Ultage type for their application.”

Tormey reiterated the fact that having access to the manufacturer is a major advantage, but also noted the importance of CBC’s availability and accessibility to customers.

“At CBC we take pride in our understanding of a customer’s requirements and their plant requirements. As well as having the right parts and on-time delivery, we provide full engineering services to help improve the uptime of rotating equipment.”

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Gates Poly Chain Synchronous Belts Boost Efficiency of Paper Recycling Operation

When it comes to paper and cardboard recycling, Australia is relatively well-positioned globally. The National Waste Report 2018 shows that about 60 per cent of Australia’s paper and cardboard waste is recycled, with other estimates putting the figure as high as 87 per cent.

All paper or cardboard recycling processes often begin by shredding the raw material in an industrial shredder – also known as a mulcher – before moving on to pulping, de-inking, drying and rolling of new paper.

Overloading or feeding wet cardboards into a mulcher can send shock loads to the machine, resulting in the drive not performing to its optimum capacity.

This was the case with an operator using a 250-horsepower mulcher – their existing v-belts tended to slip under the severe load conditions, which eventually caused the belts to fail prior to their required service lives.

The CBC engineering team, after studying the issue, recommended replacing the existing v-belts with new Gates Poly Chain synchronous belts to allow the mulcher to operate at its desired capacity.

Since synchronous belts rely on tooth grip and not on slip (as is the case with v-belts), the drive system also needed to be replaced. The CBC team proposed using 56-tooth and 112-tooth driven sprockets to replace the existing drive system of the paper and cardboard mulcher.

Steve Hittmann, CBC Australia’s National Product Manager for Mechanical Drives, says the solution enabled the plant operators to run the mulcher to desired capacity, without requiring any maintenance in the 18 months that followed their installation.

“The Gates Poly Chain GT Carbon belt gave the site the ability to operate the mulcher at their desired level of severe shock loads. The belts have been working without any slip under high load conditions, resulting in maintenance-free and higher capacity operations,” says Hittmann.

Poly Chain is a polyurethane belt that replaces traditional roller chain applications for power transmission. It uses carbon fibre tensile cords to provide an increased power carrying capacity and extended flex fatigue life, helping it withstand shocks, surge loading and heavy abrasion.

In addition, Hittmann says the Gates Poly Chain synchronous belts offer energy saving benefits when replacing v-belts, older synchronous belts and chain drives.

“Since v-belts have thicker cross sections than synchronous belts, they need more energy to bend around sheaves. Gates Poly Chain synchronous belts offer up to 5 per cent energy savings over v-belts,” he explains.

Synchronous belts are toothed and require the installation of mating grooved sprockets. These belts maintain their efficiency over a wide load range. In applications where v-belts lose their efficiency at high torque due to increased slippage, synchronous belts can offer a better solution.

“The Gates Poly Chain synchronous belts require minimal maintenance and re-tensioning and run slip-free,” says Hittmann.

Poly Chain GT Carbon belts operate on Poly Chain GT sprockets and do not require any adaptation of existing GT applications.

Gates distributes its power transmission products through CBC and the two companies work closely to support the Australian market with their technical expertise. CBC operates more than 35 branches across Australia, with each branch employing experienced product managers and engineering support teams to provide everything from design, installation and fitment.

If recycling plant owners wish to re-design their plants to reduce downtime and increase their efficiency, they can contact the CBC support team, who will conduct a thorough survey to come up with the best solutions. They also offer training for maintenance staff if necessary, according to Hittmann.

“Gates and CBC have had a strong relationship going back to the early 90s and have both grown in that period,” he says.

“The combined expertise of CBC and Gates specialists ensures that customers get the best belts and drives solutions for their plants.”

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Built to last

It’s a little-known fact that the humble roller chain, a critical component to recycling plants, was first conceived by Leonardo da Vinci in the 1500s.

However it wasn’t until 1880 that the roller chain was actually invented and the Indianapolis Chain and Stamping Company was founded in 1890. The first US domestic roller chain producer was focused on a chain for the safety bicycle.

The Diamond chains then went from strength to strength, partnering with Henry Ford for the automotive drive chain and being used by Wright Brothers for the first flight.

In 1901, the company was renamed to the Diamond Chain Company and is now widely differentiated as a leader in providing precision roller chain for select mechanical power transmission applications.

Diamond today, is reliant on support from CBC in Australia to provide it with best in class wear life on its roller chains for select mechanical power transmission applications. Some of the benefits at a glance are industry leading technical expertise, a commitment to customer and strategic national account growth and a low total cost of ownership.

Troy Markland, CBC Product Manager, says that recycling plants are diverse in nature and thus the roller chain is suited to multiple applications.

“Diamond Chain is renowned for offering a high-performance industrial roller chain,” Troy says.

“One of the reasons it has such a long life is the attention to detail on the manufacturing of the components. Diamond use high quality steel and pre-tensions the chain up to 50% of its tensile strength. Every process of manufacturing is checked to the next stage of production.”

Whether it be municipal solid, commercial and industrial and construction and demolition waste, the applications are extensive.

The relationship between CBC and Diamond is crucial to providing the right product support. The best chain is only possible with the best materials, and Diamond Chain leverages its long-term supplier relationships to meet exacting material standards, with multiple inspection and process checks to ensure quality and performance.

Troy says that CBC draws on global factory and engineering support and design capabilities from Diamond based on the application when required.

“Given that Diamond has more than 125 years of industry experience, we’re able to tap into case studies of applications throughout the world,” he says.

“We’ll submit via email or phone conversation if we have an application and require some design assistance we’ll go to the technical centre and ask for support.”

Proper lubrication substantially extends a chain’s life. Diamond Chain applies a proprietary initial lubricant that contains special corrosive-resistant additives and has superior surface retention leading to longer wear life. The hot dip application process ensures complete internal penetration and uniform exterior coverage.

In terms of pre-loading after assembly, carbon steel chains are preloaded to 50% of their ultimate tensile strength. This exceeds the normal operating loads, with the process seating the pins and bushings, significantly reducing initial run-in and extending the life of the chain.

Troy says Diamond is a world leader in precision roller chains which offers superior wear life.

“Depending on the style of chain that exists there are a couple of reduced maintenance options,” Troy says.

When it comes to the fabrication, the more precise the components, the better the performance. The bushings and rollers have a seamless design extruded with uniform wall thickness and near perfect roundness for smooth travel. The pins are precision ground for consistent fit and smooth travel. They use a proprietary multi-step pitch hole operation to maximise the bearing surface for optimal fatigue life.

Importantly, Troy says full factory after-sales support is offered based on the customer’s requirements. Performance testing comprises fatigue and wear tests that ensure the chain performs to expectations, regardless of the application.

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Smoothing over lubrication challenges in Recycling Plant machinery

According to lubrication industry expert Steve Keown, it is paramount that lubricant and penetrant products used in recycling plants are able to perform in environments that have a high concentration of contaminants.

“Dirt, debris and water can come from the plant location itself or from the material that is being recycled, and they can hamper the effectiveness of the plant equipment and components. So, it is important that the lubrication can withstand these environments,” says Keown, CBC Australia’s Product Manager for Lubricants.

Keown recommends CRC Industries’ comprehensive lubricant and penetrant product range for recycling plant applications. The Tac-2, for instance, has a tough adhesive quality which will bond to chain/wear surfaces to keep conveyer chains in peak operating condition.

The Chute Lube, an NSF H2 registered silicone spray for package handling applications, forms a colourless, odourless, non-staining film that lubricates and protects in most metal to non-metal applications.

“CRC Chute Lube eliminates the binding and sticking of packages and boxes, while protecting most surfaces,” explains CRC Industries National Marketing Manager Simon Hatton. “This lubricant helps boxes glide down chutes and rails on package handling and sorting conveyors.”

Other lubricant products offered by CRC that are appropriate for recycling plants include the 808 Silicone and Dry Glide for sliding surfaces, the Contact Cleaner and Lectraclean to maintain conveyor motors and drive systems, and Long Life to maintain hinges and other moving machinery systems.

“CRC’s aerosol lubricants are an ideal product to use – whether it’s a ‘spray in place solution’ or whether it’s a bulk product for a plant shutdown for a routine maintenance program,” says Hatton.

“The benefits of CRC’s high performing lubricants include reduced product consumption through extended service internals, increased equipment life through reduced wear, and lower energy consumption from reduced friction.”

Moreover, CBC can offer recycling plants across Australia with a localised service through their network of branches. This includes extensive inventory analysis for recycling plant customers, to make sure the right products are used by engineering teams when carrying out component change-outs or other maintenance work.

“The lubricants and penetrants are there for the site maintenance teams at the recycling plants to use. Our main aim is to supply these products to those teams so they can have effective lubrication products on hand when they need them for the wide array of applications in the recycling plant,” says Keown.

CBC works closely with CRC Industries at both the national and local level, including taking joint call-outs to recycling plant sites for site surveys, inventory assessments, and application checks. This ensures that lubricants and penetrants are fit for purpose at particular sites.

“Based on our interaction with our customers, we also provide CRC with feedback on products that are very successful, and we provide suggestions on what could be added to the CRC range or what could be improved,” says Keown.

“CBC’s close collaboration with local CRC representatives, gives customers confidence that we can both supply them with the right products for their applications and, also, provided the infrastructure, resources, and staff to back up those product offerings.”

CBC has distribution centres in Melbourne, Sydney, and Perth, with the capability to send products all their local branches across Australia.

This means that if a recycling plant requires lubrication, not only can the well-stocked branch network supply products on demand, but the distribution centres are able to resupply products that are not locally available overnight if needed.

“We have a more extensive branch network nationally than anyone else, with a large amount of distribution centres. You don’t get that level of coverage with other suppliers – they don’t have the sales staff and the engineering teams to cover all regions like we can,” Keown states.

“When companies are looking at contracts to supply their plants – whether they be metropolitan or regional and remote – they can see that we have it covered.”

CBC has been working with industrial customers since the 1950s, with a long history of working with recycling plants. Some of CBC’s current staff have 30-plus years of experience in dealing with these types of processing plants.

“Those decades of experience filter over to other people in the company that work with them. Our team is very prepared for the challenges and the specific requirements of working with recycling plants,” said Keown.

“It is very reassuring for the customer to be able to pick up the phone and talk to a person that will visit their site, who is familiar with the type of equipment they have and the challenges that may occur at their recycling plant.”

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Giving waste management inefficiencies a good belting

The foundation of efficient waste management comes down to the wrapped belts that keep the machinery rolling.

Compared with other developed economies, Australia generates more waste than average and recycles less. Since the Australian Commonwealth appointed a Minister for Waste last year, the nation’s effort in recovering waste has been improved.

The national packaging targets aim to ensure 70 per cent of all plastic packaging is recycled by 2025 and resource recovery facility operators are being encouraged to assist with significant environmental outcomes as the sector continues to see growth in economic opportunity and increased material availability.

Recycling plant operators have five years until the 2025 National Packaging Targets deadline approaches to capitalise on expected throughput growth. As recycling demands increase, streamlining equipment processes through installation of durable belt drives will be a key investment for recycling plant operators to reach the ultimate high-level of efficiency.

This can be achieved for recycling plant operators by installing Carlisle belts. In order to maintain operations and minimise downtime, wrapped v-belts become a critical component in the facility’s procedure.

BSC prides itself on being innovative in waste management. Providing a diverse range of belt drives to facilitate recycling applications has proven to be a performance enhancing tool for companies across the country.

Companies rely on the efficient operation of their equipment that is driven by market leading belts with an electric motor, as it ensures the smooth operation of sorters, conveyors and crushers involved in the collaborative recycling process.

To provide a complete power transmission package, BSC works closely with the American manufacturer of Carlisle belts by Timken. For over 100 years, Carlisle belts have been manufactured in the US. The Timken Company acquired Carlisle belts in 2015.

Backed by a long history in serving recycling plant operators and assisting ultimate waste management, new belt lines and products to the market, has prepared customers for the changes happening across the industry as the nation strives towards a new level of stream-lined recycling ahead of the 2025 packaging targets.

Carlisle belts by Timken are supplied exclusively to BSC as part of Inenco Industrial Solutions. Steve Hittmann, National Product Manager at BSC says every belt is backed by extraordinary engineering and technical support from BSC’s product specialists and engineered services team.

“And combining that with the Carlisle factory back-up, our personal, knowledgeable, and attentive customer service team are second to none,” he enthuses.

As operations ramp up across national recycling plant facilities, Steve says it’s more important than ever to have on-time delivery and fast turnaround. Combining BSC’s distribution and Carlisle’s flexible manufacturing model, customers in the waste management sector are experiencing short lead times and reliable delivery that are exceeding their expectations and outlasting competitors’ belts.

Steve says the Carlisle Blue Label V-belts are the finest wrapped belt in the industry.

“They’re a classical V-belt work-horse,” he says. “They also assure dependable length stability and require less re-tensioning and take-up.”

Steve adds that due to the daily operational demands at recycling plants, having wrapped belts that resist flex fatigue and have a proven longer belt life will ensure smoother waste management.

“The Carlisle Blue Label V-belts have proven to be an efficient tool as the cord is coated with a special compound that produces a secure, long-lasting bond with surrounding rubber,” he explains. “Longer belt life results in less frequent replacement, less downtime and lower maintenance costs,” Steve says.

In recycling plants, there are a lot of extremely heavy, awkwardly shaped products moving around at a high velocity. The heavy-duty fabric cover protects the core but also its extra flexibility permits the belt to bend more easily around the smallest pulleys with less strain on the fabric, which achieves the perfect amount of slip and grip needed to put the rollers in motion.

Enabling a better flow of product through the plant relies on belt drive construction and design, as that can influence overall lifespan, power transmission and efficiency. Carlisle belts are specifically designed for the harsh environments of resource recovery.

BSC and Carlisle belts by Timken have extensive experience working with numerous companies in the waste management industry across Australia and their experience enables them to understand and grow businesses through energy conservation, high sustained speeds and continuous production as the entire sector undergoes a market changing recycling revolution.

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