Cultivating success: An Australian business’ journey to growth

“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.

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Food production unchained: Considering the viability of belt drives

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.

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Making hay bales look sexy

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.

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Industrial crimped hose assembly safety best practices for the food industry

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

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

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

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Safe sealing solutions for the food industry

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

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

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Bakery relationship on the rise

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

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

Why HPC v-belts are ideal for the F&B industry and how to install them

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.

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Sugar mills run sweet

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

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

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Over 100 years of serving the industry

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.”

Knuckeys Agricultural Engineering is a Silver Award winner at the Let’s Roll: Australian Business Awards 2020. To learn more about the Awards, click here.

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Rolling ahead with Kingsway Welding solutions

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.

Kingsway Welding’s snail rollers crush up to 80 tonnes of snails per hour.

“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.”

Kingsway Welding is a Silver Award winner at the Let’s Roll: Australian Business Awards 2020. To learn more about the Awards, click here.

Staying a ‘cut’ ahead

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.”

Midwest Fabrication is a Gold Award winner at the Let’s Roll: Australian Business Awards 2020. To learn more about the Awards, click here

Supplying the next generation of manufacturing

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.

Why metal free anti-seize is a suitable choice for food manufacturers

Excessive corrosion and the subsequent seizure of metal connections is a common problem with assemblies in all industries, particularly so in high-moisture environments in the food industry. When nuts and bolts in the equipment seize up, it makes their disassembly and reassembly a challenge, resulting in unnecessary downtime during maintenance.

According to industry specialist Michael Rowe, who is the Product Manager of Adhesives and Sealants at CBC, using Anti-Seize lubricants while assembling the machinery parts is the best way to avoid maintenance issues down the line.

“There are many reasons why metal assemblies get corroded and seize-up over time. Obviously higher exposure to moisture, heat and pressure accelerates the deterioration of metal assemblies. But by applying the right Anti-Seize products on the bolt treads, the rust and the subsequent seizure can be avoided.”

As a key distributor of lubricants and adhesive solutions in Australia, CBC works closely with Henkel Australia to facilitate the sale of LOCTITE products, with the brand offering a number of safe, metal free Anti-Seize formulations for industries that have safety as a top priority.

But what constitutes Anti-Seize products and why is it important to purchase the right grade of the product for each purpose?

“Anti-Seize lubricants are specialty lubricants that reduce friction between threaded and matted metal parts as well as prevent corrosion and seizure of parts under pressure and at high temperatures. Essentially, they are two-part systems that comprise of a base grease and special fillers that provide the compound with its Anti-Seizing, anti-corrosion properties,” explains Michael.

While most Anti-Seize lubricants used widely in industry user copper, nickel, aluminium and zinc, as well as other heavy metals as the filler compound, LOCTITE is among very few brands that offer the metal free formulation.

Stefano Giacometti, Application Engineer at Henkel Australia, says not many people are aware of how much Anti-Seize products have advanced over time and that metal free Anti-Seize compounds can offer the same benefits as the metal-based grades while being safer for the workers as well as for the environment.

“Quite often when I go to a maintenance facility that is using a traditional copper or nickel-based Anti-Seize product, I find that they are not aware that better choices are now available. LOCTITE is at the forefront of introducing new technologies and our portfolio of Anti-Seize products is a good proof of that,” Stefano says.

LOCTITE portfolio includes six different Anti-Seize formulations, which in addition to the conventional metal-based Anti-Seize products offer two metal free grades for companies looking to enhance the safety levels at their plants and workshops.

Stefano says the LOCTITE Heavy Duty Anti-Seize functions on all metals including galvanized iron, stainless steel, brass, aluminium and soft metals between -29°C and +1315°C. LOCTITE Heavy Duty Anti-Seize has been formulated to resist higher temperatures than most other anti-seize products on the market.

“The LOCTITE Heavy Duty Metal Free Anti-Seize uses graphite as the solid filler, using this type of Anti-Seize with stainless steel fasteners, prevents galling from occurring, as this product more effectively lubricates the surfaces. It is widely used in industries where metal-based Anti-Seize use is prohibited or regarded as unsafe.  To assist CBC customers in changing out current used copper or nickel based Anti-Seize, the team at Henkel can provide testing on fastening systems, ensuring correct lubricity is achieved to provide correct clamp force for assemblies,” he explains.

The LOCTITE Food Grade Anti-Seize is another metal free Anti-Seize specifically designed to meet the requirements of food manufacturers, says Stefano.

“Safety is obviously a big aspect in the food and beverage industry. The LOCTITE Food Grade Anti-Seize is NSF H1 rated for incidental food contract and is one of the few such products available in the market,” he explains.

Apart from the choice of the right Anti-Seize product, Stefano says following health and safety precautions is key to using chemical products safely.

“When you are dealing with chemicals, you need to refer to the material safety data sheet which will tell you what safety gear to use. We are happy to work with our distributors at CBC to help educate our customers on the latest products available for their purposes, as well as to ensure the safe use of these products,” he concludes.

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A bearing for all harvesting seasons

The harvest season is a critical period for all farmers. Most crops need to be harvested within a limited window of time for crop growers to achieve the best results. But with the harvesting equipment often kept idle throughout the year, it is critical to ensure that machinery is ready to roll come harvest season.

From small-scale harvesting equipment to large combine harvesters, bearings are key components in the harvesting machinery. If a farmer discovers close to the harvest season that a critical bearing in his machine requires repair or replacement due to excessive corrosion or seizure, the resulting downtime would be nerve-wracking for the farmer and potentially harmful to crop yield.

As Australia’s largest distributor of bearings and industrial solutions, CBC Australia, in partnership with NTN Australia, supplies the NTN Black Bearings, which are ball bearings specifically designed for agricultural applications.

The ‘black’ in the NTN Black Bearings comes from the black oxide treatment that the bearing components go through in the production process to increase the corrosion resistance, resulting in serviceable life of more than twice the equivalent standard bearings, according to Fabio Rebecchi, NTN Australia’s National Product Manager – Bearing Group.

“The NTN Black Bearings are ideally suited for use in harvesting equipment as well as any other agricultural machinery. The black oxide coating covers all of the bearing surfaces, including the inner and outer rings, which offers excellent corrosion and fretting resistance. This helps avoid the common issue of bearing seizure from corrosion that farmers often face with their harvesting equipment,” says Fabio.

With agricultural environments also prone to high levels of contamination for the bearings, NTN also provides trash guard seals specifically designed to protect the bearings in the NTN Black series from any external contaminants, Fabio explains.

“In harvesting, the products that are being harvested can contaminate the bearings, thereby leading to shorter bearing life. The NTN trash guard seals are uniquely designed with a heavy-duty rubber lip bonded to the seal plate to help protect the bearings from both corrosion and misalignment,” Fabio says.

Additionally, the NTN Black Bearing comes 70 per cent factory-filled with a superior heavy duty grease to provide excellent water resistance and long lubricant life, according to Fabio.

“When testing the bearings at our facility in Japan for dust-proofing, the NTN engineering team found that the bearing’s life could be further enhanced by increasing the filling rate of the grease. The filling rate for this particular bearing is higher than you would normally find in the standard bearings, which adds extra protection to keep the contaminants out of the bearing.”

Another plus point with the NTN Black Bearing, according to Fabio, is that the bearings can replace conventional ball bearings without any modifications required in the equipment’s design. This feature is particularly attractive for original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) looking to retrofit their existing machinery with a superior bearing option, he says.

In Australia, NTN bearings are available exclusively through the national CBC distribution network, a partnership that Fabio says helps deliver the high-end NTN products and engineering services to the Australian OEMs and end-user customers.

“Whether it is OEMs looking to implement the NTN Black Bearing in their own agricultural machinery or farm-owners looking to retrofit their existing machinery, the collaboration is made possible through the CBC field representatives who provide the link between the end-users and the NTN global engineering team. The CBC field engineers are quite adept and their support is also backed by NTN’s global engineering team,” Fabio says.

While the NTN Black Bearing is more expensive than the equivalent standard bearings in the market, Fabio says the additional cost is absolutely justified when considering the potential downtime losses from bearing failure.

“The feedback we have received from our customers is that they are happy to pay the extra cost in exchange for the peace of mind that they get by having a reliable bearing in their harvesting machine. Timing is of essence for harvesting and so making sure that the equipment is ready to go when it’s needed most is the biggest benefit that we can provide with this bearing.”

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Keeping F&B manufacturers on track with Diamond precision

When conveying material, it is often necessary to attach additional conveyor belt products, such as a scraper or flaps, or extend flighting between a pair of parallel chains. In food and beverage (F&B) systems, these can be necessary to ensure the product flows to the right area in the process. And in order to attach these products to a system, often a roller chain attachment will be implemented.

When used in pairs, attachments need to be exactly in the same position on both chains (called a matched pair) to avoid potential problems developing, particularly in plants that have taken advantage of robotics. For example, if a beverage company is bottling items and then placing them into a filling line, the robotic systems will need to depend upon the accuracy of the roller chain attachments to avoid making a mistake. If the attachment is even slightly out of place, it can lead to the bottles crushing the packaging or cause the bottles to break, leading to potential occupational health and safety issues. Not only that, but the financial impacts of such a situation can be significant and require a shutdown in order to rectify.

This is why the Diamond Chain Company, operating through CBC Australia, offers available length matching on its wide range of high-performing attachments.

A Class I match assures that the longest and shortest chain in a given set will not vary in overall length by more than 600 microns per metre. Using an ANSI #80 chain as an example, the length of two 118 pitch long chains with a Class I match would not vary by more than 1.5 millimetres.

Class II matches are much more stringent, and are suitable for operations where increased accuracy is necessary or when there is a longer distance between the pair of chains. A Class II match will assure that the longest and shortest chain in a given set will not vary in overall length by more than 167 microns per metre. Using the same example as above, the lengths of two chains 118 pitches long will not vary in overall length by more than half a millimetre. Class II matching can be quite difficult to achieve and requires some unique procedures.

Diamond has more than 100 different attachments within its range, for a number of popular dimensions. Troy Markland, Product Manager at CBC Australia, says this is a conservative estimate, as the company is able to provide custom solutions to handle the thousands of different options required.

“CBC will work closely with customers in Australia, helping them to identify what equipment is required, the length of chain needed and the type of chain itself as part of the order process,” he explains.

“We have an extremely close working relationship with Diamond as the exclusive distributor in Australia. We relay not only the product information but other key details such as availability schedules, to help our customers plan their maintenance.”

CBC’s staff are also trained by Diamond to help customers get the most out of the company’s products across a number of industries.

For the F&B sector, Diamond uses U.S Food and Drug Administration-approved materials and H1 food-grade lubricants approved for incidental contact to protect the chain’s structure and strength while providing food safety. Materials and lubricants are selected to meet the specific needs for sanitation, processing, cooking and sterilisation. CBC staff work with customers to determine exactly which chain would work best for each application.

In addition, CBC also provides local support and training. In particular, Markland says CBC can perform periodic measurement to minimise the impact of elongation.

“A roller chain, like most equipment, will suffer from wear over time. As a result, the chain will begin to elongate and eventually need to be replaced,” he says.

“Periodic measurement means we can detect potential issues before they become a problem and help customers develop a maintenance plan so any work can be scheduled – not during a breakdown.”

Markland adds that CBC prides itself on its quality support, both in person and online. Customers are able to go to the Diamond Chain Company website and access a series of case studies, frequently asked questions, and ask dedicated engineers for help to solve any problems, while CBC can provide local expertise.

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LOCTITE rubber repair resin cuts curing times

Plastics and rubber play an important role in getting food and food products to our plates. Rubber conveyor belts and rubber/plastic lined chutes, hoppers and grinding mills are all part of the farm produce’s journey from farm to processing plants and to the trucks for transport.

When a rubber conveyor belt gets damaged, whether from wearing out against abrasive grains or an accidental impact, the race to get it fixed starts immediately to make sure minimum time is lost in downtime.

As a key distributor of adhesive products in the Australian market, CBC has had years of experience advising end users about the repair and maintenance of their conveyor belts.

Michael Rowe, CBC’s Product Manager for Adhesives and Sealants, says when a section of the conveyor belt gets damaged, more often than not repairing it is a wiser decision than replacing all or even parts of it.

“If you look at the overall cost of full replacement of a conveyor belt, it can be quite costly. Another option is to repair or replace the damaged section,” he explains.

Traditional methods of repairing conveyor belts vary from hot splicing to mechanical fastening using steel clamps. But, according to Mark Casotti, Henkel’s state manager for Western Australia, each of these methods have limitations, including being time- and labor-intensive.

“The hot patch repair requires heavy equipment and specialised people. Moreover, the repair can create protrusions on the surface of the belt which later create problems with cleaning,” Casotti says.

“Mechanical fastening also has certain shortcomings. The steel bolts can get corroded over time. The technique also puts excessive loads on the bolted section of the belt, where it can get torn again under tension. The belt is also not completely sealed, which means you can lose products through the hole in the belt,” he explains.

However, it’s also possible to use rubber repair PU resin, such as LOCTITE PC 7350, which is easy to apply, cures fast at room temperature and is resistant to chemicals and abrasion.

“By repairing the gouges on the conveyor belt using the right repair product, you can get the operation back on track with minimum time loss and at far less costs,” Says Rowe.

Casotti says the LOCTITE PC 7350 was introduced by Henkel a few years ago to offer better adhesion to rubber, faster curing and better flexibility compared to its predecessors.

“As the conveyor belt bends around the pulley, the repair product should be flexible enough to withstand the forces in the belt. The LOCTITE PC 7350 cures within just two hours to tolerate those forces,” he explains.

“The LOCTITE PC 7350 also comes in easy-to-mix cartridges, making it easy even for non-specialised persons to apply the adhesive on the damage area,” he adds. “It only requires a few simple steps, as long as the correct process is adhered to.”

CBC has a long-standing relationship with Henkel that goes back to over 40 years. Rowe says the CBC and Henkel teams work closely together to offer the best repair and maintenance solutions to customers.

“The CBC sales and engineering team have a deep understanding of the customers’ requirements and we work with the Henkel team to bring customers the best repair solutions,” he says.

While the primary market is operators of conveyor belts, Casotti explains that the PU resin repair product can also be used in other applications.

“Apart from conveyor belts, the same product can be used to repair rubber parts on liners in mills, hoppers, chutes and feeder bowls,” he says.

In a recent example, Casotti says, the LOCTITE PC 7350 was used to repair HDPE liners inside a grain chute.

“The large HDPE sheet was damaged in a small area. Rather than having to deal with the cost and labour time of replacing the whole sheet, the customer was looking for a solution to just repair the damaged area. With the use of the correct primer for surface preparation and the use of LOCTITE PC 7350, they could fill the gouge and have it cured within two hours and go back into operation,” he explains.

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Poultry producer gets a set-and-forget lubrication solution

When a food processing and packaging customer within the poultry industry sought the expertise of CBC Australia to set up a new lubrication store solution for their facility, the CBC team collaborated with Alemlube and CRC Industries to meet and exceed the customer’s requirements.

CBC Australia Sales Representative, Debra Fitzpatrick, says their customer was required to meet stringent government regulations for food safety standards and environment protection.

“Understanding these requirements, we worked with our trusted partners, Alemlube and CRC Industries, to offer a set-and-forget solution that made regulatory compliance much easier for our customer,” she says.

The new lubrication store was equipped with the help of oil containers, lids, pumps and hoses provided by Alemlube, as well as a whole range of food grade oils, sealants and greases from CRC Industries. Adding a CRC SmartWasher also provided additional safety to the plant.

“CRC Industries offers a wide range of NFS H1 approved lubrication products. All of CRC’s food grade lubricants comply with Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) requirements so the customer can be assured of the highest degree of safety,” says Fitzpatrick.

Cross contamination was another concern for the plant. The lubricants needed to be categorised and stored properly to avoid the risk of someone using a non-food-rated product in the food manufacturing process.

Fitzpatrick says using the Alemlube iCan range of products overcame this risk completely.

“The Alemlube products are designed to make the maintenance and upkeep of equipment easier. The lids are color coded to avoid any confusion and minimise the risk of cross contamination. The quick fill ports also help avoid foreign particle ingress during refilling,” she explains.

To further simplify the quality assurance audit processes, CBC also recommended that the customer gets on board with CRC’s Greenlight Food Safety Program.

Iain Faber, National Channel Manager at CRC Industries, says the CRC Greenlight Program incorporates extensive training with the staff in maintenance and quality assurance departments to help them achieve a high level of regulatory compliance within their plant.

“As part of the Greenlight Program, CRC offers on-site training to maintenance for use and storage of food grade lubricants and cleaners to ensure NSF certification compliance. CRC also provides the customer with an audit compliance folder, which contains TDS, SDS, Allergen certification and global NSF certification,” he says.

“As well as this, the SDS certificate is printed on the underside of the label on CRC’s Food Grade aerosols. They also come complete with the CRC Permalock straw which is a locked in straw and spray actuator that reduces the risk of contamination.”

“Moreover, CRC helps customers with product swap outs based on their technical requirements and aligns the program with the customers’ current on-site audit and inspection programs. We also offer on-going support to technical staff, chemists and field support staff via online or on-site visits.”

Representatives from CRC Industries met with the technical team at the poultry plant to take them through the required trainings and demonstrations.

The CBC team also recommended adding a CRC SmartWasher to the lubrication store as an environmentally friendly parts washing solution.

“The CRC SmartWasher has a compact design and uses the Ozzy Juice cleaning/degreasing solution for washing parts as an environmentally-friendly alternative to solvent and aqueous-based parts washers.  The Ozzy Juice is also NSF compliant as well as certified AsureQuality” says Faber.

“The SmartWasher Bioremediating Parts Washing system is both self-cleaning and safe for the user. Through the process of bioremediating, the SmartWasher constantly maintains the cleanliness of the Ozzy Juice cleaning/degreasing solution without the need for hauling away of used fluid,” he adds.

CBC’s Food and Beverage Business Development Specialist, Matthew Byrnes, says the successful delivery of the required products, as well as the subsequent recommendations by CBC for additional services to the customer, came at the back of a long-standing relationship between CBC and their customer.

“Our customers trust us to meet their operational needs for quality parts and services and we deliver that by understanding their needs – sometimes even before they arise – and always being ready with the most suitable solution,” he says.

“We have built up this reputation over many years of service to the industry and working with reliable partners. When customers ask for certain products, we don’t just deliver that particular product to them. We look at their overall process and see what can be further added to help them achieve their objectives,” he concludes.