We have all heard of big data, but how about big baking? The Australian bread making industry is as robust as its grain production. Unlike a local bakery, large scale baking operations require much larger ovens and mixmasters that spin for extended periods to make bread dough. Read more
The work that goes into creating award-winning wines cannot be understated. As the fields of Australian wineries become ripe for harvest season, winemakers prepare their facilities for processing wine products, with the understanding that each sip must reflect the intended flavour and texture of the quality of their grapes.
Winemakers can agree that grape selection is an important part of producing quality wine and requires a delicate sorting process. Read more
Tropico understands better than most businesses that when sugar dries, it sticks to everything. This can make cleaning the equipment a challenge without the right type of cleaning product. Read more
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.
When it comes to conveyor manufacturing, the first thing that comes to mind is how to set things in motion. Everything that needs to move along a production line, requires a positive drive. Read more
In food and beverage manufacturing, filling and packaging are the final steps before the products can be finally shipped out to customers. As such, any bottlenecks in the filling or packaging process can hamper the entire plant’s operation and – in case of perishable foodstuff – send large quantities of product to waste.
Food packaging machines like bottle and jar fillers, tray packers, shrink wrappers and palletisers all have one thing in common: They all rely on rolling and linear motion bearings to carry out their repeated motions, from putting caps on bottles to folding the boxes for the final packaging.
“Maintaining hay balers is often very challenging because they are used in a very dusty environment; so you need chains that are good quality and you can get good usage out of them,” says Nathan Duffield, general manager and co-owner of ND & JA Giles in South Australia’s Fleurieu Peninsula.
For the small family business that supports the local agricultural industry with mechanical repair services, Diamond chains sourced through CBC have proven to be even more reliable than the genuine chains on the machines.
“Often times when a hay baler comes in for servicing and if the chain needs replacing, we use the corresponding Diamond chains to replace the old chains,” says Duffield.
When asked ‘Why aren’t more food and beverage manufacturers considering the viability of belt drives versus chain drives in their processes?’ CBC sales representative Steve Cutajar says he thinks they absolutely should.
“The synchronous belt technology is a relatively new technology whereas roller chains have been used across the industry for many years. That’s why some manufacturers are still hesitant to try belt drives in their operations. But synchronous belt technology has come a long way in recent years and today, belts can easily replace chains in many power transmission applications.”
Steve uses an example from one of CBC’s clients, a major food processing company in Adelaide that produces grain by-products for export. Using the Timken Panther XT synchronous belts to replace chain drives, the company generated cost savings of $26,000 over six years.
Schutz Industries, a company based in Eudanda township in South Australia, has been a market leader in manufacturing complete hay press plant lines for the past 20 years.
With customers all across Australia and a booming hay export industry, Schutz Industries’ purchasing officer Mark Waldhuter says business has never been better.
Neglected hose assemblies can pose serious risks to food and beverage plants. Unfortunately, they are overlooked too often.
Steve Glatz, sales and marketing manager at Dixon Australia, says premature failures of hose assemblies can arise from a host of different reasons.
“Improper application is the most common cause of failure. The maximum operating pressure of the hose, the recommended temperature and the fluid compatibility of the
hose are all factors that should be considered.”
When a major food manufacturer experienced leakage from four-pin mixers keeping margarine under high pressure rotation, the mechanical seals were found to be the source of the problem.
Seal Innovations, part of the Industrial Solutions Australia group of businesses (namely CBC and BSC) took up the challenge of repairing, testing and re-assembling the mixers within a week to get the plant up and running.
As the Paul Kelly song goes, from little things big things grow – and this perfectly describes the relationship that has formed between a large bakery operation and the CBC Braeside branch in southeast Melbourne.
Recently, the bakery undertook a maintenance programme, for which they required the Rexnord Marbett conveyor bearings. CBC State Sales Manager, Leon Stefanec says these bearings are designed to withstand washdowns – which is necessary in any food manufacturing operation. Read more
High Performance Composite (HPC) PowerTwist v-belts by Fenner Drives incorporate custome composite materials that provide them with better power ratings under harsh industrial conditions.
According to Steve Hittmann, CBC’s National Product Manager for Mechanical Drivesystems and Belt Drives, these belts can last up to 15 times longer than conventional rubber v-belts in extreme temperatures and heavy washdown applications.
When a major sugar mill in Queensland was forced to stop production due to a failed planetary gear unit in their mud filter, the CBC Townsville branch offered a Bonfiglioli 300 series planetary gear unit as a replacement.
CBC Power Transmission Application Engineer Brad Shepherd explains why the Bonfiglioli unit’s robust design was critical to ensuring the mill resumed production with minimal delays.
In 1917, when Frederick Knuckey first established his blacksmith shop in Winchelsea in regional Victoria, he wouldn’t have imagined that the name Knuckey would one day appear on nationally and internationally recognised agricultural machines, with the family business still going strong, four generations and over 100 years later.
Today, Knuckeys Agricultural Engineering employs 17 full time employees and several casual staff at its Winchelsea facility, from where it supplies a wide range of farming equipment throughout Australia – both from its own range of in-house developed agricultural machinery and as an authorised supplier for leading international brands.
Knuckeys’ two latest released products, the Air Seeder and Precision Sowing System, have received wide-spread attention from farmers across Australia, as well as globally. The Knuckey Precision Sowing System earned the title of The Australian Agricultural Machine of the Year at the 2019 Elmore Machinery Field Days.
Warwick Knuckey, who operates the family business along with his brother, father and uncle, believes the secret behind the success of Knuckeys’ products is that they are developed in collaboration with the farmers.
“We value the opportunity to work side by side with farmers in our region to understand the challenges they are facing so that what we produce is not just a machine, but a complete solution,” says Warwick.
“Throughout our journey as an agricultural machinery producer, we have always enjoyed challenging the status-quo and coming up with products that are innovative and cutting-edge. Some examples of these are the 12-metre wide Knuckey Southern Seeder and the High Capacity Dual Pickup Front, which is the first of its kind in the world,” he adds.
Jonathan King, branch manager at CBC’s Geelong branch, says CBC has enjoyed supporting Knuckeys’ engineering and manufacturing work for over 30 years.
“CBC is proud to be supporting Knuckeys’ with chains and bearing for their equipment, which include the Timken spherical roller bearing solid-block housed units,” he says. “Knuckeys’ harvesting equipment provide solutions for real world applications and they are built to the highest standards of quality.”
Read more articles like this at: www.lets-roll.com.au
Kingsway Welding is no ordinary welding and repair business. Based near Minlaton on the Yorke Peninsula of South Australia, the family business has been manufacturing unique farming equipment for the past 30 years that address some of the most common problems for farmers in their region and beyond.
Snail contamination in grains is one such headache that the company is helping farmers with. Yorke Peninsula was in fact the first region in Australia where the slimy invaders first emerged nearly a century ago, slowly finding their way through other parts of the country. Kingsway Welding produces single and double snail rollers capable of crushing up to 80 tonnes of snails per hour.
Manager Nicholas Cook says Kingsway Welding’s snail rollers are simple to use and very user-friendly.
“We’ve been making snail rollers for the past 10 years and currently supply to customers in South Australia and Western Australia. With the problem becoming more serious in other states and the silos rejecting the contaminated grains, we plan to broaden our reach to help more farmers deal with this problem.”
Kingsway Welding also specialises in the repair and manufacture of heavy-duty rollers, including stone rollers and triple farm rollers.
Workshop manager Craig Piller says Kingsway’s triple rollers are among the largest and the most heavy-duty rollers in the industry.
“Our rollers are extremely heavy-duty and can be made to order in sizes ranging from 9 metres (30ft) to 15 metres (50ft). Some of our rollers have been working in the field for over 15 years without needing any major repair. We also use hydraulic transport wheels in our designs, which makes them easy to move around without damaging the bitumen.”
Brenton Jones, senior sales representative at CBC, says CBC has enjoyed supporting Kingsway Welding through its growing phase, supplying them with parts and consumable products required at their workshop.
“Kingsway Welding’s products are manufactured to a very high quality of workmanship and just like they helps farmers in South Australia, they have the potential to solve similar problems for farmers in other states.”
How Midwest Fabrication, a Queensland-based manufacturer of grain harvesting equipment, grew from building the first machine for their own farm to gaining national recognition for their products in just over two decades is the material great Aussie success stories are made of.
Martin Schutt, a second-generation grain farmer started Midwest on his family farm north of Moonie in Queensland. After purchasing his first combine harvester in 1998, Martin was frustrated with the performance of the imported cutting platforms and thought he could improve the design to gain better efficiencies in the field.
Starting from a basic sketch drawn around the kitchen table, the Schutt family were able to develop their first cutting platform in the workshop and test it in the field. The platform soon received national recognition from the contract harvesting community for its simple and efficient design. Orders started pouring in forcing the business to relocate to Dalby to be able to meet the increasing demands.
The company is renowned for its innovation winning multiple awards including Best New Innovation Award, Best Australian Agricultural Machine, Best Manufacturing Business and Business of the Year.
Martin says Midwest was the first manufacturer in the world to build a 12 metre (40 ft) front in 1998, and the 15 metre fronts followed a decade later. The advancements in innovation continue to set the standards and benchmark leading the world in grain harvesting technology now producing a whopping 18.3 metre (60 ft) harvest front, another world first.
But Midwest Fabrication’s innovations did not stop there. Over the years, the company has grown its range of draper platforms to suit different applications and fit all major combine harvester brands. Additionally, the company also produces a wide range of accessories and spare parts for its cutting platforms, including cutting knives specially designed for Australian farming conditions.
Midwest’s sole goal is to help increase harvesting efficiency for farmers and contact harvesters while reducing overheads and running costs. The wider drapers mean customers are working their harvesters to maximum capacity, saving time, fuel costs and receiving better return on their investments.
Midwest Fabrication has built a highly successful Australia wide dealer network consisting of 92 Agricultural dealers supporting our product nationally and are currently in the process of developing a one-acre factory in Dalby to bring its engineering and manufacturing facilities under one roof.
Martin believes such a rapid growth by a family business would not have been possible without dedication to continuous improvement and innovation.
“It’s only through constant improvement and being innovative that we’ve been able to achieve what we have achieved. Ever since we built our first unit, we’ve been up against some of the largest global agricultural machinery manufacturers; but through constant innovation, we’ve been able to remain ahead of the competition.
Over the past 16 years, Midwest Fabrication has been working with CBC Australia – as the largest supplier of bearings and industrial parts in Australia – to source components for its in-house designed products.
Martin says the collaboration with CBC has enabled Midwest Fabrication to refine its products further, making them more efficient and durable.
“We are continually improving the mechanical design of our products. In one example, CBC helped us replace the original four-band ‘B’ type v-belts on the main drive with the Gates high-strength Predator belts, and more recently we improved the design again and introduced the Gates Polychain carbon belts, providing a more efficient, quieter and cooler running drive belt.”
Warren Beale, CBC’s Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) manager for Queensland, says apart from being a key supplier, CBC also offers engineering and design supports to Midwest Fabrication where required.
“After so many years of working with Midwest Fabrication and holding regular meetings to understand their requirements, we now have a very clear understanding of the products they need each harvest season. This allows CBC to maintain the right stock level for Midwest Fabrication to meet its requirements when their demand is at its peak.
“Additionally, we also help them with engineering support and application-specific information. This might be helping with product improvements as it was in the case of the Gates Polychain belt upgrades or suggesting alternative components to make the designs lighter and more efficient,” he says.
Commenting on winning the Gold prize for Motion Asia Pacific’s Let’s Roll: Australian Business Awards 2020, Martin says the win is a result of hard work put forward by the team, as much as a result of engineering excellence and innovation.
“This award is also a recognition of our staff’s skills, their dedication to the business and their pride in their workmanship. If not for them, we would not be here today,” says Martin.
“As business owners, it is easy to get lost in the day-to-day running and focussing on keeping the wheels turning and not celebrate the successes when they come along. This recognition is a great reminder for us to reflect on what we have built over the years from that sketch around the kitchen table, our significant growth, and the exciting future ahead of Midwest.”