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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