SKF Turnkey Project Delivers Sweet Solutions to Mpumalanga Sugar Mill

2014 October 29, 07:38 Africa

SKF South Africa provided a turnkey solution that increased equipment reliability, component service life and Mean Time Between Repairs (MTBR) for a long-standing key customer in the sugar industry.


The Mpumalanga-based sugar mill contacted SKF authorised distributor, Bearing Services Nelspruit, in November 2013 to request support with the replacement of bearings and the alignment of 11 fans and four screw conveyors.


“During our site visit to determine our customer’s exact requirements, we also obtained an additional project scope for the replacement, geometric alignment and commissioning of support roller bearings on three sugar dryers,” says SKF Key Accounts Manager – Pulp & Paper and Sugar, Sean Weir.


SKF received official instructions to proceed with the complete project during the first week of January 2014. Five specialist technicians, a project manager and additional members sub-contracted for rigging made up the project team. Work commenced on 3rd March 2014 and according to Weir, the team only had six short weeks during the mill’s annual maintenance stop in Q1 2014 to replace the bearings.


SKF’s scope of services employed to assist the customer in achieving the ultimate objective of restoring the operational integrity of the equipment included: The installation of bearings, seals and power transmission components; the inspection of drive components, balancing, belt, shaft and geometric alignments and finally, vibration analysis on commissioning.


SKF products and services that were consumed during the course of the project represent five of the company’s global core technologies: All types of bearings, seals, power transmissions (pulleys, drive belts, sprockets and drive chains) as well as lubricants (grease). In accordance with SKF’s precision maintenance practices, dimensional and geometric form conformance of associated components were examined and repaired or replaced accordingly.


Knowledge transfer in the form of formal and informal training as well as recommended maintenance procedures formed an integral part of the project.


SKF concluded the project successfully on 28th March 2014 and after four months of trouble-free operation, the customer is reporting that to date no repairs have been necessary on some of the equipment that previously had a MTBR of only 1.5 months. “The sugar mill has a knowledgeable and competent service partner in SKF and we remain committed to supplying quality products supported by comprehensive services to assist our customer in maximising up time for overall improved mill productivity,” concludes Weir.

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