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Africa|BMG|Business|Components|Design|Engineering|Environment|gaskets|Gearboxes|Installation|Manufacturing|Power|PROJECT|Projects|Refinery|Service|Stainless Steel|Steel|Surface|System|Systems|Testing|Training|Equipment|Maintenance|Manufacturing |Products|Services|Solutions|Bearing|Bearings

Support services provided for sugar industry

SWEET SWEET SUGAR The BMG team works closely with sugar farmers and engineers at mills by providing engineering components and support services, to enhance production efficiencies, minimise downtime and extend service life of equipment

CARRIER CHAIN Tsubaki high performance chains are well-suited for harsh conditions in sugar processing and production, offering enhanced strength and reliability, a cleaner environment and extended operating life

7th April 2023


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Leading engineering solution specialist BMG plays a critical role in the sugar sector, not only during the operational period of sugar production, but also in off-crop seasons, when maintenance and refurbishment on sugar farms and at mills is essential.

The BMG team works closely with sugar farmers and engineers at mills by providing engineering components and support services, to enhance production efficiencies, minimise downtime and extend service life of equipment.

BMG’s power transmission division supplies and supports a range of products, which is carefully selected for dependable performance in demanding conditions in the sugar industry throughout Africa. These components include carrier and diffuser chains, knife and shredder bearing housings, custom sprockets, and gear couplings, as well as steam gaskets, heat exchangers and hydraulic tools.

Diffuser and mill gearboxes, in addition to mill lubrication and hydraulic systems, also form a critical part of this range.

“BMG boasts a depth of experience in the sugar sector, through the provision, over decades, of power transmission solutions that ensure high productivity in cane fields and during processing and refinement,” says BMG Power Transmission division business unit manager Gavin Kirstein.

Kirstein says an important service to the sugar sector is BMG’s chain refurbishment facility in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal – where chains are stripped, inspected and re-assembled, using new components where necessary.

This refurbishment service is often carried out under strict time restrictions, which requires advanced planning.

Analysis of chain failures is also conducted at this facility. BMG specialists can advise customers on the expected remaining wear life of a chain and on what improvements need to be introduced to customers’ systems, he notes.

Other specialist services in the sugar sector include bearing and gearbox inspection, bearing and chain refurbishment, large size bearing assembly, alignment and balancing, as well as customised product design.

BMG also offers a troubleshooting and maintenance service, condition monitoring and training.


Key components in BMG’s power transmission division are Tsubaki high performance chains, which are well-suited for harsh conditions in sugar processing and production, offering enhanced strength and reliability, a cleaner environment and extended operating life.

BMG specialists are able to provide solutions for any problems its customers face when using conveyor chains.

“We can adapt the materials used and even the heat treatment of a chain’s components, to match the specific application and operating environment – whether in the sugarcane field, the mill or refinery,” explains BMG Tsubaki national product manager Marthinus Janse van Rensburg.

He further says that Tsubaki also offers a range of chains with stainless steel components to protect against corrosion, which is especially problematic on bagasse carriers and elevators.

Stainless steel components can be heat treated to provide wear and corrosion resistance, as well as additional strength.

“BMG’s Tsubaki products which are suitable for the sugar industry, encompass cane harvester chains that are manufactured at an ISO certified manufacturing facility, in line with Tsubaki’s exacting specifications. All components are shot-peened, and the chain is also statically pre-loaded for enhanced wear life in the harsh conditions of cane fields.”

Tsubaki also manufactures a range of mud conveyor chains, designed especially for damp conditions. These chains are fitted with stainless steel pins and bushes for protection against corrosion and wear.

In addition, BMG also supplies a range of robust cane carrier chain that provides “excellent” durability and wear resistance during operation in demanding conditions in sugar mills. Cane bagasse carrier chains with outboard rollers are also available. This chain is designed to maintain a thin layer of lubrication on the bearing surface, extending service life of the system, notes Van Rensburg.

The convenient location of outboard rollers enables simplified maintenance and easy replacement of components, without having to dismantle the entire system, thus eliminating costly downtime.

BMG’s Tsubaki RF Series intermediate carrier chains are manufactured from durable materials, with stainless steel grade for the pin and bush, to protect against corrosion and wear.

He says the pin and bush areas are also lubricated with molybdenum disulfide (MoS2) grease during assembly and since the chain is not normally lubricated during operation, this grease is baked on in certain areas, to provide enhanced lubrication functions.

Tsubaki diffuser and cast dog bone link type chains, with special design features to withstand operation in harsh conditions, also have stainless steel pins and bushes for enhanced protection against corrosion and wear.

The most critical chain application in sugar processing is the bagasse reclaimer, which powers the mill, Van Rensburg points out.

Tsubaki has made a substantial investment in market research and field testing, to develop a robust bagasse reclaimer chain, with a grade of stainless steel that has the highest combined levels of corrosion resistance, strength and wear properties. In addition, induction-hardened pins offer extended service life.

Pin and bushing areas are lubricated with MoS2 grease during assembly and have baked-on grease in critical areas. Attachments are robotically welded to the chain, to ensure the strongest weld penetration.

“The BMG team attends to breakdowns in sugar mills and refineries and meets tight time frames to manufacture replacement components. “Recent field service maintenance projects during off-crop seasons involved a turnkey onsite replacement of diffuser head shaft bearings and the complete refurbishment of the multi-misalignment couplings driving each end of the head shaft.”

This project also involved the installation of new bearings and adaptor sleeves, as well as new keys and connector arms for the couplings.

BMG’s specialist services to the local sugar sector are underpinned by a broad range of quality-branded engineering components, a technically competent team and a 24-hour support service.

Edited by Zandile Mavuso
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor: Features



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