Food and beverage processing plants in Australia will soon have access to a complete range of corrosion-resistant ball bearings and ball bearing housed units from Timken® to meet their rotating equipment needs. Industrial Solutions Australia will have the new Timken products available across its business network of CBC, BSC and Webster BSC branches as early as May.
Tony Tormey, Industrial Solutions Australia Product Manager for Industrial Bearings, says the new Timken products have already generated a lot of interest among the industry players.
“The food market generally lacks a single brand solution when it comes to bearing requirements. Food and beverage plants that deal with harsh chemicals and aggressive washdowns can benefit from maximising their hygiene levels with Timken’s new corrosion-resistant range,” says Tony.
The Timken Company have now, launched a new corrosion-resistant ball bearing product range for applications that require ball bearings to withstand chemical washdowns and wet environments.
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.
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.”
When a leading Australian grain producer needed to replace three hammer mill couplings at its grain mill, the BSC Shepparton branch in Victoria delivered the Lovejoy Quick-Flex couplings by Timken overnight and replaced the old couplings within minimal time, resulting in zero downtime for the customer.
Adam Failla, BSC’s Shepparton Branch Manager, says the branch had the Quick-Flex QF250 couplings readily available. The team then arranged to not just deliver them overnight, but also to remove the old couplings, install and laser align the new Timken couplings so that they were running at full capacity, without causing delays to the mill’s normal operation.
This resulted in considerable time and cost savings for the grain producer, Adam says.
“The couplings that our customer was previously using were no longer available in Australia. This meant they would need to wait at least 3-4 weeks and pay an additional airfreight to get the couplings delivered to them from overseas. Our branch is well-stocked with the Quick-Flex couplings as these are very popular products, so we suggested to help them with the replacement.”
The Quick-Flex couplings are designed to allow for quick replacements which streamlined the process. As needed, the elastomeric urethane insert is able to be replaced quickly and easily without removing the hubs or moving connected equipment.
“This brings down the coupling replacement time to minutes instead of hours,” Adam says. “By eliminating the need to move or disassemble the drive system, it also makes it easy to inspect the couplings from time to time to make sure they are working perfectly.”
As a key supplier of bearings, power transmission and industrial products in Australia, BSC has been supplying products to the major Australian grain producer for the past 15 years. The team also conducts regular vibration analysis on the factory’s hammer mills, which was how they learned about the need for coupling replacements in the first place.
Adam says the BSC Shepparton branch has already supplied a range of Timken products, including the Quick-Flex couplings and Carlisle belts by Timken to the 75-acre grain mill, receiving very positive feedback from the customer.
“We’ve built a very positive relationship with our customer. We supply them with quality Quick-Flex® couplings for their grain press and hammer mills. We also supply the company’s farms with a range of Timken bearings for their tractors, headers, pumps and augers,” he says.
Australian Timken’s Regional General Manager, Michael Grant, says the Lovejoy Quick-Flex® couplings by Timken are designed to withstand the shocks and vibrational loads that are common in applications such as hammer mills.
“The Quick-Flex couplings can absorb shock loads and vibration while accepting up to two degrees angular misalignment. They can also handle high speed and very high torque of up to 188,000Nm, making them suitable for a wide range of applications,” he says.
“Also, because there is no metal-to-metal contact between opposing hubs with Quick-Flex® couplings, you’ll save money not replacing hubs or other metal components since they do not wear. For harsh environments, including wash-downs for food processing, we can also offer a stainless-steel version across a large range of the coupling sizes.”
Michael says the BSC and Timken engineering teams work together to support customers across a wide range of industries.
“The Quick-Flex couplings are treated as standard off-the-shelf product for which BSC branches are always well-stocked. The BSC team is very much capable of providing the support required by their customers when it comes to the initial design or selecting the right coupling size to handle the required torque.
“In addition to that, the Timken engineering team is also there to support the BSC team as and when required. As part of the support on offer we jointly visit customers to introduce our products to them or to help with technical support that includes areas such as product selection & problem solving. It’s a partnership that has grown and deepened over time and one that works extremely well in adding value to our end-user customers.”