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Firm completes KZN sugar mill project

image of a shredder lube system on BMG

SHREDDER LUBE SYSTEM The team works on shredder lube systems, juice heater door hydraulics, mill roll hydraulics, mill bearing lubrication, shredder hook bar removal systems, as well as many customised product designs

7th July 2023

     

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Industrial equipment supplier BMG is a pivotal player in the sugar sector, and its regional workshop in Riverhorse Valley, KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) recently completed a refurbishment, fabrication and replacement project to replace worn components at a mill, in preparation for high productivity in the upcoming season.

It designed, fabricated and installed new carriers, and was able to complete all this within only four weeks, rather than the typical 24-week delivery period, despite manufacturing challenges and strict time restrictions ahead of the seasonal startup at the mill. BMG also delivered cost savings of up to seven-and-a-half times that of the original-equipment manufacturer.

BMG specialists chose to replace the carriers rather than refurbish them, as the original carriers were made from cast iron, which is challenging to repair. Further complications included the bores positioning, which offered “virtually no wall thickness between the bearing journals” and the significant amount of wear caused by the mill’s harsh operating conditions and the high torque load.

The planet carriers were re-engineered and fabricated out of a 355WA steel plate, which was not only stronger than the original cast iron units, but also made for a shorter manufacturing lead period of only three weeks.

The team adhered to tight deadlines to have drawings and designs approved, and ensured highly accurate dimensions for a perfect fit, with clearances to accommodate the gear mesh. They also faced challenges with welding, as maintaining structural integrity was crucial. This was overcome by machining interlocking tabs in the top and bottom main plates, as well as in the webs and side rings, to ensure a more precise assembly.

“An important area of growth for BMG is in the sugar industry. The KZN field service team has been involved in several field service projects locally, and in neighbouring States during recent off-crop seasons, as well as dealing with urgent breakdowns in sugar mills and refineries,” says BMG KZN engineering manager Hylton Doyle.

The specialist service centre offers support operations, assembly, repair and maintenance, coupled with technical expertise and value-added product solutions. Its plant maintenance solutions are geared at optimising productivity and to enhancing process plant operating reliability, to make a difference in the efficiencies of the sugar sector.

“The workshop’s specialist services include bearing and gearbox inspection, bearing and chain refurbishment, large size bearing assembly, and alignment and balancing. The team also works on shredder lube systems, juice heater door hydraulics, mill roll hydraulics, mill bearing lubrication, as well as many customised product designs,” adds Doyle.

Eleven of its branches, specialising in hydraulics, pneumatics, drives, chain, bearings, gaskets and materials handling, work closely with its clients in KZN, offering customised solutions to meet specific requirements.

BMG supports the productivity of the industrial, manufacturing, mining and agricultural sectors of economies across 15 countries in sub-Saharan Africa.

Edited by Nadine James
Features Deputy Editor

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