A food production line consists of many moving parts, each with their own set of complex maintenance requirements. Holding it all together is the backbone of industrial equipment – bearings. With such a vast array of bearing options available on the market, compiling an inventory that is interchangeable and compatible across every corner of the site can be extremely difficult.
Available exclusively through BSC, the Timken range of food-grade SNT Split Plummer Blocks provides an easy, practical solution. Timken is aiming to address bearing requirements across the food processing industry, where needs for customised solutions have been increasing rapidly over recent years. This is largely due to the implementation of strict health and safety protocols to mitigate risks of contamination.
“It’s quite crucial to ensure that when you are dealing with food handling, all the componentry is suitable for that unique environment,” explains Leon Stefanec, Victorian State Sales Manager for Motion Australia. “It is also incredibly important to make sure bearings are housed correctly, and in a consistent way to ensure safety for workers on site.”
Motion Australia has been working alongside Timken to provide a bearing overhaul to one of Australia’s national abattoir companies, offering hands-on support across six meat plants. Within the abattoir, each animal is securely fastened to metal hooks, which are lined along a mobile overhanging chain. This chain is held in place by sprockets, which are in turn secured by the Timken SNT Plummer Blocks.
Each of these sites can process over 1,000 cattle per day, and even short periods of unexpected downtime can eventuate in significant costs. If bearings fail at any point along the production line, it can suspend operations for anywhere up to an hour, so working to prevent that risk is paramount. Not only is the business losing output time, they are also spending wages during periods where nobody can continue work.
An important factor when considering casing on bearings in food contexts is their ability to withstand rigorous cleaning and sanitation schedules typical of the industry. Units must maintain durability when subjected to high-pressure hosing and routine chemical application. Based on Timken’s expertise in food handling parts, this has been accounted for in the design and fabrication of the SNT range.
“I was recently on site at their Melbourne location, discussing supply consolidation through Motion Australia,” says Leon. “Based on the customer’s feedback, the Timken products have been performing extremely well in the harsh environmental conditions of the abattoir, thanks to their structural integrity and protective coatings. Switching over from their previous supply has reduced overall inventory and component costs as well.”
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