One-stop-shop services for the Recycling Plant sector

Australia’s recycling plants are working harder than ever. A number of factors are contributing to the “24/7, 365-day” operating service recycling plants are having to provide, including the restrictions of recyclables imported to China imposed in 2018.

Up until the ban, Australia had sent 619,000 tonnes of recycling waste to China annually. This caused a strain on local recycling plants. Enabling seamless 24/7, 365-day operations was first and foremost on its mind when BSC Australia targeted its house-brand supply of industrial consumables to recycling plants.

Marlin offer a range of products which include chemical cleaning, materials handling goods, and lifting and hoisting equipment. The industrial consumables stream, secondary to BSC’s core business of bearings and power transmission solutions, was established with the intention of providing a one-stop-shop service to the industries they look after, according to National Accounts Manager Wayne D’Souza.

“The extensive range of industrial consumable products that BSC has to offer outside of bearings and power transmission is an attractive proposition for our customers. Ultimately, they’re looking at reducing their tail-end spend, and including these product ranges in their overall scope of purchases from us,” says D’Souza.

“Generally, our customers haven’t thought about us for this and they’re quite impressed when we start demonstrating the range we’ve got.”

“The industrial consumables range is really a valued-added solution for our customers. Many of our customers and contracts are looking to rationalise their supplier base to save valuable time and money and our BSC valued-added solutions go hand-in-hand with increased efficiencies in procurement and supply chain strategies,” says Industrial and Engineering Consumables Category Manager, Dominic Arena.

BSC uses international and local suppliers for the Marlin range of products, with full control of the sourcing and supply chain, allowing for full traceability from the manufacturing stage through to the end user.

“Through this distribution method we can also offer customised solutions for real-world problems that our customers may face with product development and technical engineering at the forefront of what we do,” says Arena.

BSC also has the technical capabilities to be able to customise its products to suit the different industries it supplies.

“We can offer customised solutions as well, because we have that technical engineering product development capability, which differentiates us from the standard distributor who just walks in and sells right off the catalogue. We’ve got eyes and ears in the field that pick up on feedback and customer needs, and we’re able to develop products and product ranges that suit their requirements,” says Arena.

Through this field experience, BSC saw the challenges to recycling plants that Marlin can alleviate.

“In these recycling plants, there are a lot of extremely heavy, awkwardly-shaped products moving around at a high velocity,” says Arena.

“You’ve got lots of equipment and lots of operators. Having the correct load restraint equipment that’s properly labelled for the weight and the dimensions is essential to ensuring best practice for how things get moved around.”

By improving visibility and enabling a better flow of movement throughout the plant, the materials handling products ensure safe practise as well as preventing the loss of time that results from on-site injuries. One of the most important factors to keeping recycling plants and their machinery operational is keeping them clean.

“If contamination or foreign matter were to get into bearings or critical pieces of equipment, it could cause catastrophic failings,” says D’Souza.

“It could just be something as simple as dust, or it could be heavy, chunky grease that forms over time; that’s just as dangerous as having dust. You’ve got to remove that because that can not only contaminate the recyclables, but it can get into some of the equipment that we provide, such as bearings, and lead to stoppages. It can also cause an OH&S issue when its dropping on factory floors, making it unsafe at the workplace for traffic to go through.”

The chemical cleaning products Marlin supplies can be used while the machinery is running. To break down contaminants, such as built-up dust, oils, and thick chunky grease, users can spray and wipe down machinery components and equipment without needing to slow down operations. Best practice, however, says D’Souza, means sometimes having to shut the equipment down now and then. However, Marlin enables this down time to occur less often.

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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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