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Range of lubricants for sugar sector

An image of FUCHS Renolin SJL Heavy lubricant

RENOLIN SJL HEAVY The product is pumped into each bearing under pressure into a feed groove, which then creates a lubricant film between the journal and brass white metal-plated bearing

7th April 2023

By: Leah Shelene Asaram

Features Reporter

     

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Lubricants company FUCHS Lubricants South Africa offers a range of food-safe lubricants for sugar and packaging processes to aid the safety of production and seal off journals and/or bearings against ingress of bagasse and sugar juices.

“Lubricants are used in many areas of the sugar plants – from the cane yard to the entire crushing, crystallising and packaging processes,” says FUCHS technical sales representative Allan Fabian.

The most important lubricant in the crushing process is the journal lubricant, and FUCHS offers this food-grade product as Renolin SJL Heavy and Renolin SJL Winter.

The Renolin SJL Heavy is designed to create a seal on the outer ends of the bearings, as they do not have end-caps. The product is pumped into each bearing under pressure into a feed groove, which then creates a lubricant film between the journal and brass white metal-plated bearing.

On the outer ends of the bearings, the SJL products form a seal, which stops the ingress of bagasse and sugar juices into the bearing.

The Renolin SJL Heavy is used in warmer climates, whereas the Renolin SJL Winter has a lower viscosity designed for sugar mills located in cooler environments.

The consistency of the products is designed to pump easily through the system, owing to Renolin SJL Heavy being thinner and lighter, compared to Renolin SJL Winter, which can be pumped easily only in colder conditions.

Further, a trial was done for six months, in which FUCHS developed a specific lubricant that is environment-friendly, cost effective and a stable performer to cut down on off-crop repairs and maintenance costs.

The company developed three variations and settled on the SJL Heavy, as “this product proved its reliability and good performance”, adds Fabian.

However, once winter had set in, FUCHS developed the Renolin SJL Winter, which was also approved by two of the major sugar mills in KwaZulu-Natal and has been used at the mills for about seven years.

Moreover, the Walking Cam Compound, a journal lubricant, is used on the journal coupling tail bars. The product has a load bearing capacity of 4 000 t and prevents the tail bar from welding to the coupling.

Welding occurs when two metal surfaces are pressed together with significant force, which results in the surfaces’ fusing and, consequently, insufficient protection from a lubricant, Fabian explains.

Another lubricant within the journal category is LC-WP2, a waterproof grease designed for pumps.

Fabian says juice pumps pump crusher juices in sugar mills. The LC-WP2 stops or slows down the lubricants that are protecting the bearings from being washed out.

For the crystalliser open gears, FUCHS offers Ceplatyn SF10, an open-gear lubricant specifically designed for the sugar industry. It is colourless and/or clear which allows for inspection on the gear set while the machine is still running.

It is also much cleaner than bitumen and keeps the operation clean.

FUCHS food-grade lubricants are required at the finishing end of a mill operation and carry the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point NSF certification to comply with food safety regulations, adds Fabian.

Lubricant Manufacturing

Fabian notes that all FUCHS products used in sugar mills and refineries are locally manufactured at its facility in Kempton Park, Johannesburg.

Most lubricants are developed to cater for general applications or to meet industry-specific requirements, including original-equipment manufacturer standards.

Edited by Zandile Mavuso
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor: Features

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