Industrial crimped hose assembly safety best practices for the food industry

Neglected hose assemblies can pose serious risks to food and beverage plants. Unfortunately, they are overlooked too often.

Steve Glatz, sales and marketing manager at Dixon Australia, says premature failures of hose assemblies can arise from a host of different reasons.

“Improper application is the most common cause of failure. The maximum operating pressure of the hose, the recommended temperature and the fluid compatibility of the
hose are all factors that should be considered.”

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BSC, Collier & Miller support the farming industry together

Collier & Miller, a Griffith-based agricultural engineering and retail business, have been purchasing Carlisle belts by Timken from BSC for nearly 40 years. Collier & Miller’s senior staff member Mark Stewart talks about why the belts have been so popular with his customers.

“Our customers have been very happy with the reliability and the cost effectiveness of the Carlisle belts. Why else would we still be selling them after 40 years?” says Mark.

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How to choose and use threadlockers for farm equipment

LOCTITE anaerobic adhesives have become synonymous with agricultural equipment assembly and maintenance. BSC Product Manager for Adhesives & Sealants, Michael Rowe, explains how LOCTITE threadlockers should be used in the field to provide maximum reliability of locking components into place.

“Thermal cycling is as big a problem for fasteners as vibration from the actual machine use is. Generally, agricultural equipment is used outdoors and parked or stored outdoors, so it is exposed to all the elements – heat, morning frosts, rain and so on,” explains Michael.

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Safe sealing solutions for the food industry

When a major food manufacturer experienced leakage from four-pin mixers keeping margarine under high pressure rotation, the mechanical seals were found to be the source of the problem.

Seal Innovations, part of the Industrial Solutions Australia group of businesses (namely CBC and BSC) took up the challenge of repairing, testing and re-assembling the mixers within a week to get the plant up and running.

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Bakery relationship on the rise

As the Paul Kelly song goes, from little things big things grow – and this perfectly describes the relationship that has formed between a large bakery operation and the CBC Braeside branch in southeast Melbourne. 

Recently, the bakery undertook a maintenance programme, for which they required the Rexnord Marbett conveyor bearings. CBC State Sales Manager, Leon Stefanec says these bearings are designed to withstand washdowns – which is necessary in any food manufacturing operation. Read more

Where does nanotechnology fit in the ingredients equation?

Up until 20 years ago, not much was happening in the field of nano technology as it related to food and beverages. However, in the past 15 to 20 years there have been a number of academic papers published, as well as references made, with regard to the technology and how it can be applied to this industry.

In the December issue of Food & Beverage Industry News, Dr Julian McClements – distinguished professor at Department of Food Science at the University of Massachusetts, adjunct professor, School of Food Science and Bioengineering at Zhejaing Gongshang Uni, China, and visiting professor, Harvard University, talked about the future of food. And part of that future included nanotechnology.

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Sugar mills run sweet

When a major sugar mill in Queensland was forced to stop production due to a failed planetary gear unit in their mud filter, the CBC Townsville branch offered a Bonfiglioli 300 series planetary gear unit as a replacement.

CBC Power Transmission Application Engineer Brad Shepherd explains why the Bonfiglioli unit’s robust design was critical to ensuring the mill resumed production with minimal delays.

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Baker Farm truck fleet runs smooth with Alemlube

As a third-generation family business, Baker Farm in the Riverina region of New South Wales is not just a farm producer. The business, which comprises Baker Farm, Baker Grain and Baker Transport, also offers contract farming services, feedlot facilities, freight, and storage of grain, hay and machinery.

To help the farm managers maintain all of their equipment in perfect condition with minimal manual work, BSC’s Wodonga branch recommended installing Alemlube Automated Lubrication Systems on the farm’s  truck fleet to automate the greasing, which helps the farm save significantly on maintenance time and costs.

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A cut above the rest

As an agricultural service contractor, Daryl Phillips, the owner of Nendy Enterprises, spends the harvesting season conducting harvesting and windrowing projects near Albury and in the Riverina region of New South Wales, occasionally taking up projects as far as Geelong in Victoria. Read more

Come rain or shine, the harvest goes on

For Rob Pickles, who owns an agricultural contracting business in north central Victoria, every job is different from the other. Depending on the season and the type of crop being harvested, he needs to make sure his harvesting and baling machinery can work efficiently through the season without any unexpected downtime.
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Getting the harvest on track

Autumn rainfalls of above average in most of Victoria and New South Wales this year mean busy times ahead for Shaun Thorneycroft, whose business, Precise Header & Ag Repairs, helps more than 70 growers in north-west Victoria with their header services each year.

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Building a bond that lasts

Baler chain failures can be very frustrating when they happen in the middle of the busy harvesting season, particularly at night. As Troy Markland, Product Manager at BSC explains, the broken chain often needs to be replaced right there in the field to continue the day’s job, causing serious delays and reduced productivity.

“There’s also always the risk that a failed or a badly fitted chain can damage other components such as the sprockets,” he says.

When one of BSC’s customers, Rob Pickles from Hayanmi Fodder, complained about frequent chain failures on his baler machines, the BSC Shepparton team suggested switching to Diamond’s high strength (HS) series roller chains for increased reliability.

Rob’s business, Hayanmi Fodder, owns two Krone balers and engages in agricultural contracting work in the north central regions of Victoria, producing 15,000 – 20,000 bales per machine.

Hayanmi Fodder’s existing baler chains were wearing out quickly when put through the heavy workload and failing before even one hay season was over.

When Rob contacted the BSC Shepparton branch in search for a solution, he was advised to switch to the Diamond 60HS-1 chains.

As Troy explains, the HS series of Diamond drive chains features through-hardened, medium carbon alloy steel pins, which enable them to resist higher impact and shock loads and offer better working load capacity compared to the standard heavy series drive chains.

“Diamond’s high strength series chains are built to ASME/ANSI B29.1 and B29.28 standards, making them suited to applications subjected to heavy loads or lifting,” says Troy.

Following the upgrade to Diamond 60HS-1 chains, the reliability of Hayanmi Fodder’s baler machines has improved dramatically, says Rob.

“We now tend to put a new set of roller chains on the balers at the start of the harvest season and we get through the season without a hitch. Sometimes the same chains last for two consecutive seasons without needing replacement. Before this, we sometimes had to replace the chains up to three times each year.”

As an additional benefit, Rob says replacing the chains has also reduced the frequency of sprocket wear on the machines.

This, as Troy explains, is due to the Diamond 60HS-1 chain maintaining correct pitch length, ensuring positive and accurate chain and sprocket engagement, combined with a good lubrication process.

In addition to the high strength series, Diamond Chain also manufactures hoist chain and rollerless lift chain for heavy loads or lifting applications.

“The Diamond hoist chain is dimensionally identical to standard series chains but also incorporates pins produced from medium carbon alloy steel, through-hardened to give chains higher working load capacity and additional resistance to fatigue,” says Troy.

“The Diamond rollerless lift chains are designed for tension linkages where frequent articulation requires the increased bearing area of roller chain. Rollerless lift chains are dimensionally identical to standard series chains but are produced without rollers,” he adds.

As strong as the new chains on his balers are, Rob says so is the bond of friendship that has formed over the years between him and the BSC Shepparton Branch Manager, Adam Failla – whom he refers to as his “mate”.

“I’ve known Adam for a long time, and he knows his products very well. In fact, all of the BSC team have a good product knowledge and they are very down-to-earth, so it’s easy to get their advice when an issue comes up,” he says.

“I’ve worked with the Shepparton branch for many years and I can say with confidence that whatever spare part or product I need, they can find and provide to me in the shortest time possible,” he adds.

Adam says as industry experts and suppliers of reputed agricultural equipment parts, the BSC team engages closely with farmers and agricultural contractors through regular site visits and participation in agricultural field days to understand their requirements.

“When we meet with the farmers and our customers, be it during a visit to their farm or on an agricultural field day, we always ask them questions to see if we can offer better products than what they are currently using to get better life out of their equipment,” says Adam.

“Contractors like Rob invest heavily in their machines and they put these through very different conditions. For example, some contractors go to the Mallee region, where the farming conditions are a lot different than what they experience here. The soil tends to be drier and dustier up there, whereas we have had more rain here near Shepparton.

“So, when we offer a solution, we keep in mind all of that based on our experience and this helps our customers get better life and service from their equipment,” he concludes.

Diamond High Strength (HS) Roller Chains:

  • Built to ASME/ANSI B29.1 and B29.28 standards
  • Intended for heavy shock or pulsating loads
  • Through-hardened, medium carbon alloy steel pins
  • More resistance to heavy loads compared to standard heavy series drive chains

Read more articles like this at: www.lets-roll.com.au

                           

BMW quality at a cost-effective price

When people think of VEGA, they look at it as the BMW of instrumentation – quality, but at a price. But VEGA can also develop Hyundai’s. We also develop ranges that are cost-effective, entry level products.”

So said John Leadbetter, senior managing director of VEGA Australia, when talking about the VEGAPOINT range of point level switches aimed at the food and beverage markets. VEGA has a reputation as a producer of high-quality instrumentation, so for one of its products to have a starting price of $240 is not what some would expect, but there are several reasons for this according to Leadbetter.

“When we surveyed our customers, when they think of VEGA, they look at us as a higher end manufacturer of instrumentation,” he said. “However, we also develop ranges that are cost-effective, entry level products.

“The other thing that we are mindful of is that the Asian market is developing products at 1/10th of the price of the US and European markets.

“That is why when we sat down three years ago to develop new products, we decided to aim them at the cost-conscious industry. And the food and beverage industry is cost conscious and one we didn’t have a big presence in. We needed to change that.”

Even Leadbetter’s own sales team asked him how VEGA could make a product so cheaply.
“I said, ‘go back to the year 2000, how much did you pay for a television?’,” he said. “Back then big plasmas and LEDs could be up $15,000. Today, you’d pay less than $1,000. The more we get advanced the cheaper the product becomes.

“When we look at a lot of products these days, like a mobile phone, the technologies get better and better. The prices come down because of the competitive nature of those things. It is a natural progression. I won’t say we were tunnel visioned, but we were caught up in part of the market that we do very well in. We kept walking past other markets and wishing we had something for that. Now we have. What it has done for us around the world, it has given our guys a new lease of life, because we now have new customers to visit.”

However, just because something is cost effective does not mean build has been compromised. Leadbetter knows that even though VEGA is aiming its products at a new market, quality is still king.

“The VEGAPOINT’s body is 316 stainless steel,” he said. “When you look at it, you see VEGA quality. We’re not talking about something that weighs 50g, we are talking about a decent amount of weight because of the metal in there.”

One of the industries that VEGA is targeting within food and beverage is microbreweries, an industry that has ramped up its footprint in the beverage space over the past decade.

VEGAPOINT’s key feature is to see through the viscosity and grime that can cover a switch when it is in a vat, to give process managers accurate information when it is needed, such as the level of product – something that microbreweries would know all about. Leadbetter illustrates how it works.

“I’ll use the example of honey,” said Leadbetter. “When you dip something in honey and you pull it back out there is a coating of honey on it. The way these switches work traditionally is you put it in, it switches, then you pull it out but it remains switched because the front of the switch is covered in honey residue. As far as it is concerned it is still immersed in the honey. With VEGAPOINT, we have given it a feature where you can push another button on your iPad and say, ‘that is called build-up’ and once it churns that out, your switch goes back to off again.

“In a real life situation, when you are dealing with sticky or adhesive type products, build-up on the face of your probe is a natural occurrence. We can take away that annoying switch problem that most switch probes have.”

Another feature of these switches is that they have I/O link capability, which is important when it comes to process workers wanting to communicate with the device.

“The I/O link is giving them information constantly so their system’s re-evaluating and monitoring, everything,” said Leadbetter. “It’ll give information like, ‘ok, bin 101 looks like it has a deterioration in performance,’ or, ‘looks like we have more build up in that product than we normally have. Do we have a blend mixture problem?’

“A plant manager can access the information via their mobile phone. They can look at the performance, change the settings without ever interrupting the cycle. I didn’t think five years ago I’d be programming something with a mobile phone. What we have done is taken the simplistic, overcome a problem, and made it futuristic.”

Customer reaction has been great, said Leadbetter, but there has been an issue outside the control of VEGA – something that is affecting most businesses.

“Feedback has been brilliant. However, we released it in late January and early February. We sent demonstration back packs to all the sales reps around the world, which had the VEGAPOINT with batteries and all the other gear to show customers. Then, on the March 13 the world shut down, so we were fighting COVID,” he said.

Like a lot of companies, a little bit of a lateral thinking has gone a long way. Early on, when COVID-19 first hit, the VEGA team came up with the VEGAPOINT challenge, whereby the company’s sales reps around the world were challenged to upload a one-minute video on LinkedIn that showed an array of applications for the device.

“With restrictions, they were not able to go to different sites, so a lot of it has been done on the kitchen table or bathroom or laundry or whatever,” said Leadbetter. “What this exercise highlighted was that we’ve got a little bit of sleeping giant with this product.”

As well as having FDA approval, there are also a lot of adaptors that can be fitted to the device so they can be used in a variety of applications within the food and beverage industry. Leadbetter said the VEGA team is looking forward to offering problem-solving solutions to the food and beverage industry.

“At the end of the day, we were saying to people that they were wanting to get rid of a certain problem, but they don’t want to spend $5,000 doing it,” he said. “Now they have something that is $240, that with a little bit of self-tuning, you have got rid of any annoying issue.”

Automatic lubrication systems smooth the way for confectionery manufacturer

When an iconic confectionery manufacturer in Western Sydney had complaints about premature failure of their conveyor chains, BSC Sales Service Representative Fady Elchab recommended using Alemlube multi-point lubrication systems to auto-lubricate their chains. This resulted in extending the serviceable life of the chains by more than 100 per cent.

Fady, who regularly checks on the manufacturing plant on behalf of BSC to make sure it is well-supplied with lubricants and other consumable products, says implementing Alemlube’s auto-lubrication solution resulted in a considerable reduction in downtime and labor requirement.

“This manufacturing plant has 12 roller chain assembly lines that help run the confectionery products through various stages in the production process. The chains previously had a serviceable life of only 6-8 months. After installing Alemlube’s automatic lubricators along the line, the chains’ serviceable life has increased to as much as 12, 18, and in some cases even 24 months,” says Fady.

Auto-lubrication has also helped the plant improve operational safety by taking the manual labor out of the maintenance processes, Fady says.

“In food and beverage manufacturing, there are many applications that involve hot processes or are hard to reach for manual lubrication. In these cases we recommend using automatic lubrication systems. For example, our confectionery customer is using Alemlube automatic lubricators to lubricate the bearings in their ovens and combustion fans, which are otherwise regarded as high-risk areas for manual lubrication,” he says.

As a national supplier of industrial solutions, BSC works closely with Alemlube to bring automatic lubrication solutions to a wide range of customers, including those in the food and beverage industry.

John Knight, Alemlube’s Lubrication Systems Product Manager for Australia and New Zealand says of the many operating conditions that can cause premature component failure, few are more predominant than lack of lubrication.

“Chains, particularly in the ovens, will lock up if they are not correctly lubricated, which can cause major downtime and wear and tear,” he says.

“Bearings are also susceptible to premature failure from poor lubrication. Over half of bearing failures happen either from lack of lubrication or contamination. If bearings are kept properly lubricated and contamination-free, their life span can be improved many times over,” he says.

Alemlube multi-point lubrication systems can be designed to lubricate anywhere between 2 to 200 application points simultaneously, providing constant lubrication at desirable pressure and dosage. Among these solutions is the Pulsarlube M Series, which can be set up to lubricate up to eight lubrication dispense points with a single unit.

John says using automatic lubrication systems frees up the maintenance crew’s time to focus on other important tasks.

“When the lubrication systems are installed, the daily drudgery of greasing is taken care of. When the bearings are greased hourly by the automatic lubrication system, bearing failures become less frequent and therefore production efficiency increases. This promotes a positive feedback loop where the maintenance staff can start to focus on preventative maintenance, condition monitoring and planning instead of rushing from one breakdown to the next,” he says.

Through their partnership, the teams at BSC and Alemlube bring extensive expertise on maintenance best practices to their customers, according to John.

“The team at BSC knows and understands their customers very well. Combining this with Alemlube’s experience in design and installation of automatic lubrication systems helps address the customers’ issues related to bearing and lubrication reliability,” John says.

“Many plants tend to put production first and maintenance second. This can be detrimental to the reliability of the operations and the long-term plant health. The collaboration between BSC and Alemlube often gives the customer a new portfolio of tools and strategies to increase efficiency and reduce the costs of maintaining their plant,” he adds.

John’s views are echoed by Fady, who says both BSC and Alemlube are customer-oriented companies.

“At BSC, we are very much driven by customer satisfaction. It is quite common that I meet my customers after business hours or on weekends. That’s because I love my job and I enjoy building relationships with my customers,” he says.

“Because of this strong relationship with customers, they often call me to ask for solutions to their problems and I try my best to either help them or point them in the right direction. And the feedback that I get from customers is that they too love the support that they get from us,” Fady concludes.

Read more articles like this at: www.lets-roll.com.au