A sweet partnership: Getting Queensland’s sugar on a smooth ride

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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WebsterBSC and Viva Energy’s partnership is the perfect brew for Australia’s leading hop grower

Bushy Park Estates, located in a scenic landscape 55 kilometres north of Hobart, is the birthplace of Australian hops. Built in 1867 by Ebenezer Shoobridge, the son of a hop grower from Kent, the farm has been supplying top-quality hops to the Australian and global brewing industries for over 150 years.

The farm is one of the three gardens where Australia’s leading hop grower, Hop Products Australia (HPA), grows its six proprietary varieties plus a few open market varieties for brewers around the country.

With an area of over 250 hectares, the farm utilises on average 70 different vehicles, ranging from front-end loaders to tractors, trucks, cherry pickers and utility vehicles to manage its daily operations. With the farm’s busy schedule, the farm managers rely on Industrial Solutions’ Tasmanian business, WebsterBSC and Shell Lubricants, supplied by Viva Energy, to keep their vehicles and equipment in top shape.

Tom Parry, farm manager at Bushy Park Estates, says he’s very satisfied with the customer service support he receives from WebsterBSC, as well as with the performance of Shell Lubricants.

“WebsterBSC offers a brilliant customer service and Shell is known for brand quality. With Shell having such a wide range of oils for our vehicles and machinery on the farm, the partnership fulfills all of our needs. Outside of our general vehicle servicing routine, we also use a considerable amount of Shell Gadus grease in our picking machines, which we run five weeks of the year during the harvest season,” he says.

Tom says one advantage for the farm in working with WebsterBSC is that they can receive a wide range of products from a single supplier, which adds convenience to their business.

“Working with WebsterBSC is very easy. We just call and order the oils we need and they are delivered to us on time. It’s also  very convenient to be able to get a range of other products, such as the tractor oil filters and other tractor parts like sprockets, gears, and so on from a single supplier,” he says.

Joshua Morrison, the Sales Representative catering to the farm’s needs on behalf of WebsterBSC, says he has built a strong relationship with the farm managers at Bushy Park Estates over the last eight years, supplying a range of bearings, power transmission products and more recently, Shell Lubricants, to the site.

He says the transition to using Shell Lubricants for the farm’s ongoing vehicle and machinery maintenance and bearing re-greases was a smooth process, given Shell’s reputation as a top-quality product.

“The farm managers were looking for top-end lubrication products to enhance the performance of their vehicles and machinery. They were already familiar with Shell, as they had used Shell products previously and were quite happy with their performance,” says Joshua.

After an initial discussion, Joshua and Viva Energy’s Account Manager visited the site together to assess the farm’s requirements.

“After reviewing the oil and grease products and pack sizes that the farm was already using, we were able to get a good understanding of what the workshop needed. Whenever we visit a customer’s lubrication store, we always try to consolidate the number of redundant products being used.  But in the case of Bushy Park Estates, they already had the right number of lubricants in place, so there was no need for any reduction,” says Joshua.

Joshua says Shell’s high-performance Shell Rimula R4 L 15W-40 diesel engine oils, as well as Shell Tellus hydraulic fluids and Shell Spirax transmission oils are some of the key products he regularly supplies to the farm.

“We worked with Viva Energy to present HPA with a high-quality lubrication supply, usage and storage solution.” This was an attractive proposition for the farm and workshop team, according to Josh.

“This offer included a range of lubrication equipment, from oil pumps to extract the oil from the drums right to the hose reels and oil guns for easy application in the servicing workshop. It also offered colour-coded magnets for the oil drums and matched these with the colour of the lubrication equipment to help avoid any risk of cross-contamination,” he says.

Robert Clayton, Viva Energy Account Manager, says the colour-coding program is part of Viva Energy’s commitment to safety in lubrication storage.

“Using the colour-coded magnets and equipment makes it easy to differentiate between different lubricants being used in the workshop and reduces the risk of cross-contamination. It can also help save money and time by avoiding the risk of one lubricant getting mixed with another and going to waste.”

Robert and Joshua continue to have a close relationship with the farm managers by offering a range of consultative post-sale services.

“The HPA team are very satisfied with the ongoing service they receive from WebsterBSC and Viva Energy. This relationship ensures that as their business gears up during the harvest season and if they are also looking to acquire new equipment, they trust us to provide the right solutions at the right time,” says Robert.

Post transition, the farm managers are able to easily identify the products they require for specific vehicles or machinery using the Shell LubeMatch app. They can then place their order accordingly with WebsterBSC or ask our team any questions.

Joshua also praises Viva Energy’s Technical Helpdesk for their high-quality customer service and expertise.

“If our team or our customers have any questions about Shell products or lubricants in general, we try to answer their queries to the best of our knowledge, or otherwise direct them to the Technical Helpdesk. They always respond promptly and help to educate us about different lubricant products, applications and specifications.”

Joshua believes the collaborative effort with Viva Energy to provide Bushy Park Estates with quality Shell Lubricants and a solution to improve their operations is an excellent example of WebsterBSC’s commitment to support the industry with quality products and services.

“At WebsterBSC, we are not interested in making quick sales. We believe that a long-term view on the total cost of ownership is what benefits our customers the most and that is why we focus on providing quality products and ongoing service that meet or exceed our customers’ requirements for longevity. This view resonates with the values that we share with Viva Energy, which is what makes us a great team.”

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