Packaging belt life to capitalise on industry growth

As the 2025 National Packaging Targets deadline approaches, resource recovery facility operators are presented with an opportunity to capitalise on expected throughput growth.

Between 2017-18, Australia generated 4.4 million tonnes of packaging waste, with only 68 per cent collected. Of that 68 per cent, 56 per cent was recovered via recycling.

In contrast, the national packaging targets aim to ensure 70 per cent of all plastic packaging is recycled by 2025. In addition to delivering significant environmental outcomes, the targets are set to grow economic opportunity in the sector through increased material availability.

To capture this potential, Mark O’Brien, BSC Product Manager, says recycling plant operators need to invest in streamlined equipment processes to ensure consistent throughput levels and quality recyclate. He adds that this includes the installation of durable and high efficiency belt drives.

While belt drives might not represent the most high-tech or glamourous component of an average recycling plant, Mark says superior strength and high grip belts are critical to maintain operations and minimise downtime.

“Sorters, conveyors and crushers are all central to the recycling process and are typically belt driven by an electric motor,” he says.

“BSC provides a wide range of belt drives to facilitate recycling applications, from our economy range right up to high performance V and Timing Belts.”

To provide a complete power transmission package, Mark says BSC works closely with American manufacturer of Carlisle drive belts by Timken.

Carlisle belts have been manufactured in the USA since 1905. The billionth Carlisle belt was sold in 2015. Recently acquired by The Timken Company, Carlisle belts are backed by a long history, yet continue to innovate and introduce new belt lines and products to market.

New lines include the Panther XT synchronous belt which acts as a powerful alternative to chain and polyurethane belts. Timken also launched its Drive Engineer mobile web app to assist in the design and maintenance of Carlisle belt drives in 2017.

“We have been working with Carlisle since the early 90s and have developed a very strong working relationship, which will continue to grow under The Timken Company for the marketplace,” Mark says.

BSC is the sole distributor of Carlisle belts in Australia and offers a range of Carlisle belts including Raw Edge Cog Belts. Super II, Blue Label, Power-Wedge, Wedge-Band belts, Super Vee-Band belts, Double Angle v-belts, Poly-Rib belts and Panther timing belts.

With over 15,000 different industrial belt combinations available, Mark says BSC are able to handle most power transmission applications; notably packaging recycling facility conveyor belts. He adds that different application requirements insist on varied and specific belt drives.

“In applications that require some level of slippage, a V belt is the best solution and you have variety of options within the Carlisle range” Mark explains.

“For applications with no slip requirements and synchronised drives however, I’d recommend a timing belt such as the Panther synchronous belt.”

According to Mark, correct installation and tensioning is necessary to ensure the proper operation of the entire belt drive and will guarantee long service life.

“When a drive is set up correctly and still failing, it likely points to something else incorrect in the system, belts act as a safety fuse in the system” he says.

“In that case, our engineering service can work on the machine to identify incorrect maintenance practices and drives or detect issues with other components that are affecting the belt life.”

Mark adds that by upgrading their belt drives, facility operators can reduce energy consumption, pulley sizes and hub loads through a lower quantity of belts required.

Additionally, he explains that belt drive construction and design can influence overall lifespan, power transmission and efficiency.

“The longevity of belt drives equates to less downtime, greater motor efficiency and reduced maintenance costs. Carlisle belt efficiency can be as high as 98 per cent,” he says.

“BSC recognises the positive impact its specialised products and services can, and do, have on helping customers become more sustainable across economic and environmental objectives.”

With the functionality of Carlisle belts specifically designed for the harsh environments of resource recovery, Mark says BSC is perfectly situated to assist capacity upgrades in the growing packaging recycling sector.

“BSC has extensive experience working with numerous companies in the packaging industry across Australia,” Mark says.

“That experience enables us to understand the special needs of those businesses and product processes, including energy conservation, high sustained speeds, continuous production, heavy leads and wet and dusty environments.”

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Team up with maintenance experts to improve the performance of industrial pumps

Replacing a piece of equipment such as an industrial water pump can be a costly and time-consuming exercise. Avoiding the upfront cost and associated downtime, whether through predictive or regular maintenance, can enable extended product lifetimes.

BSC provides a full suite of services for industrial pumps that includes repair and refurbishment, asset care, site installation, commissions, and condition-based monitoring and assessments.

These services are conducted in a manner that directly suits the end users and starts with and understanding of the issues or faults that the pump is experiencing.

“If we’re assessing the condition of the equipment while it’s in an operation, and we’re doing some level of predictive maintenance, then we would be looking for indications that there are flow issues in the pump, from the data that we’re analysing,” says BSC Engineering Manager, Ryan Kendrigan.

“From there we would see if there is wear inside the actual pump housing and if we need to schedule a shutdown to either exchange or repair that pump to get it back to optimal working condition.”

“Once they’ve pulled the pump out then by visual inspection after the pump is disassembled, we can either provide the products for the customer to repair the pump themselves, or we have facilities to repair that ourselves depending on what’s fit for purpose.”

Working with the customer to find the solution that fits, BSC have the capabilities for whatever requirements may arise, according to Kendrigan.

“We have done 24-hour jobs where we’ve ripped the pump out ourselves, had it repaired and then back into service. For swimming pools, we’ve been able to pull the pump out at 7pm and have it back in and running at 5.30am when the filter system starts up again.”

Within this process, whatever the customer’s maintenance program is, BSC draw upon their range of products to find a solution. These include the industry-renowned sealants, protectants and coatings from LOCTITE backed by the world’s leading adhesive company Henkel. BSC Product Manager, Michael Rowe, describes how these fit in.

“There may be a requirement to repair some damage where whatever fluid that has been passing through a pump has either scoured or damaged part of the metal area in there. LOCTITE have a material that will help rebuild and repair a pump back to specification. So, instead of replacing the pump with a brand-new unit, they can do a repair that also reduces the overall cost of maintenance.”

During the operation of a pump, the constant movement of water, slurry, or other liquid wears down the internal parts. The metal or material will erode, needing to be repaired to ensure efficient functioning. As Rowe highlights, LOCTITE products are designed to overcome this reality.

“LOCTITE ceramic coatings such as LOCTITE PC 7227 Brushable Ceramic and LOCTITE PC 7255 Sprayable Ceramic can be applied over the original damaged surface area. Then they use a rebuild product, LOCTITE EA 3478 Superior Metal to build back the actual material of the pump and then they’ll apply another coat of the ceramic over the top of it again – this will bring it back to a nice smooth surface. It will also allow the medium to pass cleanly over those surfaces without building up,” said Rowe.

Henkel Key Account Manager, Neil Board states, “what distinguishes Henkel’s LOCTITE products when compared to other, similar products on the market, is that they are available in different colours, LOCTITE PC 7255 sprayable ceramic is available in Grey or Green, LOCTITE PC 7227 Brushable ceramic is grey and LOCTITE PC 7228 Brushable ceramic is White, the later also being AS/NZS 4020-2002 potable water approved.”

“Those colour differentiation’s allows you to see whether there has been wear,” said Board. “You’ll apply one colour first and then a second coating of a different colour over the top, so that on a visual inspection you can see what’s happening.”

Deciding on the right LOCTITE product to apply is part of the expertise of Kendrigan and other BSC engineers, who decide which solution fits the user’s need best.

“Depending on the overall wear of the pump, the repair work can use a couple of different products,” said Board. “That’s where the BSC engineering team will assess what’s required.”

Importantly, the BSC engineering team don’t just provide access to the products required but forge a partnership with customers to get the job done right.

“We work with our customers to supply them with the right components, and potentially give them the training and advice they will need to make their programs as efficient as possible,” Kendrigan says.

Kendrigan adds: “It’s not a case of supplying a product to a customer and forgetting about them, it’s about how can we make their lives easier and better by the services and solutions that we provide to them.”

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The importance of engineering expertise in wastewater treatment

Wastewater treatment plants carry out a vital function for urban and regional areas of Australia, removing contaminants from water and sewage before it is reused of discharged into the environment.

Effective treatment relies on robust, sturdy equipment and machinery that can operate reliably in biochemically extreme conditions over long periods of time.

However, parts and components will at times need replacement to maintain the smooth operations that guide wastewater through the primary, secondary, and tertiary treatment processes. As sudden failure of components or machinery can lead to significant environment risk, it is necessary for regular monitoring and servicing of wastewater treatment equipment.

This is where Inenco Group’s engineering services team comes in. Wayne D’Souza, National Accounts Manager at Inenco Group, explained that while many original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) for most part only supply products to wastewater treatment, Inenco and its companies BSC and CBC have the expertise to both provide high-quality products and experienced engineering support.

“The wastewater sector, due to the potential for environmental harm, is very averse to risk. And we understand that and that is something we cater for. Wastewater treatment plants not only require reliable components, but they also require high-quality engineering support. What they aren’t getting from the OEMs is the latter. We offer both.”

D’Souza explained that the rapidly-evolving nature of technology has meant that products, and the installation and maintenance processes required for products, have changed, sometimes dramatically.

“Components and products often last a lot longer now. We’ve identified a number of what we call ‘problem-solver’ products, which we put in front of the customer and explain what applications they can be used for and what the benefits are. Further, we can demonstrate that we have the engineering support to not only install the products, provide monitoring and maintenance, but also provide specialist training for the operator’s maintenance team,” said D’Souza.

“We can also invite in our suppliers to provide training and knowledge on their particular products. We have a longstanding relationship with suppliers such as Schaeffler and Gates, for instance, where they come out onto a wastewater site and supervise installations.”

Close relationships with suppliers and in-house product expertise at Inenco’s BSC and CBC branches also enable product recommendations that are suited to particular wastewater operations.

“In the wastewater treatment space, one treatment plant may have totally different processes to another, so some of our problem-solver products might be relevant to one site but not to another. We hone-in on what the customer needs,” D’Souza explained.

For the Inenco’s wastewater teams, determining what works for a particular treatment plant often starts with carrying out site surveys, mapping out the equipment and machinery that the customer is using, and identifying applications which have the potential to cause problems.

“We can determine whether there are better products that can replace existing ones. And we can suggest what products they should use for those applications,” said D’Souza. “That’s what distinguishes us. What sets us apart from our competition is that we offer an extensive range of quality products, which is supported by our engineering expertise.”

BSC and CBC have extensive branch coverage across Australia. BSC, in particular, has a strong presence in regional areas. This means that wastewater treatment plants run by local governments in these areas can have reliable access to the company’s engineering services.

“We were called in by a major wastewater utility company to look at some thermography work, which led into product supply – a large order. The customer felt confident that we could not only provide quality service, but also provide the right products to improve operations. We don’t just supply product for the sake of it. If we have something more suitable, we will make those recommendations. That comes with having in-house expertise,” said D’Souza.

Inenco’s engineers will periodically carry out scheduled condition monitoring services for critical pieces of equipment, which D’Souza said served as a critical safety check for customers.

“This is usually on customers’ critical pieces of equipment. It is ongoing and it is relatively inexpensive to do, especially if you consider the cost of a catastrophic failure that occurs because condition monitoring hasn’t been carried out,” he explained.

Wastewater treatment is a 24/7, 365-days-a-year operation. With potentially huge environmental impacts if something goes wrong, it is critical that engineering support is reliable and easily accessible when it is needed.

“We run a 24/7 operation to back up what we supply,” said D’Souza.

“Our customers need to be able to know they can ring us up at 3am in the morning and get us to come out and look at a broken motor or gearbox. We always have someone on call. When you’re working in such a critical space, its essential that we can give the customer that confidence.”

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