When you work in the grain handling business, ensuring your conveyor equipment is in tip top condition for harvest season is essential. Which is why Kerry Hickmott leans on BSC in Toowoomba for the support and supply ofLOCTITE®product for preventative maintenance and belt repair.
“I run a workshop that primarily builds and repairs grain handling equipment for a major grain producer,” explains Kerry. “In Queensland we have two harvest seasons for grain – these fall over spring and summer. For this reason, we carry out maintenance and repair work from April through to September to make sure the equipment is in good condition for harvest.”
Grain belts are, of course, critical to these operations. Business Development Executive for BSC in Toowoomba, Mark Brocherie, explains why.
“When it comes to handling the grain, conveyor belts are commonly used. This rubber belting can tear from time to time,” he says. “If you do have a tear in the belt, it can lead to premature failure and consequently cause a lot of damage, including a potential breakdown.”
According to Kerry, breakdowns have to be avoided at all costs.
“Downtime is not an option for us – if it does occur, it has serious implications for our business, not just in terms of immediate costs but in how those subsequent delays will affect our customers,” expounds Kerry. “It’s a competitive business. If people are waiting too long to drop their grain off, they will call another grain depot to make alternative arrangements.”
If you had milk with your cereal this morning or a soft drink with your lunch, there’s a high chance the product you held in your hands travelled on a Rexnord conveyor chain at some point in its production or handling process to reach you. As a world leading manufacturer of conveying solutions, Rexnord’s conveying chains are adopted by many original equipment manufacturers in the food and beverage sector.
Rexnord introduced its ground-breaking FlatTop conveyor chains in 1938, starting with the straight-running 815 TableTop® stainless steel chain. These were the world’s first metal chains that integrated a top plate with hinge eyes, giving them the versatility to convey anything from individual units to packaged and cased goods.
The Rexnord FlatTop conveying chains, including the TableTop and MatTop® series, have since been expanded to offer many materials, types and grades, enabling the solutions to be used across a wide range of applications, from beverage filling to case handling, container making, food conveying and even automotive.
Rexnord’s conveying chains are supplied and supported in Australia through Industrial Solutions Australia businesses – namely CBC, BSC and Webster BSC.
The CRC Greenlight program sounded like the perfect package to Steve Carr, Engineering Manager for Suprima Bakeries, when he first learned about the program through John Perri, Key Account Executive at BSC. Read more
Food and beverage processing plants in Australia will soon have access to a complete range of corrosion-resistant ball bearings and ball bearing housed units from Timken® to meet their rotating equipment needs. Industrial Solutions Australia will have the new Timken products available across its business network of CBC, BSC and Webster BSC branches as early as May.
Tony Tormey, Industrial Solutions Australia Product Manager for Industrial Bearings, says the new Timken products have already generated a lot of interest among the industry players.
“The food market generally lacks a single brand solution when it comes to bearing requirements. Food and beverage plants that deal with harsh chemicals and aggressive washdowns can benefit from maximising their hygiene levels with Timken’s new corrosion-resistant range,” says Tony.
The Timken Company have now, launched a new corrosion-resistant ball bearing product range for applications that require ball bearings to withstand chemical washdowns and wet environments.
“We want to build the best machines that we can. Something that will last in the field for many years. To do that, we have to start off with the best components,” says David Eggins of Roberts Machinery, a family-owned company in Alstonville, New South Wales, best known as the manufacturer behind the Robmac macadamia nut harvester machines.
David’s father, Robert Eggins, built his first peanut harvester and bagging machine back in 1959 when he was just 19 years old. In 1962, he started the business of Roberts Machinery, which has been designing, building and repairing farm machinery for over 59 years.
With the growth of the macadamia industry in Alstonville, Roberts Machinery became heavily involved in the macadamia industry and 23 years ago, introduced the Robmac harvester, a lightweight stand-alone harvester with the ability to operate efficiently in wet and dry conditions with very low soil compaction.
Today, there are over 240 Robmac harvesters in the field, and service and support of these units has become an important part of the business for Roberts Machinery. The team also runs a production pipeline with three or six harvester units under production at any given time, building an average of 12 to 15 Robmac units each year.Read more
For a lot of Australians, Arnott’s biscuits are associated with sweet memories. From growing up with a vintage Arnott’s biscuit tin, to introducing the delights of a ‘Tim Tam Slam’, Arnott’s products have lodged themselves in the hearts and homes of Australians throughout the iconic brand’s 155-year history. In fact, an estimated 95% of Australian households stock Arnott’s biscuits.
Making tasty treats for the nation comes with responsibilities. The maintenance teams at Arnott’s factories work hard to ensure the plants run as efficiently as possible to keep up with the large orders Arnott’s receives.
For Paul Nitschke, who works as Maintenance Services Team Leader at Arnott’s Marleston plant in Adelaide, working with the iconic biscuit manufacturer is a source of pride. Read more
The macadamia industry in Bundaberg has been growing rapidly. After starting as a small industry in the early 2000s, Bundaberg overtook the Northern Rivers in 2016 to become the largest producing macadamia region in Australia.
Ben Steinhardt’s business, B Fabricated, has been heavily involved in Bundaberg’s macadamia industry since 2009 when he built the first macadamia harvester for his family’s farm. His harvesting machines soon gained popularity and orders flew in from the neighbouring macadamia farms.
Today, B Fabricated manufactures not just nut harvesters but all types of agricultural processing equipment, including conveyors, bucket elevators and batch weighing machines and also offers ad-hoc fabrication and repair services to the local farming industry.
Australian company Candan Industries first introduced its popular Inox MX3 product in 1989 as an anti-corrosion and anti-moisture lubricant.
The product’s popularity has grown over the years as both industrial and domestic consumers keep finding new applications for it in their everyday maintenance tasks.
Inox MX3FG, a low-odour equivalent of the original Inox MX3 was introduced in 2008 to fill a gap for odour-free, food-grade lubricants. Today, the the MX3FG has found widespread popularity in par with the original MX3 product.
A major food manufacturer in Melbourne had to frequently replace bearings in their filling machine which injects sticky breakfast product into jars. High exposure to moisture and detergents to clean the machine took its toll on the bearings, which necessitated bearing replacements every few months.
When BSC sales specialist Jamie Stonehouse learned about the problem, he recommended replacing the standard ball bearings with NSK’s Molded-Oil deep groove ball bearings to extend the machine’s service life.
Frequent failure of a roller chain at a major biscuit manufacturing plant in South Australia was causing significant delays in production. The chain had broken eight times over a span of 15 months and every time the chain broke, the line had to be stopped completely to replace the chain.
BSC recommended changing the existing triplex chains with Gates Poly Chain GTCarbon timing belts, which helped resolve the issue.
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.
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.
Costa, a leading Australian mushroom grower and packer, were able to detect reliability issues in some of the fans that help regulate ventilation for their facility in South Australia. Had the issue not been detected early through vibration analysis, it could have led to more bearing failures.
BSC Engineering Solutions Manager Mark Slaughter says the issue of electrical fluting is an increasing cause for bearing failures in VFD (Variable Frequency Drive) driven machines.
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.
Nearly 70 years ago, brothers Fred and Frank Vermeeren migrated to Australia from the Netherlands along with their parents and ended up settling in the small town of Keith in South Australia. About 11 years later, they founded an engineering and irrigation business that has since been passed on to the next generation in the family and today employs more than 20 staff and several apprentices.
Since its creation, the Vermeeren Bros Engineering and Irrigation company has proved to be an innovator in design and fabrication of irrigation and farming equipment. One of the company’s earlier designs was the Cattle Crush, an effective livestock handling system which became a staple for farmers across Australia, making its way as far as Alice Springs.
Another popular product designed by Vermeeren Bros was their renowned Minispreader, which facilitates easy spread of snail bait, mice bait, fertiliser and pasture seed from the back of a utility vehicle. The team has perfected the design over the years, adding optional attachments to distribute bait in two rows for vineyard use and a transfer bin to minimise the manual handling of bait and seeds.
Anthony Vermeeren, co-director, is proud of the quality of workmanship and the innovation his team delivers, which has helped the company build strong customer relationships over the years.
“Without quality workmanship we would not have seen returning customers and without innovation our business would not have lasted over 50 years. The importance of customer relations cannot be overstated,” he says.
BSC-Lonsdale sales representative Steve Wilkinson works closely with Anthony and his team to supply a wide range of industrial products for their day-to-day workshop needs. He is particularly impressed with Vermeeren Bros’ support for their staff and apprentices.
“Vermeeren Bros provide continuous onsite training to their staff and apprentices and invest in their education and skills development. Doing so, they are extending their support to their local community and setting a great example for other businesses in the area,” he concludes.
Vermeeren Bros is a Silver Award winner at the Let’s Roll: Australian Business Awards 2020. To learn more about the Awards, click here.
Australia’s award-winning extra virgin olive oil, Cobram Estate, is advertised as ‘the only oil you need,’ and while that message pertains to the delicate process of cooking, the less delicate process of harvesting the olives relies on other types of lubricants, as Bryden Coote, Branch Manager at BSC’s Swan Hill explains.
“When you have a chain worth thousands of dollars installed on a harvesting machine, it can become quite expensive if the chains do not last through the harvest season, not to mention the downtime from having to replace the chain in the middle of harvesting,” says Bryden.
Cobram Estate is the flagship brand of Boundary Bend Limited (BBL) – Australia’s largest olive farmer and producer of extra virgin olive oil. Across its multiple olive groves in the Murray Valley region of Victoria, BBL owns over 2.5 million olive trees on more than 6000 hectares of farmland.
To efficiently harvest olives from these groves, BBL has been involved in developing its own unique olive harvester machines that enable continuous harvesting rather than the discontinuous system used in most other olive growing countries. During the harvest season, these machines work 24 hours a day to pick the olives when they are at their best.
Over the past couple of years and as recommended by Bryden, Sam Griffiths, Maintenance Manager at the Boundary Bend Estate has been using CRC TAC2 chain lubricants for the maintenance of the Boundary Bend harvester machines – with more than satisfactory results.
“Every day, as part of our routine maintenance, we spray the CRC TAC2 on the harvester chains and this has helped us extend the service life of the chains considerably,” says Sam. “We only use the harvester machines during the harvest season but by keeping the chains lubricated throughout the year, we have almost halved our chain breakdowns. Now we only replace the chains once or twice a year as part of our routine maintenance.”
Iain Faber, National Channel Manager at CRC Industries explains why TAC2 is a suitable choice for lubricating high-speed chains, such as the ones in Boundary Bend’s harvesters.
“The CRC TAC2 is a dual-viscosity lubricant, which means it can be sprayed onto the chain as an oil but it firms up into a grease-like consistency as it sets, enabling it to remain in place without flinging off. Because of this unique formulation, TAC2 can penetrate into the pins and the seals in the chain to effectively protect the chain against wear.
“Moreover, the TAC2 lubricant is resistant to water wash downs, so it can be safely used in areas where water is present. It has a wide operating temperature range, so you can use TAC2 in both hot and cold temperatures.”
But TAC2 is not the only chain lubricant CRC has on offer. The CRC GEL TAC is another chain lubricant with similar properties as TAC2 but suited to different applications, as Iain explains.
“I always use the example of a motorbike and a forklift,” says Iain. “Whereas the TAC2 is best suited for high speed applications like motorbike chains, GEL TAC is designed to stay in place in low speed, high pressure applications such as the chains used in general leaf and pin chains and overhead forklifts.
“The CRC GEL TAC has the similar benefits as the TAC2 in terms of dual-viscosity and water resistance, in addition to having a higher temperature performance. The GEL TAC can withstand temperatures up to 300 degree Celsius compared to the 165 degree Celsius in TAC2. Both products are water-insoluble, meaning that they both perform very well in high water environments and resist water wash off.
Additionally, CRC also offers the Food Grade range of chain lubricants for applications where risk of incidental contact with food is present.
“The CRC Food Grade chain lubricants use a special blend of mineral oil and synthetic additives. The formulation for these lubricants is such that after you spray the oil, it forms bubbles and this foaming action gives the oil better penetration rate into the chain,” he says.
“CRC’s Food Grade range are all NSF-H1 certified and tested for a list of 25 allergens, making them safe to use across all food processing applications. CRC also has all of the certifications required for audit purposes, enabling food processors to easily produce these when required.”
Back to the context of the BBL application, Bryden says in addition to recommending the best lubrication product for each application, BSC experts can also advise on the best maintenance regime to help extend the chain longevity for customers.
“Our customers invest heavily on chains and sprockets for their equipment and it’s important that these chains are maintained as best as possible. When BSC staff visit any site, they often check the equipment and make maintenance recommendations depending on the site conditions and the equipment available on the plant,” says Bryden.
As for Sam, he says he is quite pleased with the services he receives from the BSC Swan Hill branch, particularly Bryden, with whom he has been engaging regularly for the past four years.
“BSC is a very good supplier and the team are genuinely helpful, always going out of their way to supply us the required parts and products when we need them urgently. It’s a relationship built on trust and grown over time.”
Safety was top of mind for a top Australian manufacturer of bakery products when they approached their long-term product suppliers at BSC seeking recommendation for a suitable chain lubricant. Nick Gunn, the BSC account manager at the time, recommended the ROCOL FOODLUBE Hi Temp Chain Lubricant from ITW Polymers and Fluids, which resulted in a long-term supply program, covering not just the ISO-certified oven chain lubricants, but also a wide range of other oils and greases in the FOODLUBE family.
According to Nick, the ROCOL FOODLUBE portfolio adds an invaluable safety dimension that not only ensures food industry requirements are met, but additionally works to optimise the production in food plants and simplify the overall cleaning process.
“FOODLUBE’s reputation as a globally recognised lubricant for food and beverage manufacturing means that our customer could use the products with complete peace of mind, with no concerns regarding contamination or machinery performance,” he says. “Due to the wide operating temperatures, FOODLUBE Hi-Temp Chain Oil can operate at temperatures ranging from minus 25 degrees to 280 degrees Celsius, they use the same product in their ovens, as well as in their freezers.”
Emilio Seballos, Channel Manager for Heavy Industry at ITW Polymers and Fluids, explains what makes the FOODLUBE proposition attractive for food manufacturers.
“ROCOL FOODLUBE has NSF accreditation, which is globally recognised, and it is also HACCP certified. On top of that, many ROCOL products provide an additional level of safety assurance through their ISO 21469:2006 certification. Like NSF H1, this certification is globally recognised and important for British Retail Consortium audits as it provides credible, independent assurance that products are formulated, manufactured, stored and supplied hygienically and safely.”
Another area where food manufacturers can benefit from the use of ROCOL FOODLUBE products, Emilio explains, is to rationalise and simplify their lubricant inventories.
“The technology behind food grade lubricant products has improved drastically over the last 10 to 15 years. Whereas many food manufacturers still prefer to keep separate inventories for food grade and non-food grade lubricant in their plants, they are increasingly coming to realise the simplifications they can achieve by switching to food-safe products through more of their applications, thus eliminating the risk of cross-contamination in their plants,” he says.
“In the case of the FOODLUBE product range, all the oils and greases are made with a synthetic base oil, which means they don’t break down and carbonise when exposed to high temperatures. This in turn leads to prolonged maintenance intervals as the lubricant does not evaporate from the chain, nor does it cause the chain to drag. The FOODLUBE Hi Temp Chain Spray also has great resistance to water washdowns, so you don’t need to lubricate your chain as frequently in a high water washdown environment. All of this leads to reduced maintenance expenses for the plants and enhances their total reliability and efficiency,” he adds.
As a routine practice, Emilio says the ITW and BSC personnel often perform joint assessments for BSC clients to help them rationalise their inventories.
“The beauty of the ROCOL FOODLUBE portfolio is that many of the products serve multiple purposes. For example, your gearbox oil in one application can be used as chain lubricant in another application. Similarly, your hydraulic lubricant might double up as a chain lubricant, depending on the situation,” he says.
“Where ITW P&F and BSC come into play is to help our customers rationalise their inventories to simplify their management. In one audit we did in conjunction with BSC some years ago, the customer was using 25 different lubricants from 13 different brands. We were able to simplify this down to 12 lubricants from the FOODLUBE range.”
Within this portfolio, Emilio says the FOODLUBE Premier 1 grease has been a “game-changer” in the food industry.
“The FOODLUBE Premier 1 grease is a food grade grease designed for bearings operating at high speeds and high temperatures. Because this grease has a consistency grade of 1, in addition to a wide temperature range of minus 30 to 180 degree Celsius, it can effectively replace multiple types of greases in one application line.
“The FOODLUBE Premier 1 grease is resistant to water washdowns and ISO21469 certified, so you can safely use it where stringent quality control measures are in place.”
The FOODLUBE WD spray is another popular product within the range, Emilio says.
“The FOODLUBE Water Displacement (WD) spray is ideal for use as a general lubricant to protect small components such as linkages, pivots and pins. Having high temperature resistance (up to 120 degree Celsius) and being synthetic based make this a multi-purpose spray that you can use for many applications. The WD Spray is also fortified with PTFE for increased lubricity and like all FOODLUBE products, it is free from colour and odour – which is very important in the food industry.”
As an additional safety measure, all plastic components including the lids and actuators in the ROCOL FOODLUBE products are metal detectable and capable of detection by most metal detection equipment.
As an application engineer with Henkel Australia, Rocco Mammoliti has held hundreds of LOCTITE maintenance and repair workshops for BSC customers over the years, but there was one such event that still brings a smile to his face every time he recalls it.
“One of the most memorable maintenance, repair and operation (MRO) workshops I’ve ever held was when I had just started working with Henkel a few years ago and I was invited by BSC to present an MRO workshop in the regional town of Koolunga in South Australia,” says Rocco.
“As I parked my mobile training truck at the local agricultural equipment store in this one-horse type town, I found that a crowd of 45 to 50 farmers had turned up for the day. As it happened, that day was very windy so the farmers could not spray their crops and had all decided to join the training, which was amazing because it gave me the opportunity to have great interactions with the farmers. I was also amazed at the farmers’ knowledge of the LOCTITE products. It eventually led to a great day of sales for the business that had invited me there.”
The MRO workshops, as BSC product manager Michael Rowe elaborates, are part of Henkel Australia’s support for the LOCTITE product distributors and end-users alike, wherein experts from Henkel review common failure causes and prevention methods within the relevant industry sector, offering guidance and product knowledge as needed.
“BSC can help organise these workshops for anyone interested to benefit from them. The ultimate goal here is to improve reliability and save time for BSC customers by increasing their knowledge of the products they sell or use.”
A full MRO workshop can take up to 3.5 hours, but Rocco says the Henkel team can also offer condensed versions, introducing the full range of the LOCTITE MRO products from threadlockers to thread sealants, gasket sealants, retaining compounds and instant adhesives. The Henkel team also has the capability of delivering virtual MRO workshops by using advanced online video conferencing tools and have been executing these with great success. This ensures that every customer is looked after and receives the support they need.
“What we often find in these workshops is that the product users, such as the farmers and maintenance specialists, have a fair knowledge of the products they are using. They just need some guidance around the applications,” says Rocco. “We help them understand why and how a product hasn’t worked for their specific application, which is often because the wrong product has been used. It also gives us an opportunity to introduce the latest improvements in the LOCTITE product range.”
While on the topic of improvements in the LOCTITE anaerobic range, Rocco mentions the new global packaging adopted by LOCTITE this year.
“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. 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,” says Rocco.
“We have also recently introduced the LOCTITE 518 Gasket Maker Pen, which makes the job of gasketing metal surfaces, including the disassembled transfer cases on tractors, so much easier for the farmers.”
As a company, Rocco says LOCTITE is constantly improving the formulation of its products. He uses the example of the LOCTITE Instant Adhesive – popularly known as the Super Glue – to demonstrate this.
“When LOCTITE bought the Super Glue technology from Eastman Kodak back in the 1960s, the maximum temperature tolerance of the product was around 70 degrees Celsius. LOCTITE improved that so that now, the LOCTITE Instant Adhesive can withstand temperatures as high as 120 degrees Celsius. Similar technology advancements have been implemented across the entire product range, making them better year after year.”
Back in context, Rocco says the LOCTITE MRO workshops further offer an opportunity for LOCTITE to understand the needs of its customers better.
“As they say, we learn something new every day and what better way to learn than by listening to our customers?”