A contactless automatic lubrication system for the oven chains was what a major bakery operation in Queensland selected to avoid any risk of bread contamination.
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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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.
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.”
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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.
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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?”
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Based in the small town of Bundaberg in Queensland, Bundaberg Brewed Drinks has been making some of Australia’s most popular non-alcoholic beverages since the 1960s.
Over the past few years, BSC’s Bundaberg branch has been working with the beverage company as a trusted distributor of industrial products and services. BSC Sales Representative James Mcfarlane regularly checks on Bundaberg Brewed Drinks’ production plant to make sure the plant is well-supplied with their required products.
It was during one of these routine visits that Bundaberg Brewed Drinks Engineering Manager, Daniel Engelbrecht, sought James’ advice on finding suitable roller chains for the rinsing machines – which are used to wash up to 400,000 of the company’s iconic ‘stubby’ bottles every day.
The 60-metre long chain houses the cleats and rubbers that hold the bottles upside down while water sprays rinse the bottles. As Daniel explains, the existing heavy-duty coated chains tended to get rusted in the presence of water and chemicals and wore out quickly.
“The chain operates in a very wet area so we cannot use mild steel or even hard steel chains because these get rusted and the rust can get washed up into the bottles. We also cannot lubricate the chains as we do not want to wash the bottles with greasy water. Previously, we have been using chains with special coatings, but the chemicals we use for washing the bottles attack the coating and it shortens the chains’ life,” says Daniel.
James’ recommendation to Daniel was to use stainless steel Diamond chains, which could provide the desired level of corrosion resistance, while being strong enough to withstand the wear.
“As the roller chains go over the sprockets, they turn 270 degrees in the linear direction as well as 270 degrees sideways. The twisting movement coupled with the chain rubbing on the plate resulted in the wearing down of the chain’s corrosion protection coating. Daniel and his team had not had a good experience with their previous chains as the coating would wear quickly due to this, causing the chains to corrode sooner,” says James.
“The Diamond stainless steel chains have excellent corrosion resistance in addition to offering wear resistance that the Bundaberg team was looking for to get sufficient life out of their chains. The corrosion resistance of Diamond’s stainless steel outlasts the previous coated chains and they have not been experiencing that same wear removal of the chain’s protective feature,” he adds.
Since switching to the Diamond stainless steel chains, Bundaberg Brewed Drinks has been able to extend the service life of the chains and Daniel says he is happy he took James’ advice.
“We have been using the Diamond chains for the past nine months and they are still performing very well. In the past, we were lucky to get six months from a chain,” says Daniel. “The chains are also very cost-competitive, so we are very happy with the performance overall.”
He says the collaboration between Bundaberg Brewed Drinks and BSC has been very successful over the years.
“We have worked with other suppliers before but the solutions they offered were not what we were looking for. The BSC team has experts specialising in different fields, so they can provide us with the right solution every time.”
Diamond produces a range of single-pitch and double-pitch stainless steel chains to suit different applications. Troy Markland, BSC’s national product manager for power transmission says the most common Diamond stainless steel chains are the 300 series.
“The 300 series stainless steel chains offer the most corrosion resistance and are the most common chains in the food and beverage applications. The 600 series also provide very good corrosion resistance, but they have a higher wear resistance,” he explains.
Apart from the off-the-shelf chains available at all BSC branches, Troy says BSC can also order special chains from the factory when a customer requires customised chain lengths, chains with special attachments or chains that are paired together.
“The chains provided to Bundaberg Brewed Drinks are 300 series chains with extended pins to enable them to accommodate the bottle grippers. We ordered it specifically from overseas for Bundaberg Brewed Drinks to use for their bottle rinsing application,” he adds.
When it comes to the maintenance of chains drive systems, Troy says it is crucial to keep the sprockets in good condition.
“Extended chain life can be achieved by ensuring sprockets are in good condition. The sprockets should be inspected at every chain replacement or at set maintenance intervals.”
Correct tension of the chain is another vital aspect in the maintenance process, Troy elaborates.
“Through periodic measurement of the length of the chain and comparing it to the maximum allowable elongation for that particular chain, you can prevent any unexpected failures. The chain should be replaced when elongation reaches 1.5 per cent for length-matched, indexing, vertical orientation, no slack take-up or fixed centre drives or 3 per cent for standard drives,” he says.
“For example, the chain drive in the bottle rinsing machine is a critical drive because if the chain elongates excessively, it can no longer grip the bottles properly and the bottles will fall and smash.”
Troy says the BSC team are all well experienced to assist customers with the maintenance of their chain drives.
“We have the technical capability to assist and determine sprocket conditions. Where needed, we can also educate customers on the correct way of inspecting the sprockets, to ensure maximum life for their equipment,” he concludes.
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Food suppliers in Australia are under increased pressure and scrutiny to ensure they are compliant with food safety standards. To prepare for auditing, companies not only need to make sure their maintenance products are NSF H1 compliant, but that they have acceptable food safety identification and risk reduction programs, as well as adequate documentation of onsite chemical and cleaning processes, in place.
Such was the situation with an Australian biscuit manufacturer, who was looking for a holistic solution that would combine food grade lubrication and cleaning products with an audit compliance program that would also align with their existing onsite processes.
As a long-standing customer of BSC, and one who already used CRC food grade lubrication products, BSC sales representative Fady Elchab noted the customer might benefit from the CRC GREENLIGHT Food Safety Program. He collaborated with CRC national business development manager, Peter Oudomvilay, and Iain Faber, national industrial and food Grade MRO chemicals and lubrication channel manager, to propose a solution. It proved to be an excellent fit.
“The customer was looking for food grade lubricants and chemicals for their workshop, but as a well-known manufacturer, were also under a lot of scrutiny regarding food safety. Every food safety audit, they needed to ensure all their lubricants were compliant,” said Oudomvilay. “Fady identified that the customer needed a better food safety program for their chemicals and cleaning. As the CRC GREENLIGHT encapsulates both the right products for hygienic measures, as well as the processes required to deliver a compliant food safety program, we engaged with the manufacturer to take up this program.”
Initially, the manufacturer trialled the program and products to see if they were compatible with their existing onsite processes, as well as effective for their particular use and application.
“When they identified the program was suited to their application and had no issues aligning with their onsite processes, they rolled it out to the rest of the plant,” said Oudomvilay.
Moreover, the CRC products that were in use – which included chain lube, machine oil, penetrating oil and a bio-degreaser – were covered by the GREENLIGHT program, making the adoption of the program a seamless one. The customer further embraced the bio-remediating technology and maintenance compliant CRC SmartWasher into their process as well.
“The CRC GREENLIGHT program makes identification of compliant products easy and ensures proper product usage through detailed training and extensive documentation,” he said. “This system will not only aim to reduce cost, inventory duplication and invoicing but will also maximise regulatory compliance. Other safety measures include aerosol labels with QR codes as well as cap and nozzle materials which are designed to be picked up by x ray and visual systems if dislodged during food production and on processing lines.”
The CRC GREENLIGHT program involves the following steps:
- Inventory assessment on site for compatibility to applications and environment
- Identification, offering of CRC range of NSF H1 compliant maintenance products
- Visual food safety identification program through wall/ cupboard signage, posters, printed materials and storage cabinet for food grade lubricants/ chemicals only
- Onsite staff training on the risk reduction program
- Ongoing updates to ensure customers remain at the highest level of regulatory compliance
Faber noted that the CRC GREENLIGHT program meets global standards, not just Food Standard Australia & New Zealand (FSANZ). The program aligns with global regulation on 25 allergens, including the more recently added lupin allergen.
“This means we are not only able to service the Australian markets, but able to open ourselves up and provide that supporting documentation to a lot of export businesses,” he said.
Back in context to the biscuit manufacturer, Oudomvilay said the CRC GREENLIGHT program has gone “beyond customer expectations.” This is a result of CRC’s commitment to due diligence with its allergen testing and certification, alongside the relationship that the customer has with BSC. It is through this partnership that an effective solution was implemented to enhance the safety standards at their manufacturing facility.
“The reason we are at the forefront of this program is because we take it so seriously,” Oudomvilay concluded.
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As the organisation responsible for managing the storage and timely shipment of Queensland’s raw sugar exports, Queensland Sugar Limited (QSL) puts a lot of emphasis on safe and efficient operations.
QSL’s Operations division provides operational services for Sugar Terminals Limited’s (STL’s) six bulk sugar terminals at Cairns, Mourilyan, Townsville, Lucinda, Mackay and Bundaberg. In an average year, STL’s terminals handle around 3.5 million tonnes of raw sugar. With such a critical responsibility, ensuring maximum efficiency at the terminals is a top priority for QSL.
As a key distributor of engineering products and services across multiple industries in Australia, BSC has been supplying essential products to QSL’s Operations teams for some time. Shell Omala Industrial Gear Oil and Shell Gadus grease are two important products that BSC regularly supplies to QSL.
Apart from being an industrial supplies distributor, BSC specialists have also assisted the QSL Operations team in the past to gain better understanding of lubrication best practices. More recently, BSC’s Area Account Manager Paul King and Reliability Engineer Michael Phillips conducted a thorough lubrication survey at the Cairns and Mourilyan terminals to make sure the conveyors and ship loaders were running optimally.
“Conveyor systems make up our main mechanical infrastructure,” says Jason Clark, QSL’s Mourilyan Terminal Supervisor. “The sugar is received, stored and finally shipped through the conveyor system. So, we needed to make sure that the pulley bearings and the gearboxes that drive the conveyor belts were being lubricated properly and that our team were doing everything right.”
By going through every drive unit and gearbox, as well as speaking to the maintenance team about their maintenance routines, the BSC team was able to outline areas where the terminals could enhance their lubrication efficiencies.
“The report we received from BSC post the lubrication audit was incredibly thorough,” says Jason. “They have recommended a range of products available that enable us to automate some of our critical bearings, leaving more time available for our skilled workforce to focus on continuous improvement and preventative maintenance.”
Paul recommends using lubrication surveys to avoid common mistakes associated with lubrication.
“Through a lubrication survey, we can find out if someone is over-lubricating or under-lubricating their bearings, whether they are using the right lubricant for their application or whether there is any risk of cross contamination on the site,” he explains.
As a specialist on Shell products and a valued member of the Viva Energy Technical Helpdesk team, Silvana Farrugia also shares her expertise on gearbox lubrication best practices.
“Always check the service manual for the correct lubricant recommended by the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM),” she points out. “The OEM will have performed viscosity calculations based on operating conditions, speeds and loads, to ensure the desired film thickness is always maintained. The OEM will also have considered the type of base oil required, for example, a synthetic lubricant may be required for higher operating temperatures. These lubricants will have a much better resistance to thermal degradation, and better oxidation stability.”
“Once the correct lubricant has been chosen, it is important to turn our attention to maintaining gearbox performance,” Silvana adds. “Gearboxes often run in dirty and dusty environments. It is important to avoid ingress of contamination to avoid wear and foaming, which can lead to overheating, and poor lubrication. The gearbox should be cleaned before topping up and breathers should be checked to ensure that they are the correct type and clean. Any condensation that enters through the breather can cause the formation of sludge, which can also lead to foaming.”
The partnership between BSC and Viva Energy, which is reflected in the collaboration for supply of high-quality Shell Lubricants to the QSL Operations division, is one that Jason and his team appreciate greatly.
“We have been using Shell products for some time, so we were pleased to learn that BSC were suppliers of Shell Lubricants. We use Shell Lubricants in all of our bearings and gearboxes on terminal conveyor systems,” he says.
“The BSC team is always only a phone call away and always ready to assist where they can. Their back up service has been first rate,” he adds.
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Nobody who is allergic to gluten wants to bite into their ‘gluten-free’ biscuit to find that it did in fact contain traces of gluten. Manufacturers go to great lengths to ensure that this cannot happen.
Water washdowns are used in food and beverage processing plants to prevent cross-contamination between batches of different substances, as well as to eliminating bacteria or microorganisms from the surfaces of the machines.
But washdowns cause additional challenges when it comes to design and selection of machinery components. For example, standard bearings can quickly rust in wet conditions. Processing plants with heavy washdowns therefore need to use bearing materials that can withstand the corrosion.
BSC Australia distributes Schaeffler’s FAG Black Series for this very situation. According to Wayne D’Souza, National Accounts Manager at Industrial Solutions Australia, part of Motion Asia Pacific (BSC’s holding company), Schaeffler’s FAG Black Series radial insert ball bearing and housing units feature a Durotect BS surface treatment to improve the bearing’s resistance to harsh, corrosive environments.
“Machines and conveyors used in a food manufacturing plant are often fitted with standard bearing and housing units by the original equipment manufacturers. These standard bearings usually rust within a few months, or even less, under corrosive washdown conditions. That is where using products like the FAG Black Series by Schaeffler offers much greater longevity and reduces downtime,” he says.
Other features of the Black Series also make it a robust choice for food and beverage manufacturing and processing plants, according to D’Souza.
“The FAG Black Series housing units feature flake graphite cast iron housings with a concave bore in which the radial insert ball bearings are fitted. These units are matched to each other and are available as plummer block housing units, flanged housing units and take-up housing units. So, there is a wide range available to suit different applications.
“Further, the Black Series radial insert ball bearings are supplied with RSR seals, which are zinc plated seal lips made from nitrile rubber (NBR) and additional flinger shield. The seal can add another level of protection to prevent water and dust from entering the bearing,” he adds. The Durotect coated inner ring surface contacting the seal lip does not corrode and thus provides a smooth and effective sealing over a much longer operating time.
While corrosion protection is the primary reason why D’Souza recommends using the FAG Black Series, the high temperature tolerance of the bearings is a bonus, particularly for food and beverage applications.
“Sub-zero temperatures and extremely high temperatures are common in food and beverage manufacturing. The insert bearings in the FAG Black Series are suitable for operating temperatures of –20˚C to +100˚C. Temperature peaks of up to +120˚C are possible for short periods.”
D’Souza says conveying equipment and machines for food container fitting and packaging are some applications where the FAG Black Series bearings are commonly used.
“At BSC, we have customers in the beer brewing industry, chocolate manufacturing, bakeries and dairy industry who use these types of bearings extensively. And if you look at those industries, they all involve heavy water washdowns in the production process,” he says.
Other industries where the Durotect-coated bearings find applications are in agricultural, construction and mining machinery, as well as any conveying equipment exposed to intensive dust or water. The bearing and housing units are also commonly used in water and wastewater treatment where they display better resistance against the highly corrosive hydrogen sulphide (H2S) gas.
D’Souza says installing and replacing the FAG Black Series radial insert ball bearing and housing units is fairly easy and something that the in-house maintenance teams at the factories usually handle themselves.
“However, the BSC team can also assist customers with bearing installations or where any technical expertise is required. For example, a plant might need to change the configuration of their conveying system or to install an additional conveyor. Our engineering team can assist customers with design, supply and installation of these new systems or to re-engineer their existing conveying system” he concludes.
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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
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.
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.
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
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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.
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The Costa tagline is a promise: well grown. It’s a simple, down to earth statement that’s completely fitting of the leading Australian fresh produce grower. It’s also apt when describing the relationship that’s been cultivated between the BSC Campbellfield branch and Costa’s mushroom farm in Mernda, located on the outskirts of Melbourne.
Costa’s Mernda mushroom farm is the largest mushroom farm in Australia. They harvest both white and brown Agaricus mushrooms and supply to major supermarkets – the punnets that readers see on the shelves of major supermarket chains in Melbourne are likely to have been grown and packed in Mernda.
According to David Quadrino, who plays the dual role of Pre-Harvest and Maintenance Manager at the farm, on average 260 Tonnes or 8 million individual mushrooms are picked every week. They also employ over 500 people onsite and run 7 days a week, 364 days a year – with New Year’s Day being the only day the farm is closed.
It’s a large operation and David is responsible for the process “all the way until the mushrooms are picked” in addition to the site equipment and staff who provide maintenance services, including the security and cleaners. The scope of his job is extensive and as such, he has come to rely on the supply and expertise of BSC’s nearby branch in Campellfield, which is managed by Mark Shaw.
“They’re always available to me when I phone and will go out of their way to supply us with the parts and equipment we need – even if it’s out of their scope,” explains David. “They’re a critical part of our operation, providing invaluable service and products that range from consumables in the workshop to motors, gear boxes and bearings.”
Being available to David and the Costa crew at Mernda is a commitment that BSC Campbellfield manager Mark Shaw and his team take seriously.
“The solutions we provide are all in one, ranging from basic consumables through to the industrial side which encompasses power transmission, gear boxes, bearings and the like,” says Mark. “We go out to the site three times a week to check their consumables and address any needs they have. They have a consumable section that we keep stocked with greases, aerosols, nuts and bolts, cutting disks, abrasives, glues and so on. They also have a hydraulic section to make hoses, and we provide all the fittings for that as well.”
The BSC branch provides a maintenance package to the Costa Mernda mushroom farm, which means they provide a regular and ongoing service, as well as parts and equipment as needed. However, Mark clarifies his team is available beyond the site visit times allocated.
“We provide a reliable service through and through. What that means is we’re available when they need us. As long as they communicate their requirements, we’ll make sure we get that product to them as quick as possible,” he enthuses. “Sometimes it may be challenging to arrange the parts or equipment on time, but we enjoy that challenge and find the result very satisfying. This type of customer is a hidden gem – we really value them and are glad to be the ‘go to’ branch they rely on.”
The level of support the BSC branch provides to the Mernda operation is certainly appreciated. From David’s perspective, the BSC team out at Campbellfield will “always go out of their way” to assist and service the farm’s needs. He provides an example of where Mark organised a replacement oven for the farm’s canteen, despite this piece of equipment being outside the scope of products that BSC typically supplies.
“A few months ago, the oven went in the canteen and I couldn’t find a supplier in our list, so I rang Mark and gave him the oven details. I asked if he could help us out by buying it and charging it to our bill – next thing I know we have a new oven here. The exact replacement needed,” David recalls. “This illustrates the lengths that Mark and the team will go to help us out, and it means a lot to us.”
Importantly, the BSC team out at Campbellfield have an understanding of the farm’s timelines and commitment to production. This translates to providing a fast and efficient service.
“A few weeks back we had an issue with our bag sealers on the spawn lab. Four of the belts were worn and the machine had stopped running. We didn’t have any spares,” explains David. “I rang Trent at the Campbellfield branch and gave him the size I needed. He located the parts out in Dandenong and had them sent to me within 2 hours. Even though I’d advised that production for the day had stopped, he knew I needed the machine to be working the next morning so he just made sure I had the parts as soon as possible.”
All in all, the relationship between the branch and the Mernda farm could certainly be described as ‘well grown’, with a mutual respect for the others’ operation evident.
“I’m a phone person. Many people tend to stick to email these days, but I prefer to speak to someone over the phone,” adds David. “The guys out at BSC in Campbellfield always answer my calls. They’re always there to provide support. It’s a level of service that we take personally because we know they will go above and beyond for us.”
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Every day for the past 60 years, manufacturers around Australia and New Zealand have visited one of more than 100 Motion Asia Pacific locations, formerly known collectively as Inenco. These store-fronts and branches, spread across every Australian state and the Northern Territory, have become a fixture for the manufacturing industry, whether it be a BSC, CBC, Hardy Spicer, Speciality Fasteners or any of the other businesses owned by Inenco.
Such has been their longevity and brand presence; each business has continued to stand alone while under the Inenco ownership umbrella. However, since 2019, when Genuine Parts Company, owner of US industrial distribution brand Motion Industries, bought Inenco, work has been underway to combine these businesses under the Motion Asia Pacific brand.
CEO of Motion Asia Pacific, Roger Jowett, said that this will directly benefit each customer who may not have been aware of all the individual parts of Inenco.
“We are still somewhat dysfunctional in that we’ll have two, three, or four salespeople visit the same customer. We’ll do great things, but we’ll produce four invoices. For us it’s the first step in pulling things together.”
By bringing together the distinct businesses under the Motion Asia Pacific name, customers will find it easier to source a range of parts and products.
“We’re helping to reduce transactional costs and increase access to a deeper range of offerings. Reducing suppliers is a strategic aim for many industrial businesses as they want to have an uncluttered supply chain. You don’t want thousands of different suppliers, some of whom they might spend not a lot of money with,” said Jowett.
The efficiencies go beyond the physical objects supplied and will enable each of the Motion Asia Pacific businesses to improve how they work together. In addition to the bearings, seals, and power transmission products the company can supply, the wealth of knowledge built up within the business can be brought to bear on a solution.
“For example, when we supply a Hardy Spicer hydraulic hose with fittings it is tailored to the application,” said Jowett. “Often a poorly installed part can lead to ongoing problems, so that advisory service that wraps around the product, those are the things we work hard on.”
The people providing this service, the application engineers, may have an additional logo on their sleeve, but the experience will remain.
“We’ve got some of the best people who are very knowledgeable about specific applications,” said Jowett. “They’re not just selling you something in a box, they’re helping you find an alternative and ensure that it’s configured correctly and part of a solution comprising belts, cogs, pulleys, chains, and bearings.”
Soon Jowett sees Motion Asia Pacific as creating go-to destinations in each location it serves, combining products, technology, and knowledge.
“The people in those businesses who have been working with us for 10, 20, to 30 years, they have such a depth of knowledge and experience and in some instances know how the assets operate in the customer’s premises better than the person in charge because they have lived with it from day one of installation,” said Jowett.
Backed by #1
Partnering with Motion Asia Pacific allows for local manufacturing businesses to tap into a global database of expertise in industrial products. Motion Industries brings formidable know-how to the Australian market.
The company has annual sales in excess of $9.3 billion and is enabling Motion Asia Pacific to provide the same level of training and support to its staff around Australia.
“Our employees already knew Motion Industries from the US,” said Jowett. “They go on to YouTube and download their videos and now we can package up all of that for training.”
The company’s size also enables Motion Asia Pacific to scale-up local operations.
“We’re adopting our own version of their operating system covering all of our descriptions and copying what they’d already built in terms of that collateral in the database,” said Jowett.
There are also opportunities to save transport costs and increase procurement, but what Jowett sees as most important is the approach Motion has taken to digitally connecting with the customer, what he calls an omni-channel approach. This combines the existing face-to-face contact and the expertise that is only available when a supplier can be hands-on with a customer, with a seamless online offering covering sales, associated collateral such as brochures and videos, and customer analytics. Backing this up is the experience of operating in the most sophisticated logistics supply market in the world, said Jowett.
“There is the ability to get any product, anywhere overnight. You might need this in Alaska, and I’ve got it in Florida, and I’ll get it to you tomorrow. It is mind-blowing capability.”
To achieve this in Australia, one also has to overcome a highly dispersed population across a huge continent. Motion Asia Pacific will take the best ideas from the North American market and apply them here.
“We don’t want to be touching the product too many times, we just want to glide it to you,” said Jowett. “Of course, when you can see how it works in North America you bring ideas about how to make us a little bit smarter and faster.”
Supplying the manufacturing renaissance
Embedding the change from Inenco to Motion Asia Pacific has come at a time where the manufacturing sector in Australia has undergone a wholesale re-evaluation in the eyes of the wider population. No longer bemoaning the death of Australian manufacturing, now the exhortation is to buy local, and not just when it comes to food and drink.
Having seen changes in industrial composition occur in other countries in the region where Motion Asia Pacific has businesses, including New Zealand, Indonesia, and Southeast Asia, Jowett highlights that our neighbours provide an indication of where manufacturing might be headed.
“We have a very strong business in New Zealand called SAECOWilson and we have watched as New Zealand deindustrialised over 20 years ago when car manufacturing ceased,” said Jowett. “What we’ve seen over the years is that manufacturing has blossomed, with some incentives from government and a really good engineering capability, and now there are some world-class manufacturing operations in New Zealand.”
Jowett describes the manufacturing landscape in New Zealand as akin to a start-up ecosystem, with manufacturers able to experiment with short runs of products to a smaller market while leveraging global best-practice. Here, Motion Asia Pacific can be the conduit between their suppliers who are located in the industrial powerhouses of Asia, Europe, and North America, and the businesses in Australia and New Zealand.
“It’s more these nimble, value-add manufacturers and that leads to more specialist engineering applications, with a heavy dose of design,” said Jowett.
Being linked to markets in North America also allowed Motion Asia Pacific to bring the latest innovations to the local market as they come online.
“One of the things that we’re quite excited about is how our Motion colleag
ues in America have been investing in spare parts for robotics, and asking themselves as a traditional industrial parts distributor, ‘How are we going to be relevant in 10 years when we know our customers are changing faster than us in terms of their manufacturing techniques?’”
Continuing its focus on being the local advisor to their customers, Motion Asia Pacific will be looking at how it can bring these new products to their customers.
“We serve everything from the local repair shop that’s fixing trailers through to the big miners, and all the food and aggregates and agriculture in-between, so we’re quite flexible at working out the appropriate stocking programs,” said Jowett.
Investing in local capability
Just as much as the new wave of manufacturing will be assisted by the newest products and technology, Jowett also knows that it is the people who put these devices together who are the lifeblood of Australian manufacturing. For this reason, Motion Asia Pacific is continuing to do its part to train the next generation of manufacturers.
“For the past four years we have had a regular intake of mechanical engineering graduates in their last year. They’ve done 14 weeks of work placement and we’ve retained a fair number of them once they graduate and they become the application engineers,” said Jowett.
The program has had success with diversifying the industrial workforce, including those from regional backgrounds and women. This is important, Jowett notes, to ensure that the businesses that Australian manufacturers have relied upon for 60 years will be around for the next 60.
“It’s critical to understand how some people look at the same problem a different way and come up with maybe the same solution or a different one. It keeps us relevant. The world out there is diverse and it’s very important for a traditional business to drive harder and harder in that direction.”
Motion Asia Pacific is also ensuring that its own workforce will stick around and developing their skills to handle the next generation of manufacturing.
“Our business is made up of people who were fitters, mechanics, drivers, warehouse workers. They join us and they progress through our organisation. We invest in them, and they can get qualified all the way to some of our leaders with MBA sponsorship,” said Jowett.
These programs will be extended and developed further, as graduates are able to tap into the knowledge found in Motion Industries in North America.
“We’ve already had some of our younger people doing internships on software and marketing projects in the USA with Motion Industries and you can see their eyes light up.”
Jowett notes that the logos and familiar faces that Australian manufacturers are used to won’t disappear, and will instead be Motion Asia Pacific’s crown jewels, backed up by a global commitment to bring the best parts and expertise in the world to Australia.