Bearing the energy burden in water treatment

The water industry is one of the largest industrial users of energy. The UN estimates that 0.62-0.87 KWh/m3 is required for wastewater treatment and it is estimated that electricity costs account for around 40 per cent of all operational costs in wastewater treatment plants.

Moreover, US Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) has projected that, in wastewater facilities, 10–20 per cent energy savings can be reached through a better control and optimisation of the process.

It is therefore in the best interest of the environment and the economics of wastewater treatment plants, for operators to find efficiencies in energy use.

One component that plays a significant role in energy efficiency of the water treatment plants is the bearings, according to Tony Tormey, BSC’s Product Manager of Industrial Bearings.

“Bearings play an important role in the overall efficiency and sustainability of a water treatment facility. The energy savings might seem negligible but if you consider all of the gearboxes, pumps, aerators and electric motors that use different types of bearings, it makes sense,” he says.

BSC, as Australia’s largest distributor of bearings, offers the FAG X-life bearings by Schaeffler – a German-engineered brand that carries energy efficiency at the heart of its bearing designs.

Andreas Pieper, Manager of the Engineering Department for Schaeffler Australia, says Schaeffler’s FAG X-life bearings are designed with precision manufacturing techniques and incorporate design features that result in lower friction and therefore less energy consumption.

“The FAG brand consists of a wide range of cylindrical, tapered, and spherical roller bearings, axial spherical roller bearings, single and double row angular contact ball bearings, and four-point contact ball bearings – each offering a unique combination of features,” says Pieper.

“The X-life is a seal of quality and high-performance by Schaeffler. With the X-life series, Schaeffler has incorporated design and manufacturing improvements that increase the bearings’ load ratings, offer higher precision and improve energy efficiency.”

Surface finish plays a major part in the energy efficiency of the X-life series, according to Pieper.

“Smooth and uniform internal and external surfaces improve the bearings’ coefficient of friction. Schaeffler also uses a machining process – known as Plateau honing – that improves lubrication control and lowers friction in the bearings,” he explains.

While the bearing life depends on multiple variables, including the type of bearing and the application it is used for, Schaeffler estimates that a FAG X-life bearing lasts on average 7-20 per cent more than conventional bearings used for the same purpose.

BSC’s relationship with customers does not end with the sale. Tormey says the BSC sales and engineering staff work with the Schaeffler engineering team to solve any problems that a plant might be facing. The BSC team also offers site surveys, store surveys, plant mapping and onsite training upon request.

“When we visit a plant, the BSC and Schaeffler engineering teams make sure that the customer is using the right bearing with optimum specifications. We also look at the sealing arrangements to make sure that the bearings are protected against any ingress of dirt or water,” says Pieper.

“Our advice might be as simple as suggesting better protection against the sun, because heat exposure and ultraviolet rays accelerate the ageing process of the rubber material thus leading to earlier damage of the rubber seals.”

In some remote areas in Australia, the pump houses between the reservoir and the treatment facility are located kilometres away from a residential area.

“Using real-time condition monitoring can have great benefits in such cases,” he adds.

Popular hardware to enable this is the cost-efficient FAG SmartCheck unit which communicates signals wireless. Schaeffler experts regularly analyse and report the condition of the bearings.

Tormey further points out how important it is for water plant operators to have parts readily available. CBC’s footprint across Australia and partnership with Schaeffler means that customers have access to critical components at all times.

“BSC’s seasoned staff across our national branches are ready to assist customers with all sort of rotation needs. With Schaeffler’s superior FAG X-life product, we are confident that we can add value to your operations.”

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Partnership solution comes through for Austral pump maker, M&Q Equipment

When Queensland-based original equipment manufacturer, M&Q Equipment, was looking for a reliable local supplier to provide a range of bearings and bearing assembly components for their flagship slurry pumps, they turned to their trusted suppliers at BSC’s Wacol branch; which resulted in a partnership with Timken.

For over 25 years, M&Q has been a trusted manufacturer and supplier of high-performing equipment and the name behind the industry-recognised Austral slurry pumps.

The pumps are built in Brisbane, shipped around Australia and globally for use across a range of applications including mining and mineral processing, water and wastewater, sand processing, dredging, dewatering and more.

Among other uses, Austral pumps are fitted into wastewater processing facilities at bioenergy power plants around Queensland and New South Wales – where organic renewable materials are processed to produce heat, electricity, biogas and liquid fuels.

Adam Robson, Sales Manager at M&Q Equipment, says his company was looking for a local supplier that could help them meet their ongoing requirements for the refurbishment work done on site.

“Timken is a well-known brand already used in the industry and with their reputation for a high-quality product and excellent product availability, they were the preferred choice of brand for our bearings,” says Robson.

“Our local bearing supplier BSC has a close working relationship with Timken and we continue that today.”

BSC’s Wacol branch manager, Aaron Pickersgill says his branch had been working closely with M&Q over the years, supplying a range of products as and when required.

“Reliability and stock availability were very important factors for M&Q Equipment. They always really liked working with BSC because of our quick turnaround whenever they needed something and we wanted to make sure that we delivered on those expectations,” says Pickersgill.

M&Q was looking for a supplier that was not only well-recognised for quality excellence, but that could also guarantee regular supply and availability.

Moreover, M&Q was interested in working with a single supplier that could meet all of its requirements for different types of bearings, including tapered roller bearings, spherical roller bearings and cylindrical roller bearings.

To tick all those boxes, the BSC team recommended that M&Q work with Timken – who are a globally recognised bearing manufacturer with a strong local presence in Australia.

“The Timken products fit the bill perfectly,” says Pickersgill.

“The Timken brand obviously has a very good reputation in the market. They are a single brand with a wide portfolio of well-engineered and high quality bearings. More importantly for M&Q, the Timken company is great at stock management.”

Pickersgill and Brett Ayerst, Timken Regional Sales Manager then worked together to arrive at an optimum level of safety stock to ensure the required parts and components were available when an order came through.

“Safety stock is what we agree upon based on the feedback that we receive from customers. For example, if a customer says that they need 12 pieces of a certain component each month, we might decide to stock 24 of the product with our distributor to account for the safety stock, says Ayerst.

“Every time a new business arrangement comes into the equation, we then make adjustments in our inventory to account for that,” he explains.

Apart from having the assurance of regular supply of quality products, Robson says the partnership with BSC and Timken has also brought more cost-competitiveness to the Austral brand.

“The Austral pump is one of the handful of pump brands in the slurry pumping industry that are still built in Australia. We pride ourselves on being able to supply a product that is not only of top quality, but that is also extremely competitive pricewise. This is only possible with suppliers like Timken and BSC,” Robson says.

Pickersgill and Ayerst both made sure that the prices offered by both Timken and BSC enabled M&Q to compete in the market.

“Working with Timken and BSC allows M&Q to offer its flagship pumps at very competitive prices. As the supplier, we also wanted to make sure that our rates were competitive in the market to bring maximum cost benefits for our customer,” says Pickersgill.

Ayerst says the partnership between Timken and BSC is particularly successful as the two partners share the same vision in terms of customer service and integrity.

“It was very important for us that M&Q as the end user could reach out to us directly to talk about their requirements. It is this sort of open and trust-based relationship that we share with BSC that enables us to achieve the best outcome for customers,” he says.

“It’s a relationship that’s based around trust. We trust that BSC always does the right thing by us as well. It works. We have the same focus and same direction, so the chance of success greatly improves.”

Ten years since the partnership took off and M&Q started deploying the Timken bearings in Austral pumps, Robson says they have not experienced any product failures.

“M&Q has received multiple positive feedbacks from clients across all industries saying that Austral pumps have exceeded performance required and outlasted any other brands. We pride ourselves on our Australian-built pumps for the Australian market,” he says.

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Keeping fasteners locked tight in high moisture applications

Vibrational loosening is a common contributor to equipment fails. And in water and wastewater applications, the risk of fasteners coming apart is further exacerbated by the amount of moisture in the environment.

According to industry specialist Michael Rowe, who is the Product Manager of Adhesives and Sealants at BSC, the combination of vibration and moisture is a recipe for equipment failure.

“In the water and wastewater sector you’ll have a lot of moisture content, whether that be in pools or the general atmosphere. And wherever there is moisture there is corrosion,” he explains.

“Likewise, there will be a number of pumps and other machinery that is vibrating, and that vibration not only affects equipment but can go down the line to other structures. That vibration can cause fasteners to come apart.”

Additionally, mechanical fasteners have gravity to contend with. They come undone more easily than they can be locked back into place.

“For instance, when you have the torque at a specific tension, it will take 30% less effort for to undo than tighten it back up – it is comparable to an object that is being pushed up a hill as opposed to being rolled down,” says Rowe.

“Also, there is only 25-30% metal-to-metal contact in a fastener assembly – the rest is an air gap. To lock it into place or seal it up is essential to keeping your equipment working. This is because it can easily come undone from vibration or from the ingress of moisture, which causes corrosion in that area. When fasteners come undone that gives you untimely downtime, whether that be from equipment failure or leak points.”

Moreover, in the context of water and wastewater applications, these kinds of mechanical issues can have implications for the environment too.

“Again, making sure those fasteners are tight is vitally important,” Rowe stresses.

“Improving the machine reliability and performance will make the equipment and the surrounding structures safer. This is true for both personnel working at the plant, and from an environmental perspective. You want to prevent any bad spills from occurring.”

The long-established Henkel LOCTITE anaerobic adhesive range was designed exclusively for this purpose. The product range includes threadlockers, thread sealants, retaining compounds and the flange sealants.

According to Rowe, the LOCTITE anaerobic range, particularly the threadlockers, are considered “go to” products within water and wastewater industrial applications. This is because they are “proven to work” and can be used on different fastener materials, including dissimilar metals.

“If you have an assembly where you have dissimilar metals, for example an aluminium housing that uses mild steel bolts, the dissimilar metals and moisture will create electrolysis,” he explains.

“This is where an electrical current will arc between the two and start promoting corrosion. But a LOCTITE anaerobic adhesive can lock or seal those up; it will work effectively on different materials.”

Marco Battois, who is the Head of Marketing for Adhesive Technologies with Henkel Australia and New Zealand, reiterates the fact that Henkel have many years’ experience in the adhesive field.

“In fact, Henkel invented anaerobic resins over 60 years ago. And the red bottle that contains LOCTITE threadlocker adhesive is recognised worldwide. It is iconic,” he stresses. “The brand is recognised and established for being reliable.”

For this reason, Henkel have recently upgraded the packaging of the LOCTITE anaerobic range, featuring micro-engraving in two textured areas and a smart QR code with a micropattern.

The new upgrade covers LOCTITE 50ml and 250ml threadlockers, thread sealants, gasket sealants, retaining compounds and two-step structural acrylic bottles.

“The change in packaging started as an exercise to verify the authenticity of our product range, so customers could be sure their product was not counterfeit,” Battois explains.

“But it became an opportunity to include more product detail and information for customers. By scanning the QR code, customers will have access to the online portal where there is technical data, as well as how-to videos and a mobile product selector guide.”

Battois was quick to reassure that the new bottle designs will not impact the way existing customers apply the product to their equipment. The new bottles are compatible with the original hand pumps. And all IDH numbers remain unchanged too.

He also mentioned that Henkel were rolling out a number of innovations along with the new packaging, including a new handheld dispensing pump and a new “rattler” or “junker” machine that tests vibrational loosening.

“This will be used in our maintenance and repair workshops. These workshops are an integral part of the training we provide, and the rattler enables us to create what we call the ‘LOCTITE moment’ – this really shows the end user why they should be using the LOCTITE anaerobic products in their maintenance practices,” Battois enthuses.

“Of course, BSC play an integral role in facilitating these workshops too. Our partnership is very important in being able to directly work with customers to provide them with fit for purpose solutions.”

Rowe echoed Battois’s comments, reiterating the fact that the BSC sales force and technical team are also fully trained in the latest LOCTITE technologies and solutions.

“Henkel and BSC have been working together for over 40 years.  At BSC we work closely with Henkel in discussing how the likes of fasteners have issues and how the use of these products can provide the customer with the ability to prevent unwanted downtime and make sure equipment reaches its hopeful life cycle in a range of areas,” explains Rowe.

“Another one of the ways that the BSC teamwork is that if one of the BSC team is out in the field and comes across a concern with a customer, we can call on Henkel for advice. Because we have that direct relationship, we can ask Henkel to provide a technical analysis, and then together we will come up with a solution that best suits the customer’s needs and application.”

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Why the BSC and Dixon valve proposition is plumb

Though BSC has long been established as a provider of industrial mechanical componentry, the company can now assist customers on the plumbing side –through their unique partnership with Dixon Asia Pacific.

“While BSC stands for ‘Bearing Service Company’, and most customers know us for bearings and power transmission, we have grown our value proposition to include a range of plumbing products and technical services for our customers,” explains BSC Industrial Hose Solutions Manager, Peter Stonehouse.

“One of our key points of difference is product diversity – and plumbing adds to the basket of goods we can offer.”

Importantly, BSC and Dixon Asia Pacific can both tap into a global network of supply and technical support through their respective owning companies – Inenco Industrial Solutions and Dixon Valve and Coupling Company in the United States – whilst providing a highly localised service to customers.

“Through our partnership with Dixon, we provide distribution and interface with customers. This includes a range of products that can be utilised in the water and wastewater sector,” Stonehouse clarifies.

“The Dixon stockholding from their global supply and coverage around Australia is very efficient in terms of providing technical advice or procurement of product for our branches. Additionally, we have our own technical and engineering expertise and provide immense value to customers through offering a multitude of fit for purpose componentry.”

Within that componentry, are the valves used in fluid transfer. These include knife gate and butterfly valves, with the former commonly used in sewage collection.

“A knife gate valve is used when you’ve got solids, because the knife valve will actually punch down and seal off,” explains Stonehouse.

“For this reason, knife gate valves are typically used on the back of the vacuum trucks to transport wastewater to plants to get processed. They’re especially suited to this task because when you operate the valve down, you’ve got metal to metal contact and it will squash any of the solids in the valley of the valve.”

According to David Anderson, Valve Category Manager for Dixon Asia Pacific, the Dixon uni-directional knife gate valves are particularly suited to these types of water and wastewater applications because they have a full stainless-steel body and bubble tight shut off.

“These are compact and light weight, but are made with SS316 marine grade stainless steel, which is long lasting and wear-resistant. Importantly, they will not leak because of their shut off and can be remotely operated with a pneumatic cylinder that uses the truck’s air system when automation is required,” Anderson says.

“Furthermore, they are fully lugged to AS2129 table D, which provides more secure and stable jointing to pipes and prevents leakages through threads.”

Additional features of the Dixon knife gate valve include the hard chrome plating, which prevents pitting and corrosion, and a stainless-steel guard that prevents semi solids from clogging the valve stem.

“Dixon is a market leader that is recognised for product quality and the knife gate is no exception to this,” Anderson says. “Ultimately this valve offers more features than many other valves on the market, but at a similar cost.”

And while they are used in a different water and wastewater contexts, the Dixon butterfly valve offerings also have a competitive edge that – combined with the collaborative technical expertise of BSC and Dixon – make them attractive options for customers.

These are primarily used at the final stage of water treatment before water is dispatched to industry.

“Butterfly valves are designed to isolate or regulate the flow of fluid, so when water has finished being treated at a water plant – and when there are no impurities in the water – this is where actuated butterfly valves will be used; they will isolate and regulate the flow of water coming out,” explains Stonehouse.

“Butterfly valves convey a number of benefits in this type of application. They are easier to handle and install because they are lighter weight and need less support. They are also generally most cost-effective than other valve designs that facilitate the same application. This is because they have less expensive requirements and less weight – basically these valves are put between two flanges so to replace the valve you just have to undo the bolts holding it into place.”

According to Anderson, customers have access to Dixon’s wafer, lugged, double flanged and high-performance butterfly valves through BSC.

“One of the key features of the Dixon butterfly valves is that they have universal flanges. So, the one valve suits various flanges including table D, E, ANSI 125/150, Din10, Din16 and JIS,” he says.

“There’s also greater choice of actuation options with the top flange mount which complies with the international standard ISO 5211. Additionally, Dixon butterfly valves from 2’ to 24” are 16 bar rated – unlike some other suppliers who can only supply 10 Bar rated valves from 14” to 24”.”

Importantly, Stonehouse points out that in addition to a wide range of different types of butterfly valves and body materials, Dixon also supplies Watermark Certified butterfly valves for water and wastewater applications.

Facilitated through the Australian Building Codes Board, the WaterMark Certification Scheme is a mandatory certification scheme for plumbing and drainage products.

This is to ensure they are fit for purpose and appropriately authorised for use in plumbing and drainage installations.

That is another reason Stonehouse says Dixon makes for a great partner – providing an excellent value proposition to customers with superior product and expertise. Anderson concurs.

“Both Dixon and BSC are technically competent organisations in their own right, with national and global footprints. But in this instance, the end user customers benefit from their complementing and diverse product offering and expertise. It creates a unique value proposition.”

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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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ITW and BSC partnership a winning formula for recycling sector

The recycling sector may not have been a core focus for ITW Polymers & Fluids in previous years, but it certainly is now as the industry experiences significant growth. With that growth, comes the need for plant and equipment reliability and uptime.

“We work with the BSC team to support the recycling sector, particularly with our wear and abrasion compounds which keep the equipment typically used in recycling plants working efficiently,” says Jason Richards, ITW Polymers & Fluids’ National Sales Manager for Heavy Industry.

Guided by continuous improvement and sustainable growth – and empowered as a best-option provider of engineered products and related services for industry – the BSC value proposition is as strong as ever. Their partnership with ITW Polymers & Fluids spans many years and is set up for mutual gain.

Combining the creative freedom of a small company with the resources of an international corporation, ITW Polymers & Fluids manufactures quality branded consumable products used in the industrial market segments of Australia and New Zealand.

Steve Keown, National Product Manager Lubricants & Lubrication Equipment at BSC, has

been working with ITW Polymers & Fluids since 2014, providing sales and technical product support, promotional builds, supplier liaison and interaction, brand-to-market processes through BSC business units as well as product and market development. He sees a number of shared benefits in the BSC and ITW Polymers & Fluids trading partnership.

“BSC business units have a close working relationship with the brands sold by ITW Polymers & Fluids, including innovative solutions that level and stabilise valuable vibrating plant and equipment, as well as a full suite of solutions that help maintain longevity and protect these assets from wear and break-down. The Epirez and Devcon products are perfectly suited to recycling plants and provide high quality solutions for our customers,” Steve says.

“Our teams also work closely with ITW Polymer & Fluids staff to provide site surveys, inventory consolidation and problem solving.”

Steve enthuses that the ITW Polymer & Fluids have such a respected name in the industrial space – and are fast-growing in the recycling sector – because their products are high quality, dependable and provide long-term value to plant, equipment and maintenance managers. This complements BSC’s commitment to customers, as the business at its core thrives on adding value to industry.

“BSC services are personalised to satisfy individual customer requirements and project scope. The ITW products meet and exceed expectations, which fits in with our promise to deliver successful solutions to the recycling industry,” says Steve, who adds that BSC have national and regional account managers that leverage the significant branch network for customer benefit.

“Our national accounts product managers, sales representatives, and branch managers support the sales and promotion of products that help ITW Polymer & Fluids excel in the marketplace.”

Jason Richards is currently ITW Polymers & Fluids’ National Sales Manager – Heavy Industry and has previously held various sales and team leadership roles across the business.

“I’ve been with ITW Polymers & Fluids for 14 years,” he says. “Predominantly in the capacity of sales leadership for the account management and channel management teams.”

Supporting customers in the recycling sector, Jason defers to Steve’s expertise to source high-quality solutions.

This involves incorporating products such as ITW Polymers & Fluids’ vibrating machinery stabilising compounds, non-slip floor coatings, concrete repair epoxies and cement systems (Epirez); commonly used in industrial plant facilities. Wear and abrasion epoxies and rubber belt repair urethanes (Devcon) are ideal for material handling equipment.

“Our relationship with BSC started many years ago,” Jason says. “We are a keen supporter of the BSC business and the value they bring to our brands in the market. Our account managers work closely with BSC’s field support personnel to assist, where possible, with the application of specific products.”

Steve says the perks of choosing BSC over other suppliers and service partners comes down to access to an extensive network of sales, engineering and distribution centres and branches Australia-wide.

“BSC provide onsite and shop front presence for our end user customers in the recycling sector to access our wide range of industrial Maintenance Repair Operations (MRO) products,” he says.

“Ultimately, BSC has the technical capability to demonstrate the value proposition of our suite of products. ITW Polymers & Fluids values the partnership with SBC as we strive to grow together moving forward.”

With specialised engineering and scientific expertise, bolstered by BSC’s access to quality wear and abrasion products and a national support network, ITW Polymers & Fluids is set to continue growing as a leading manufacturer of quality branded consumable products in the recycling market segment.

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One-stop-shop services for the Recycling Plant sector

Australia’s recycling plants are working harder than ever. A number of factors are contributing to the “24/7, 365-day” operating service recycling plants are having to provide, including the restrictions of recyclables imported to China imposed in 2018.

Up until the ban, Australia had sent 619,000 tonnes of recycling waste to China annually. This caused a strain on local recycling plants. Enabling seamless 24/7, 365-day operations was first and foremost on its mind when BSC Australia targeted its house-brand supply of industrial consumables to recycling plants.

Marlin offer a range of products which include chemical cleaning, materials handling goods, and lifting and hoisting equipment. The industrial consumables stream, secondary to BSC’s core business of bearings and power transmission solutions, was established with the intention of providing a one-stop-shop service to the industries they look after, according to National Accounts Manager Wayne D’Souza.

“The extensive range of industrial consumable products that BSC has to offer outside of bearings and power transmission is an attractive proposition for our customers. Ultimately, they’re looking at reducing their tail-end spend, and including these product ranges in their overall scope of purchases from us,” says D’Souza.

“Generally, our customers haven’t thought about us for this and they’re quite impressed when we start demonstrating the range we’ve got.”

“The industrial consumables range is really a valued-added solution for our customers. Many of our customers and contracts are looking to rationalise their supplier base to save valuable time and money and our BSC valued-added solutions go hand-in-hand with increased efficiencies in procurement and supply chain strategies,” says Industrial and Engineering Consumables Category Manager, Dominic Arena.

BSC uses international and local suppliers for the Marlin range of products, with full control of the sourcing and supply chain, allowing for full traceability from the manufacturing stage through to the end user.

“Through this distribution method we can also offer customised solutions for real-world problems that our customers may face with product development and technical engineering at the forefront of what we do,” says Arena.

BSC also has the technical capabilities to be able to customise its products to suit the different industries it supplies.

“We can offer customised solutions as well, because we have that technical engineering product development capability, which differentiates us from the standard distributor who just walks in and sells right off the catalogue. We’ve got eyes and ears in the field that pick up on feedback and customer needs, and we’re able to develop products and product ranges that suit their requirements,” says Arena.

Through this field experience, BSC saw the challenges to recycling plants that Marlin can alleviate.

“In these recycling plants, there are a lot of extremely heavy, awkwardly-shaped products moving around at a high velocity,” says Arena.

“You’ve got lots of equipment and lots of operators. Having the correct load restraint equipment that’s properly labelled for the weight and the dimensions is essential to ensuring best practice for how things get moved around.”

By improving visibility and enabling a better flow of movement throughout the plant, the materials handling products ensure safe practise as well as preventing the loss of time that results from on-site injuries. One of the most important factors to keeping recycling plants and their machinery operational is keeping them clean.

“If contamination or foreign matter were to get into bearings or critical pieces of equipment, it could cause catastrophic failings,” says D’Souza.

“It could just be something as simple as dust, or it could be heavy, chunky grease that forms over time; that’s just as dangerous as having dust. You’ve got to remove that because that can not only contaminate the recyclables, but it can get into some of the equipment that we provide, such as bearings, and lead to stoppages. It can also cause an OH&S issue when its dropping on factory floors, making it unsafe at the workplace for traffic to go through.”

The chemical cleaning products Marlin supplies can be used while the machinery is running. To break down contaminants, such as built-up dust, oils, and thick chunky grease, users can spray and wipe down machinery components and equipment without needing to slow down operations. Best practice, however, says D’Souza, means sometimes having to shut the equipment down now and then. However, Marlin enables this down time to occur less often.

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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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