Extending shredder service life

Shredding and removing deleterious materials can place extensive pressure on the machine itself, meaning the right componentry is needed to support the task. Fortunately, innovations in productivity have continued to offer the recycling sector higher throughputs at a lower operating cost.

For shredding applications, a high performance spherical roller bearing is no different, paving the way for precise, repeatable motions and reliable extended operations.

While the basic functionality of today’s spherical roller bearings is similar to that introduced in the 1950s, suppliers such as Timken have tirelessly worked towards continuous improvements and upgrades.

As an overarching principle, Timken has worked towards the core principles of greater load-carrying capacity, reduced operating temperature and extended service life.

Depending on the size of the shredder and application, Timken offer a range of spherical roller bearings to support an after-market solution or product replacement. It offers a range of solutions, including pulp and paper, power transmission, metals, cement/aggregates and other applications.

Hardened steel cages, for example, work to deliver greater fatigue strength and protection against shock and acceleration loads. The steel cage comprises a unique slotted design that allows increased contaminant purging and lube flow, supporting lower temperatures and longer operating life.

Rollers are guided by cage pockets, as opposed to a centre ring, which eliminates a friction point, resulting in four to 10 per cent less rotational torque and five degrees Celsius lower operating temperatures.

In designing high-performance bearings, Timken has expanded its offering to suit the challenging needs of various sectors.

One of its strengths as a supplier is offering both hardened steel cages and brass cages, while maintaining an acute awareness of the intricacies of each customer application. Its full line-up of spherical roller bearings includes coverage of all common sizes, from a small (25mm to 240mm), mid-size (240mm to 440mm) and large bore (>440mm).

“If you’re looking for a replacement shredder bearing, Timken has a number of advantages,” explains Tony Tormey, CBC Australia Product Manager – Industrial Bearings.

Timken spherical roller shredder bearings by design have lower operating temperatures to extend bearing life. By running 5°C cooler, on average, than the competition, the bearings can increase lubricant life which can mean nine per cent more bearing life.

Lower temperatures reduce the oxidation and deterioration of oils, greases and films and extend lubrication, thereby extending bearing service life. Additionally, this reduces friction and allows the bearing to turn and reduce torque.

Tormey says extra strength is important to reducing downtime, as some recycling plants could be running 24 hours a day, seven days a week. He says that Timken spherical roller bearings offer higher load ratings that create a significant advantage over standard bearings, giving rise to less fatigue and placing less stress on the bearings.

Heavier loads may not only help operators take on more materials, but offer a variety of benefits. High performance can mean an increase in bearing service life, which allows operators to downsize other component selections while maintaining current levels of systems performance. For example, this might allow a metal recycler to increase its power density, leading to greater throughputs and longer system life.

Longer rollers also result in four to eight per cent higher load ratings or 14 to 29 per cent longer predicted bearing life. With higher load ratings, operators can carry heavier loads, thus improving productivity.

In shredding applications for example, Timken recommends brass cages to handle the extreme operating environment. Brass cages offer extra strength and durability in the most unrelenting conditions allowing for high gravitational forces, shock loads and minimal lubrication.

New surface finishing techniques on the roller and raceway surfaces further enhance the benefits of greater durability and cooler operation. Importantly, the result reduces operating costs and extends the life of one’s shredder.

A practical example was observed when a Belgian Pellet Mill installed Timken spherical roller bearings at its site, reporting a fivefold increase in bearing life and operating temperatures 5 ̊C – 8 ̊C cooler than the competition. The end result led to fewer maintenance cycles and greater uptime – demonstrating the importance of choosing the right technology to fit the task.

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An indestructible lubricant purpose-built for recycling operations

Gulf Western Oil (GWO) has been supplying lubricant solutions to recycling plants for over 30 years, and as such have been able to develop purpose-built products for various applications within the sector.

A major emphasis of the solutions GWO provides for recycling plants has been on reducing the downtime of machinery by creating longer lasting, higher load bearing products. The intention is to enable the services Australia’s recycling plants are now expected to provide, protecting machinery life at the plants, as well as saving clients their money over the course of the year.

The Gulf Western Biodraulic range is a series of hydraulic fluids designed to operate best under high operating temperatures and extended service applications, according to GWO’s Queensland State Manager, Christopher Bright.

The fluids are intended to replace anti-wear, mineral oil-based hydraulic fluids used in hazardous and environmentally sensitive hydraulic applications, offering high performance levels. They enhance the overall hydraulic system operation due to the inherent high level of thermal stability and resistance to oxidation.

The range provides superior oxidation resistance, allowing longer service life, and a high natural viscosity index that ensures “stay in grade viscosity” due to increased resistance to shear down in high-stress applications.

The range also has fire resistant properties, which means if a combustible situation occurs and there is a hydraulic leak, the chance of potential damage to machinery is reduced.

“Imagine a car being crushed, there’s fuel in the line constantly triggering small flames. If you have a line blow on a hydraulic system, a flame could ultimately cause a fire,” explains Bright.

Top Dog Indestructible, is a heavy-duty diesel engine oil containing what Bright describes as “an indestructible additive technology designed to protect high-powered, turbo-charged heavy-duty diesel engines.”

The unique formulation contains performance enhancing and superior wear protection technology that exceeds the requirements of the current lubricant specifications. This allows improved efficiencies, while reducing downtimes within their mixed fleets.

Bright explains that Top Dog Indestructible was designed specifically to alleviate downtime for machinery. “It has the capabilities to last significantly longer so you’re not needing to stop the machine to change the oil so much,” he says.

“It allows for the kind of longevity that saves you from having to change the oil out every 250 hours like standard market offerings,” Inenco Group’s National Product Manager for Lubricants, Steve Keown comments.

“GWO’s longer lasting hydraulic fluids really reduce machinery downtime which, it cannot be emphasised enough, is crucial in this industry.”

In fact, GWO have a specific product within the range, which is designed to last 6000 hours of hydraulic fluid life and, like Top Dog Indestructible, is three times longer than standard offerings on the market in its range.

The product range, Superdraulic Indestructible, is the first of its kind within the Australian market to offer a 6,000-hour oil life. Formulated with full synthetic base oil technology, the latest ultra-sheer stable viscosity modifiers and enhanced levels of anti-wear and antioxidants, Superdraulic Indestructible offers protection for hydraulic systems operating in severe conditions.

Superdraulic Hi Temp is another range of premium grade, high viscosity index, anti-wear hydraulic oils. The range has been formulated specifically for use in hydraulic power or control systems, either mobile or stationary, which are subject to temperature extremes, or are particularly sensitive to changes in temperature.

Due to the superior wear and corrosion protection of the range, it will improve the equipment life of plant machinery. Fluid life is also longer than standard, due to enhanced chemical and thermal stability.

Another feature of the range which Bright says makes recycling plant operators happy is the excellent filterability of the range even when contaminated, thereby preventing filter blockages. This eliminates the need for filter replacement costs and down time.

One of the most important features of GWO products for recycling plants is that they are environmentally sound.

“If you’ve got a machine that blows a hydraulic hose and the oil ends up on the ground, well if its GWO’s biodegradable hydraulic fluid, you don’t end up contaminating that area,” says Bright.

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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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An environmentally sound oil company?

An environmentally sound oil company? It’s achievable, says Gulf Western Oil.

As with all industries, the wastewater sector relies on the healthy functioning of its machinery, and that requires lubrication.

Oil-based lubricants, however, are generally considered a hindrance to the environment – but Gulf Western Oil (GWO) are working hard to prove this doesn’t have to be the case.

“If you told someone ten years ago that you work for an oil company, well they thought, you don’t look after the environment,” says GWO National Account Manager, Chris Bright.

“But we offset every litre of carbon through our partnership with solar companies and are continually striving to improve our business practices to ensure they are environmentally sound.”

Another initiative that GWO has implemented to mitigate the impact of oil in the environment, is the collection of water from their own facilities to separate contaminants.

“What we do in our own business is we harvest all the water runoffs from the rain from our roofs, and we put it into a separator which removes any contaminants and we keep it in a pit internally. It then gets drained out and taken off to a facility where it will be treated for us.”

GWO are a privately-owned Australian company based in Sydney. Their wastewater collection facility was built in November 2013, in conjunction with the Australian Environment Protection Authority (EPA).

“We built it to the EPA recommendations, so now we’re licensed and tested annually by the EPA to ensure it is environmentally sound.”

This is important, Bright explains, in case there is an incident wherein an oil leak occurs and then its rains.

“We actually have a system in place that if we ever ended up in a scenario where there was an incident, our team is trained to shut off any lines or any material that could potentially  go into the storm water drains around us so that there’d be no chance of contaminating leaks going out onto the roads or anything like that, you’d get no contamination from us in the event of an incident.”

“We’ve been working with the EPA every step of the process and were given the greenlight. Also, our facility gets tested by them annually to make sure we’re still compliant.”

Beyond these internal initiatives, GWO also make environmentally sound products, says Bright.

“We have a large range of hydraulic fluid that is now biodegradable. So, if you have an oil leak, for example, the oil will disperse before it actually becomes bad for the environment.”

CBC’s National Product Manager for Lubricants, Steve Keown, explains further why lubricants are such a critical part of the wastewater treatment process.

“With an array of equipment including gearboxes, pumps, chains, blowers, compressors, slides and guides, as well as the key components of these which includes bearings, it’s important to get the lubrication right so that they function well – especially in severely corrosive environments such as those common to the wastewater industry,” says Keown.

“Reliable lubrication is essential to keeping your plant online and operating efficiently to meet current regulations and budgets.”

“Yet, lubricants are often first off the mark when budget cuts are made,” Keown says, “which is a mistake.”

“Lubricant replenishment costs are relatively minor when compared to the initial infrastructure cost, and the expense and consequences of unplanned equipment failure will not only be inconvenient but can lead to a greater environmental footprint and increased energy usage.”

Keown recommends choosing a lubricants supplier that offers a quality product range but also factors in their environmental impact.

“GWO are renowned as a quality lubricants supplier. They’re also operating in an environmentally-conscious manner, not only with their products but in their practices as a company. It’s commendable.”

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