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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Giving waste management inefficiencies a good belting

The foundation of efficient waste management comes down to the wrapped belts that keep the machinery rolling.

Compared with other developed economies, Australia generates more waste than average and recycles less. Since the Australian Commonwealth appointed a Minister for Waste last year, the nation’s effort in recovering waste has been improved.

The national packaging targets aim to ensure 70 per cent of all plastic packaging is recycled by 2025 and resource recovery facility operators are being encouraged to assist with significant environmental outcomes as the sector continues to see growth in economic opportunity and increased material availability.

Recycling plant operators have five years until the 2025 National Packaging Targets deadline approaches to capitalise on expected throughput growth. As recycling demands increase, streamlining equipment processes through installation of durable belt drives will be a key investment for recycling plant operators to reach the ultimate high-level of efficiency.

This can be achieved for recycling plant operators by installing Carlisle belts. In order to maintain operations and minimise downtime, wrapped v-belts become a critical component in the facility’s procedure.

BSC prides itself on being innovative in waste management. Providing a diverse range of belt drives to facilitate recycling applications has proven to be a performance enhancing tool for companies across the country.

Companies rely on the efficient operation of their equipment that is driven by market leading belts with an electric motor, as it ensures the smooth operation of sorters, conveyors and crushers involved in the collaborative recycling process.

To provide a complete power transmission package, BSC works closely with the American manufacturer of Carlisle belts by Timken. For over 100 years, Carlisle belts have been manufactured in the US. The Timken Company acquired Carlisle belts in 2015.

Backed by a long history in serving recycling plant operators and assisting ultimate waste management, new belt lines and products to the market, has prepared customers for the changes happening across the industry as the nation strives towards a new level of stream-lined recycling ahead of the 2025 packaging targets.

Carlisle belts by Timken are supplied exclusively to BSC as part of Inenco Industrial Solutions. Steve Hittmann, National Product Manager at BSC says every belt is backed by extraordinary engineering and technical support from BSC’s product specialists and engineered services team.

“And combining that with the Carlisle factory back-up, our personal, knowledgeable, and attentive customer service team are second to none,” he enthuses.

As operations ramp up across national recycling plant facilities, Steve says it’s more important than ever to have on-time delivery and fast turnaround. Combining BSC’s distribution and Carlisle’s flexible manufacturing model, customers in the waste management sector are experiencing short lead times and reliable delivery that are exceeding their expectations and outlasting competitors’ belts.

Steve says the Carlisle Blue Label V-belts are the finest wrapped belt in the industry.

“They’re a classical V-belt work-horse,” he says. “They also assure dependable length stability and require less re-tensioning and take-up.”

Steve adds that due to the daily operational demands at recycling plants, having wrapped belts that resist flex fatigue and have a proven longer belt life will ensure smoother waste management.

“The Carlisle Blue Label V-belts have proven to be an efficient tool as the cord is coated with a special compound that produces a secure, long-lasting bond with surrounding rubber,” he explains. “Longer belt life results in less frequent replacement, less downtime and lower maintenance costs,” Steve says.

In recycling plants, there are a lot of extremely heavy, awkwardly shaped products moving around at a high velocity. The heavy-duty fabric cover protects the core but also its extra flexibility permits the belt to bend more easily around the smallest pulleys with less strain on the fabric, which achieves the perfect amount of slip and grip needed to put the rollers in motion.

Enabling a better flow of product through the plant relies on belt drive construction and design, as that can influence overall lifespan, power transmission and efficiency. Carlisle belts are specifically designed for the harsh environments of resource recovery.

BSC and Carlisle belts by Timken have extensive experience working with numerous companies in the waste management industry across Australia and their experience enables them to understand and grow businesses through energy conservation, high sustained speeds and continuous production as the entire sector undergoes a market changing recycling revolution.

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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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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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Packaging belt life to capitalise on industry growth

As the 2025 National Packaging Targets deadline approaches, resource recovery facility operators are presented with an opportunity to capitalise on expected throughput growth.

Between 2017-18, Australia generated 4.4 million tonnes of packaging waste, with only 68 per cent collected. Of that 68 per cent, 56 per cent was recovered via recycling.

In contrast, the national packaging targets aim to ensure 70 per cent of all plastic packaging is recycled by 2025. In addition to delivering significant environmental outcomes, the targets are set to grow economic opportunity in the sector through increased material availability.

To capture this potential, Mark O’Brien, BSC Product Manager, says recycling plant operators need to invest in streamlined equipment processes to ensure consistent throughput levels and quality recyclate. He adds that this includes the installation of durable and high efficiency belt drives.

While belt drives might not represent the most high-tech or glamourous component of an average recycling plant, Mark says superior strength and high grip belts are critical to maintain operations and minimise downtime.

“Sorters, conveyors and crushers are all central to the recycling process and are typically belt driven by an electric motor,” he says.

“BSC provides a wide range of belt drives to facilitate recycling applications, from our economy range right up to high performance V and Timing Belts.”

To provide a complete power transmission package, Mark says BSC works closely with American manufacturer of Carlisle drive belts by Timken.

Carlisle belts have been manufactured in the USA since 1905. The billionth Carlisle belt was sold in 2015. Recently acquired by The Timken Company, Carlisle belts are backed by a long history, yet continue to innovate and introduce new belt lines and products to market.

New lines include the Panther XT synchronous belt which acts as a powerful alternative to chain and polyurethane belts. Timken also launched its Drive Engineer mobile web app to assist in the design and maintenance of Carlisle belt drives in 2017.

“We have been working with Carlisle since the early 90s and have developed a very strong working relationship, which will continue to grow under The Timken Company for the marketplace,” Mark says.

BSC is the sole distributor of Carlisle belts in Australia and offers a range of Carlisle belts including Raw Edge Cog Belts. Super II, Blue Label, Power-Wedge, Wedge-Band belts, Super Vee-Band belts, Double Angle v-belts, Poly-Rib belts and Panther timing belts.

With over 15,000 different industrial belt combinations available, Mark says BSC are able to handle most power transmission applications; notably packaging recycling facility conveyor belts. He adds that different application requirements insist on varied and specific belt drives.

“In applications that require some level of slippage, a V belt is the best solution and you have variety of options within the Carlisle range” Mark explains.

“For applications with no slip requirements and synchronised drives however, I’d recommend a timing belt such as the Panther synchronous belt.”

According to Mark, correct installation and tensioning is necessary to ensure the proper operation of the entire belt drive and will guarantee long service life.

“When a drive is set up correctly and still failing, it likely points to something else incorrect in the system, belts act as a safety fuse in the system” he says.

“In that case, our engineering service can work on the machine to identify incorrect maintenance practices and drives or detect issues with other components that are affecting the belt life.”

Mark adds that by upgrading their belt drives, facility operators can reduce energy consumption, pulley sizes and hub loads through a lower quantity of belts required.

Additionally, he explains that belt drive construction and design can influence overall lifespan, power transmission and efficiency.

“The longevity of belt drives equates to less downtime, greater motor efficiency and reduced maintenance costs. Carlisle belt efficiency can be as high as 98 per cent,” he says.

“BSC recognises the positive impact its specialised products and services can, and do, have on helping customers become more sustainable across economic and environmental objectives.”

With the functionality of Carlisle belts specifically designed for the harsh environments of resource recovery, Mark says BSC is perfectly situated to assist capacity upgrades in the growing packaging recycling sector.

“BSC has extensive experience working with numerous companies in the packaging industry across Australia,” Mark says.

“That experience enables us to understand the special needs of those businesses and product processes, including energy conservation, high sustained speeds, continuous production, heavy leads and wet and dusty environments.”

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