Improved efficiency with GWO Syn-Gear industrial oil

One question that operators and maintenance personnel in recycling plants often have to deal with is ‘how do you know which lubricant is the best fit for a given application?’

The answer is not always simple. While each piece of machinery usually comes with a maintenance manual containing a qualified product list, Christopher Bright, National Account Manager at Gulf Western Oil says this solution may not always be suitable to determine the optimum lubrication for a given gear set.

Gulf Western Oil (GWO) has been supplying lubricant solutions to recycling plants for over 30 years, and as such offer a comprehensive range of industrial gear oils; covering a wide range of viscosity, base oil and chemistry types from cost effective, high load Sulphur/phosphorus mineral oil based lubricants through to semi and fully synthetic base gear oils.

“It is quite understandable for operators to get confused when it comes to choosing the right lubricant,” says Bright. “In GWO’s portfolio, there are nine viscosity grades of mineral industrial gear oils alone. In addition, there are also a range of synthetic base oils, each with different viscosity grades.”

It is to avoid such confusions that GWO and its national distributor, CBC Australia, work closely with customers to offer their expertise, according to Bright.

“It is quite common to come across customers who purchase second-hand equipment and don’t know which lubricants are best suited to the gearbox. We then work with our partners at CBC to find the right oil for the application. This might require testing the oils at our in-house laboratory or consulting with the additive manufacturers to recommend the right viscosity grade,” he says.

Bright says in order to choose the best lubricant for a gear set, a fundamental understanding of the base oil type is important.

“Within each recycling plant, there might be certain machines that are crucial to the continuity of operations and that the owners don’t want to have offline too often. For these machines, we usually recommend synthetic base gear oils instead of mineral base alternatives to ensure longer oil-change intervals,” he notes.

“It is particularly important for recycling plants, which often operate 24/7, to be able to get a longer life from the gear oils they use.  Synthetic oils are engineered in a way that makes them more stable across a wide temperature range allowing them to perform their primary function of reducing friction and wear for longer periods of time. This allows the customer to save on machine maintenance and down-time,” he explains.

Synthetic gear oils are also different depending on the type of synthetic bases they use, says Bright.

“For example, Poly Alpha Olefin or PAO based gear oils such as the GWO Syn-Gear range are compatible with mineral oil bases. This means you can pour a PAO based oil on top of a mineral base oil that’s already in the machine without facing any incompatibility issues.

“On the other hand, if you mix Poly Alkylene Glycol, or PAG base oils with other lubricants, including PAO synthetics, it can produce a sludge and, due to the incompatibility of the base oils, reduces the protection of the metal surfaces from wear as the additives are carried in the base oil.

To use PAG base oil, you need to first flush the existing mineral lubricant from the machine,” he explains.

Steve Keown, CBC’s National Product Manager for Lubricants says viscosity grade is an important parameter in selecting industrial gear oils.

“It’s important to understand that gear oils can affect the overall energy efficiency of the operations. A good synthetic gear oil, such as the GWO Syn-Gear oil, has a high viscosity index; which means it can improve energy efficiency and resist degradation at both high and low operational temperatures,” he explains.

The viscosity for a gear lubricant determines if the lubricant can provide the required film thickness between interacting surfaces at a given speed and load.

Being a PAO based oil, Keown says the GWO Syn-Gear oil is perfectly suited to industrial applications where there’s a considerable temperature variation. In recycling plants, conveyors, shredders and compactors are some equipment that can run more efficiently with the right choice of gearbox oil.

“GWO products are built to suit the operating conditions in Australia as they are manufactured in Australia, by an Australian-owned company,” says Keown.

“Over the years we have found that both CBC and Gulf Western Oil share a lot of the same values; which is to serve the Australian industries with our expert knowledge around lubricants. We are confident that whatever the customers’ requirements might be, together we can provide the right blend of products and expertise.”

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Building material recycler relies on high-performance Gates belts

Ever since Melbourne-based construction and demolition material recycler, City Circle Group, were introduced by their CBC sales manager to the high-performance Gates belts a few years ago, there’s been no looking back for them, according to City Circle Group’s Recycling Operations Manager Josh Ralston.

Recycling construction material and waste generated from building demolitions is a highly challenging task. The process involves crushing heavy concrete blocks and large pieces of rock into crushed aggregates that can be re-used in pavement or road construction.

City Circle Group, is  one of the leaders in this field in Victoria and has considerable capacity to process and supply a range of high quality recycled concrete, rock, brick rubble and timber products to the Victorian construction industry.

The company owns three facilities across Melbourne, each of which has the capacity to recycle as much as 1.5 million tonnes of waste material per year.

Ralston says the belts they were using prior to switching to Gates were not as durable as they needed them to be. With the heavy work load and the harsh work environment, the City Circle Group team were looking for belts that would require minimal maintenance and last a long time.

“We’ve worked with CBC for nearly five years and they’ve always been very helpful and quick to respond whenever we needed any equipment or spare parts. Through CBC, we were introduced to Gates belts and we’ve simply never stopped using them since,” says Ralston.

“We use the Gates Predator v-belts in our jaw crushers and cone crushers. They are the strongest belts out there and we are getting three to four times more life out of them as we could get with any other belts, the design, construction and materials used in this belt really do make a difference and will save you money and down time. We also use a range of standard Gates belts, including the Gates Hi-Power II wrapped v-belts on conveyor belts and other general applications,” he adds.

Building materials account for about half of all materials used and about half of the solid waste generated worldwide.

In Australia, about 20.4 million tons of waste was generated from construction and demolition in 2017, of which more than 7.3 million tons went into landfills.

But the push to increase recycling in the sector is growing, with the Federal and state governments each having policies in place to increase their recovery rates by 2021-2022.

A part of this increased demand for waste recycling will inevitably be borne by the existing plants, highlighting a need for the recycling plants to streamline their operations and add capacity where possible.

One of the ways by which existing operations could operate with better efficiencies is by switching to higher capacity drive systems, according to Steve Hittmann, National Product Manager of Mechanical Drives at CBC Australia.

“Gates belts are among the high-end v-belts in the market. For recycling applications such as in the crushing or mulching machine that works continuously under peak loads, we recommend using a high-end product such as the Gates Predator and Super HC v-belts,” he says.

“The Gates Super HC belts are ideal for transmitting high horsepower on high-speed applications where space is limited. Despite their small cross sections, they feature higher tensile strength than the conventional rubber belts,” he adds.

Iain Street, Business Development/ Technical Support Manager for Power Transmission at Gates, concurs.

“While the Gates Predator v-belts are the toughest belts in the range, the Gates Super HC belts are the next in class.

They can handle up to three times more force than the industry standard v-belts or carry the same power at one third or half the space, and with all sizes meeting the Gates V80 tolerances, can be installed without matching” he says.

“The Flex Weave wrapping on the Super HC belts adds additional protection against oil, dirt and heat – all of which may be present in a recycling environment,” he adds.

Street, who has been working in the power transmission sector for over 25 years, says poor installation and poor maintenance are the most common reasons that belts fail prematurely.

“If belts are not tensioned correctly during installation or if the pulleys are not aligned properly, it increases the risk of belt failure. Belt re-tensioning is another important maintenance practice that tends to get overlooked,” he explains.

All of Gates belts that carry the V80 logo match all other V80 belts of the same type and size. These include the Gates Hi-Power, Super HC and Tri-Power belts.

“When a number of belts work together in a group, a length difference of even a fraction of an inch can make or break the belt drive. If the belts are not matched correctly, this leads to uneven load distribution and sheave wear, which ends in premature failure of the belt. The Gates Super HC belts are V80 matched belts; which means that they meet the tolerances set out by the Rubber Manufacturers Association,” he explains.

Street says as part of the Gates engineering technical services, Gates’ field team members visit and survey any plant along with the relevant CBC team member to provide on-site solutions, ranging from drive performance evaluation, belt tensioning, laser alignment and more.

Additionally, the Gates engineering technical team also conducts preventive maintenance training upon request to train the maintenance crew on the most common causes of poor belt life.

The Design Flex Pro belt drive design software is another tool that helps the operators in designing the drive system and checking if the existing belts are sufficient to carry the incoming loads, according to Street.

“The software is relatively easy to use. By inputting only a few parameters, the program will recommend different configurations for the belt type, number and length. All you need to do then is select the solution that best suits your requirements,” he says.

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The key to better machine design is no key at all

From the moment the wheel came into existence, people have been faced with the seemingly simple task of mounting their inventions to a shaft so that something useful could be accomplished.

Within an industrial scenario, such as in a recycling plant, components such as couplings, pulleys, sprockets and flywheels need to be effectively connected to a shaft in order to transfer the torque.

The choice of the right shaft connection technique could determine how well the forces are transferred and how efficiently and smoothly the operations run.

Some of the more traditional shaft connection methods, including keyed and splined connections, while quite widespread, have certain limitations, according to Donald Brierley, who is the manager of FPT Far East Pte Ltd – a subsidiary of Inenco Group.

“Using a keyed connection has some limitations. Because you have to do some machining and cut the shaft for the key to fit in, you are basically reducing the shaft’s cross section,” he explains.

This makes the shaft weaker and you need to make adjustments in the original design, which often leads to a bigger shaft cross section being used.”

“Similarly, splined connections need many notches to be machined on the shaft, which increases the manufacturing cost and time and also increases the risk of cracking around the notches,” he adds.

To avoid these limitations, Brierley recommends using keyless locking devices, such as the Trantorque keyless bushings manufactured by Fenner Drives, where speedy installation and compact designs are needed.

Keyless locking devices use locking screws and tapered rings to lock the components on to the shafts. There are a number of advantages in using a keyless mechanism, says Brierley.

“Keyless locking devices do not need any notches to be machined on to the shaft. This means you can use the full cross section of the shaft, which is more economical. Also, because you don’t need to machine a key, the processing time is reduced,” he explains.

Another advantage of using keyless locking bushings is the shorter installation time, he says.

“Using keyless bushings reduces the time needed for aligning the coupling or pulley during installation. Also, all of the screws on the Trantorque bushings can be tightened using a single spanner, which also makes the installation faster,” he says.

Lower vibration is another key consideration with a number of applications in recycling. Vibration in the shaft connection is often caused by imbalanced weight as a result of the keyed section.

But because keyless connections such as Trantorque have a uniform diameter, Brierley says vibrations are significantly reduced.

Fenner Drives’ Trantorque bushings can accommodate shaft sizes from 1/8 inch (3 millimetres) up to 3 inches (75 millimetres) and are available for both metric and imperial shaft sizes.

The locking devices are also available in the stainless-steel range or with anti-corrosion coatings, which makes them suitable for aggressive environments in recycling plants.

Steve Hittmann, who is the National Product Manager of Mechanical Drives at CBC Australia, says these advantages make Trantorque keyless bushings the connection device of choice for a number of original equipment manufacturers.

“One of our customers is a manufacturer of agricultural machinery that uses Trantorque bushings to connect hydraulic motors to driven shafts. The customer required an imperial shaft device of one-inch diameter and had a restricted envelope to work with. Because Trantorque locking devices are compact in design, they were a perfect fit,” says Steve.

“Moreover, using Trantorque enabled the hydraulic motors to be installed concentrically and with the convenience of a uniform mechanical fit,” he explains.

Apart from being the exclusive distributor of Trantorque bushings in Australia, Steve says the CBC technical team can also respond to any enquiry from the customers regarding the right design.

“When we get an enquiry from a customer, we often help them with the selection of the right locking device. When needed, we also work with Fenner Drives to assist with designing the technical specifications,” says Steve.

“This gives our customers the comfort to order what they need when they need it, knowing that we will support them every step of the way,” he concludes.

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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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Metal recycler lauds performance of Timken solid-block housed units

“Once we put them in, we don’t have to worry,” says Omar Kheir about the Timken spherical roller bearing solid-block housed units.

As State Engineering Manager for Sims Metal Management in New South Wales, that’s high praise. Sims Metal Management is the world’s leading – and publicly listed – metal recycler, with wide-ranging operations in Australia.

The company was founded in Sydney back in 1917 and has grown to include over 250 recycling facilities in more than 20 countries worldwide. Sims Metal Management specialise in the buying, processing and reselling of ferrous and non-ferrous recycled metals.

“Given the conditions of our processing facilities – which classify as being heavy industry environments – these bearing units cop a lot of punishment,” explains Kheir. “But we have absolute confidence in their performance. They do the job well, despite the tough environment.”

For Kheir and the reliability teams who work within the Sims Metal Management shredding operations in NSW, having the Timken product in employment relieves a lot of maintenance concerns.

“Their reliability is a big advantage. We know they won’t fail. It takes a lot of the pressure off the maintenance staff,” says Kheir.

“My understanding is that the Timken spherical roller bearing solid-block housed units are a standard in heavy industry as they work so well in this application.”

Tony Tormey, who is CBC Australia’s Product Manager for Industrial Bearings, confirms Kheir’s assumption in that the Timken spherical roller bearing solid-block housed units are a standard for heavy industry applications such as those experienced in the metal recycling sector.

“The Timken spherical roller bearing solid-block housed units – formerly known as ‘blue brute’ – is an absolute industry standard for heavy industry applications. They’re the strongest unit on the market,” Tormey enthuses.

“When you’ve got heavy product moving through conveyors, the bearing units need to be able to cope with the loads as well as withstand contamination.”

The Timken spherical roller bearing solid-block housed units are the only spherical roller bearing housed units to provide cast steel solid-block housings as standard.

This feature gives the bearing unit its exceptional strength under extreme operating conditions, whilst the range of locking and sealing options protect the bearings from contaminants; allowing for extended life.

Issues with shaft alignment are also common in heavy industry and these affect the life expectancy of housed units. However, the Timken spherical roller bearing solid-block housed units have been designed to accept a total of 1.5 degrees of misalignment, which can significantly improve longevity.

Tormey says the design features ensure a more durable and longer bearing unit life compared to alternative split type units that are the typical in heavy industry conveying applications. But as Kheir mentioned, the easy installation of the Timken solid-block units is a key feature that remains unmatched.

“The ease of fitting and the installation time of about 20 minutes with a Timken spherical roller bearing solid-block housed unit compared to at least 90 minutes for a split type unit is a big advantage,” Tormey stresses.

“The fact that the Timken product is also a sealed unit that’s ready to install means it is not exposed to contaminants, unlike split type blocks which are exposed to the elements during the installation process. That can create a problem from the outset in an environment such as a metal recycling operation where contamination is always a key concern.”

Moreover, the Timken spherical roller bearing solid-block housed units include precision locking styles and there are advanced seal options available to offer even further protection from contaminants.

When it comes down to it though, for Kheir and the team working on maintenance in the Sims Metal Management recycling operations, it’s about keeping the machinery in working order.

“These units get the job done. In a huge operation such as ours, that’s what matters,” he says.

In terms of support, Tormey reiterates the role that CBC plays in helping customers such as Sims Metal Management to improve the efficiency and productivity of their operations.

“CBC have a large footprint and our staff profile is second to none in terms of collective expertise. We also provide engineering services that range from installation and problem solving to advanced predictive maintenance services,” he says.

“For clients such as those in the recycling sector, helping them choose the right type of solution and ensuring that solution is installed and working at its optimum, is really important. That’s what we’re about. We’re not just a distributor of products, we’re a solutions provider. Our goal is to provide our customers with viable solutions that improve the reliability of their machinery and save them money.”

The relationship that CBC and Timken share is also unique and beneficial to the end customer, confirms Tormey.

“We work jointly with Timken to deliver solutions to customers. In conjunction with Timken, we provide onsite training on the solid-block units to ensure correct installation. Our CBC engineering team also have an intimate knowledge of how these units work and which applications they are best suited to. This specialised knowledge is hugely beneficial for the customer.”

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An all-in-one lubrication solution for recycling plants

All recycling plants, whether they deal with metal, glass or pulp and paper processing, have one thing in common: they all need quality lubricants to keep their systems running reliably and efficiently.

Understanding the importance of a comprehensive lubrication solution for recycling plants, CBC Australia has partnered with Viva Energy to offer a wide range of premium Shell lubricants to customers across Australia.

CBC’s National Product Manager for Lubricants, Steve Keown, says easy access to Shell’s comprehensive portfolio of oils and greases for hydraulic parts, gears, heavy duty diesel engines and turbines is an attractive offer for their customers, especially given their global strength.

“It is an attractive option for our customers to work with a single brand that offers such an extensive product portfolio than to work with multiple brands. It reduces the number of products they need on-site and makes managing their lubrication store so much easier,” says Keown.

One issue that Plant Managers and Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) currently face is having to deal with multiple brands of lubricants that are specified for each piece of equipment.

This can lead to confusion on their part, particularly in a scenario where there’s been a change of staff or if the inventory is not managed properly.

“One site we surveyed had 14 brands of lubricants on-site. Some products had been there for more than a decade and most of the products were well past their shelf life,” Keown says.

As part of its offering, CBC appoints local teams to work closely with their customers to assess their current lubricant scenario and provides recommendations on how to rationalise the number of different products that they are using.

They can also complete the necessary testing to ensure that all lubricants in use meet the relevant industry standards. Shell’s LubeAnalyst service is a lubricant health check available to customers who want their oil samples tested to monitor equipment and lubricant health.

CBC’s services include cataloguing the current lubrication store to present a new, high quality lubrication program. The team can also assist with recommending solutions to better handle lubricant deliveries and provide the necessary recovery equipment and spill kits.

If commissioned by customers, CBC can further carry out a plant survey to identify all areas for improvement, such as the use of wrong or duplicate products.

In addition, the CBC engineering team can provide preventative maintenance programs. These may include scheduled lubricant sampling, oil and vibration analysis and mapping normal levels to identify red flags before any major failure occurs.

“This could save the customer from minor inconveniences as well as significant downtime with major component failures. Some of these plants use bespoke parts that aren’t sitting on a shelf somewhere. Should something unexpected occur, the team can conduct a root cause analysis,” he adds.

Viva Energy Lubrication Expert, Paul Smallacombe, explains why it’s particularly important for recycling plants to use premium lubrication products.

“Waste recycling systems often place excessive load and temperature stress on the lubricants used. Using quality lubricants that are designed for the specific applications helps reduce the operating temperatures and extend the machine’s life.

“A prime example of this is Shell Tellus S2 MX 68 hydraulic oil that resists breakdown under heat or mechanical stress and helps in preventing damaging deposit formation, therefore extending the operating life of machinery,” he explains.

Another objective in planning the best lubrication program for a recycling plant, Smallacombe says, is to extend oil drain intervals.

“Operating costs are always at the top of a plant manager’s mind. Using lubricants with longer service life ensures less downtime and therefore more efficient operation. For example, one of our customers was able to double their oil drain interval after we introduced them to the correct Shell product.”

To help customers identify the most suitable lubricants, Smallacombe and the Viva energy technical Team work closely with CBC and their customers to share their expertise.

“There are a number of less reputable lubricants in the market that do not meet the industry standards and have not received the necessary approvals. But their advertisements use terminologies that can be misleading for customers. This creates the additional risk for a customer to lose their warranty on certain machinery if they use an unapproved product,” he said.

“Through our oil testing services, we can establish how equipment is operating with a certain lubricant. If necessary, we can trial a higher tier product for the customer and report the results after a second analysis.”

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