Proactive maintenance is a norm in many industrial operations, including in recycling plants. But even with a program of preventive maintenance in place, it’s easy to miss small leaks through a loose fastener or fretting corrosions in bearings and other cylindrical parts.
Building material manufacturers, like the players in other major industries, are under constant pressure to raise the bar on their waste reduction targets to meet their company’s sustainability targets.
The recent coronavirus pandemic has once again brought to light the need for a resilient waste management sector that can facilitate the move towards a circular economy.
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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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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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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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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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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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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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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