Aluminium metal is prized for its strong yet lightweight properties, as well as its resistance to rusting.

Downtime foiled by exceptional bearing solution

The extraction and processing of aluminium metal can be broken down into three key stages: the mining of bauxite ore, refining that ore to recover alumina, and then the smelting of alumina to produce aluminium sheets or ingots. This type of metal is prized for its strong yet lightweight properties, as well as its resistance to rusting. Read More
Digital monitoring of synchronous drive belts for QLD natural gas company

Digital monitoring of synchronous drive belts for QLD natural gas company

Digitalisation and component monitoring are quickly becoming integral aspects to present-day mining environments. Processes such as cataloguing, inventory control, product lifespan assessment, and design initiatives can be significantly bolstered by the incorporation of integrated software programs. The ability to compare and contrast belting solutions on large plants can ensure that the best application is fitted to the correct tension, pull and alignment.

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Premium procurement strategies for OEMs in Western Australia

CBC heavy industry and mobile equipment expert, Sheree Munnik advises her OEM contracts that when it comes to procuring the right supplies at the right time, “Fail to plan, and you plan to fail.”  Her vested knowledge in the procurement side of the business has been amplified in recent years by her extensive involvement in the contract sales side of CBC’s Western Australian business arm, which frequently caters to the OEMs involved in the production of equipment for heavy industrial plants, ore mining, refineries, and quarrying processes.  “A fair few of my clients manufacture heavy mobile equipment like dump trucks, diggers and excavators that dominate the heavy industrial equipment market here in Perth,’ says Sheree.  Not surprisingly, many of Sheree’s clients are looking to invest in premium level products for their manufacturing processes — and that’s exactly where CBC comes in.  According to Sheree, with some of the more recent challenges procurement managers have been facing, this has created a kind of convergence of opportunity to showcase the different capabilities that Motion Australia’s business possesses in terms of inventory, supply and distribution.  ‘I recently had the procurement manager from a reputable OEM reach out to me,” says Sheree. “He wanted to discuss accessing hydraulic and gear oils for their batches of massive heavy earth moving loading trucks. Essentially, his hands were tied in terms of accessing supply due to difficulties with long lead times sourcing offshore products and he was looking for a premium quality onshore alternative that would be more readily available.” Sheree deferred to her multi-branded solutions basket of contacts to source lubricants from their range of available premium oils. She also suggested the OEM manager enter into a procurement contract with CBC to benefit from their massive network of stock facilities and distribution channels.  The client ended up ordering a range of Shell products from our supplier Viva Energy Australia, including items from the Tellus T2 hydraulic oils and the Omala industrial gear oil ranges. Since then, it has been full steam ahead with continuous ordering and supply.  “The client quickly made us their preferred onshore supplier,” says Sheree. “And the relationship has been ongoing for about a year now. We monitor it quarterly and regularly check in on the client’s needs to make assessments and offer oil samples for their team to trial.” 
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taking stock

Taking stock: Motion Australia’s best methods for planning ahead

The Australian manufacturing industry is looking ahead to restock for a new year, and part of this process is considering current and future challenges of warehousing and distribution, particularly when sourcing offshore product.  Mark Watson, group forecasting and planning manager for Motion Australia, weighs in on how to approach planning stock when the only thing certain is that nothing is for certain. He likens the forecasting and planning process to a Mike Tyson quote: “Everyone has a plan until they get smacked in the face.”  Watson furthers that forecasting and planning for procurement is more than managing demand and supply, more importantly, it is working with the variability of both.  “As many of our customers are small to medium-sized businesses (SMEs), who are unlikely to be looking many months ahead for their requirements, the Motion planning group takes on that responsibility to create sourcing plans that often result in POs being placed more than 1yr in advance of when we think it will be selling.”  “We don’t expect our customers to approach us with a concrete plan in place, but any guidance from them is welcome as that helps us protect their own operations,” he continued. “When I am assisting customers that operate day-to-day without a formal logistics plan or a broader awareness of what their maintenance cycles look like, first and foremost it helps to approach things as though we have a common supply chain, and we are working together to create the best solution.”   Watson reiterates that he is always happy to work with suppliers and SMEs on developing procurement plans that suit their business needs and considers their assets.  “Managing uncertainty means constant firefighting to aim for perfect stock availability,” he said. “Which means developing very close relationships with our key premium suppliers to put ourselves in a good position for supporting our customers future needs.” “As far as stock planning is concerned, our team at Motion Australia has quite a sophisticated method and system that works specifically on trying to manage the uncertainty of supply and demand,” he explained. “Our capabilities have been especially valuable in the last, say 10-12 months, where lead times and logistics have been incredibly variable.”  “In fact, some of our key suppliers now use the forecast and the flow that we provided them to try to get a better product allocation from their overseas plants,” he continued. “And that really demonstrates the credibility we have in the planning space.”  From a distribution perspective, Motion Australia has four major distribution centres across four states — Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland, and Western Australia – with over 100 branches across the country.  The benefit of this to customers is that they always have access to stock from those centres due to the continuous flow of stock that moves through the distribution centres to continuously replenish the branch locations.  Mark Dixon, executive general manager for supply chain and logistics at Motion Australia has spent the last 25 years working in various roles across the supply chain, manufacturing, and business improvement.  Currently, Dixon heads up Motion Australia’s distribution channels, ensuring products are in the right place at the right time —preferably a customer’s doorstep.  He notes the importance of optimising distribution networks, framed by the challenges of being an industrial solutions provider.  Read More
green clean

A green clean for heavy duty mining equipment

Due to the nature of large-scale extraction and excavation operations, the risk of doing damage to the environment is always high, crystalised as an ongoing discussion for heavy industry. Acting based on these concerns has been on the forefront of the collective hive mind in recent years, with environment, health, and safety (EHS) issues reaching their tipping point around the globe. According to CBC’s Steve Keown, energy companies are particularly well-positioned to address these concerns. “In an effort to mitigate these risk factors and address these concerns, leading energy companies like Viva Energy, Shell’s Macro-Distributor have been working to develop products with a low environmental impact,” he says. “As a result, the mining and quarrying sectors have been taking the lead on some of the most innovative products in the zero-impact space, including the production of biodegradable cleaning agents for heavy equipment.” The CBC Product Manager for Cleaners, Solvents and Degreasers discusses in detail, CBC’s dedication to providing market leading biodegradable products to customers. “In Australia, CBC has been working with some of their key suppliers like Viva Energy for the Shell brand, along with the reach of our distribution channels to take the lead on delivering these products to market,” he explains. Viva Energy Australia has mandated a commitment to what they call ‘Goal Zero’ in their Statement of Commitment to Health, Safety, Security and the Environment, proposing a stop in operations if the fundamentals of the commitment are not being met.1 CBC aims to assist in meeting the Goal Zero target by providing exceptional knowledge on the monitoring and measuring of product performance against Viva Energy guidelines. “We have a vested interest in working with the team at Viva Energy as a trusted supply partner and also an industry leader on tested and certified standard biodegradable products.” One such product is the Viva own Dobatex range. Currently CBC locations stock three key products in the Dobatex range network-wide: Dobatex Aqua Degreaser, Gold and Platinum. According to Steve, Dobatex are some of the most premium biodegradable products on the market right now. “Most companies are looking for a product that can be used over a wide range of applications,” says Steve. “Dobatex is an organic water-based cleaning compound developed specifically for heavy duty industrial and automotive applications in the mining and quarrying segments. It can be used on mobile equipment such as diggers, dozers, and trucks.” Dobatex meets the Australian standard for Biodegradability, compliant with AS 4351.2 and allows for concentration rates from 1 percent through to 30 percent, depending on application that the products are being used for.
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Remote condition monitoring reduces risks and improves reliability

As the saying goes, every cloud has a silver lining. And while the covid cloud has brought many challenges to the mines and quarries industries, it has also been a catalyst for sites to adopt or update technologies to implement remote workarounds. This has been the case with the condition monitoring of machinery, where expert Anthony O’Keefe says customers are realising significant benefits from implementing remote, wireless solutions. “We’ve known the benefits of these systems for some time now, however the progress we’ve seen with the technology has meant we’re able to offer our customers more affordable solutions,” explains Anthony, who is the National Engineering Manager for CBC Australia. “What the pandemic has done is brought two key advantages of a remote, wireless solution to the fore – firstly, it reduces risk, by decreasing the number of contractors coming out to site, and secondly, it improves the reliability of the machinery.” CBC provide many customers with an offline condition monitoring service. This involves technicians from CBC going out to site to collect data, then analysing the data and providing a report back to clients on the machinery health. “This has been a successful model for us and many of our customers for years,” Anthony explains. “However, when the first covid restrictions came into effect, mining companies had to put up their own borders. Only the most essential workers to their operations would be allowed onto site.” Customers soon realised the need for an alternative to the traditional condition monitoring workaround was required urgently. “Our customers still required a condition monitoring service because the risks of machinery breaking down were too high,” says Anthony. “At the same time, they’ve recognised that the number of people coming to their site poses a risk to the plant operations. And they don’t want to be in a situation where they have to shut down as a result of worker exposure to the virus.” Enter a remote condition monitoring method that uses wireless sensors. “Instead of any of our field engineers collecting data from site, the data is instead collected using wireless sensors that are mounted onto the equipment or machinery,” Anthony explains. “That data is then relayed to us via the cloud, and we analyse it and send a report back to the client that way.” This remote condition monitoring method isn’t new, but it’s become more advanced and simultaneously more affordable. Anthony uses the analogy of a camera to elaborate. “As technology has improved, and as electronics have become digitalised, they’ve also become smaller, smarter, faster, and cheaper,” he enthuses. “Think of digital cameras and how expensive and heavy they were, and now people have advanced cameras on their mobile phones that take high quality pictures. This technology is no different.” One of the key benefits is the quality of data and the amount of data that the sensors can send. “Before, if we were manually collecting data, a service technician would perhaps do this in intervals of one a month or so – but these sensors are collecting data live and sending it across in minutes,” Anthony elaborates. “This is a much more reliable method of identifying a fault.” Anthony partly attributes the higher data quality to improvements made with the battery life of the wireless sensors.
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The full spectrum of protection for cleaner equipment

A mine attracts dust, dirt, and grime which left unchecked, can erode electrical cords, cables, and connectors, slow down bearings and gearboxes and cause machinery to idle. Improper cleaning and maintenance of components can slow production to a halt, costing companies thousands in precious time and resources. CRC Industries has been servicing the mining and quarrying sector in Australia since the 1970s when they first began manufacturing in the country. Today they are one of the major players in the sector and have partnered with CBC on services. “CBC has had a relationship with CRC for a very long time. They are very good with supply and inquiries,” says Chris Anderson, the Area Business Manager for the Dubbo CBC branch. “Our branch is in proximity to several major mines in the area which allows us to provide better service to the sites. We try to meet with customers on site as often as possible to ensure they are getting consumable products like lubricants, cleaners, and degreasers to keep things in motion.” Business Development Manager at CRC, David Bailey discusses the specific CRC products that have been developed as solutions to common issues on a mine site. “Two of our most popular products are our CO and NF Contact Cleaners, which have a massive turnover in the mining segment,” says David. “On mine sites, there are electronics everywhere. All of this gets affected by dust and dirt and they need something to clean these contacts so that all the components keep operating at their peak performance.” The CO Contact Cleaner contains COZOL – a proprietary blend of solvents which is non-corrosive and evaporative, leaving no stains or grease behind. “This is a great solution for cleaning relays, switches, circuit boards and breakers, alarm and signal systems, terminals, plugs and jacks,” enthuses David. CRC NF Contact Cleaner offers a similar solution as a non-flammable option with no flash point. “More and more we are getting requests for non-flammable products, so we have a number of different NF aerosols in our range now that suit the mining industry,” says David. “The aim with non-flammable is to reduce incidents and potential to harm workers.” Read More

Solid block bearing units are good as gold

When it comes to performance in punishing environments, the Timken® spherical roller bearing solid-block housed units are as good as gold. Which was certainly the case when Michael Greelish had these units installed in a Queensland gold mine. “These unitised housings have multiple features that make them a great choice for conveying applications in the mines and quarry sector,” says the National Segment Manager for Mines, Quarries and Resources at CBC Australia. “In the case of the gold mine, we began using them on their tail drums due to failures from contamination with their previous standard bearings. The Timken units have been so successful that they’ve now installed them on all the head and gravity take up pulleys.” The solid-block housed units are literally solid-blocks of steel that have been designed to eliminate the risk of bearing contamination. “These units are completely sealed off and come pre-assembled – unlike standard bearings which are supplied in separate components, the bearing, housing and sleeve is all included,” Michael explains. “With standard bearings, if you need to install or have to replace them, you need to remove all the componentry, and on mining or quarry sites, that means you’ve got maintenance staff trying to fit them on conveyors in difficult conditions. All it takes is one small gust of wind and the dust blows in and contaminates the bearing while you’re trying to fit it.” The Timken® spherical roller bearing solid-block housed units remove this risk. Read More

Threadlockers: Securing production in mining

Industry expert Michael Rowe says the unsung hero of mechanical fastening is the liquid threadlocker. The longest standing manufacturer of threadlocker products is LOCTITE®. In fact, threadlocking fluid was invented in 1953 by a chemistry professor named Vernon K. Krieble, founder of the original LOCTITE brand. “Traditional methods of mechanical fastening often include lock washers, locknuts, jam nuts, and safety wire which protect the threads and secure bolts in place, however, they still leave gaps that will be exposed to continuous vibration, tension and torque on an operation,” explains Michael, Product Manager of Adhesive and Sealants for CBC Australia. “Liquid threadlocker holds fasteners tight by curing with viscosity and shear-resistance – effectively acting as a water-resistant sealant and an adhesive,” he adds. CBC Australia and Henkel LOCTITE have been partnered in distribution of adhesive technology for more than 40 years, serving the mining and quarrying segment. The Henkel LOCTITE Threadlocker products are available in a range of adhesive and fastening abilities, from permanent, high-strength compounds, to more time-based, removable, variations. “The right solution will depend on the application,” Michael states. “And we can help advise customers on which product will work best.” Sheree Munnik, CBC Key Account Executive for the Mining Segment in Western Australia, works closely with mining customers to circumvent the effects of continuous vibration and torque on bolted joints, which she says is a common cause of equipment failure at mine sites. “The bottom line is that Threadlocker products enable our customers to get more running hours out of their equipment by holding everything in place,” highlights Sheree. “Bolted and machined joints on mining equipment face heavy vibration and shock loads, running at high speeds under harsh conditions for extended periods of time. Securing fasteners can mean the difference between a productive day on site or a catastrophic failure on mining applications,” says Sheree. CBC recently worked with a heavy mobile equipment company in Western Australia to provide solutions with a range of LOCTITE products. Read More

Serving the South Australian outback

The heavy industrial landscape of underground mines and processing plants peppered across the outback can conjure up images that resemble something out of a Mad Max film. But the team at CBC Regency Park is used to contending with the common challenges faced across industries such as oil, gas, mining, and quarrying.  Conveniently located in the urban centre of Adelaide, CBC Regency Park is the largest branch in the state, and a key supplier to the surrounding industrial regions and townships.  Peter Dixon, Internal Sales, has a deep understanding of the needs and requirements of his customer base, having served at CBC Regency Park for more than 14 years. Parlaying with customers who are on remote sites and liaising with suppliers to find solutions is all in a day’s work for the team at Regency Park. “Quite a few of our customers are mining contractors who either ring us up or actually drive down from the desert-hot outback towns, about 560km North-West of Adelaide,” says Peter.  “Mining contractors often look to us as the premium supplier for their respective operations,” explains Peter. “They are seeking out products that can withstand the high-heat, dry, dusty conditions of the industrial landscape in the outback, which can be particularly gruelling on heavy machinery and equipment in processing plants.”   “When it comes to assisting these types of customers, we rely on our premium partnerships with suppliers like LOCTITE®, who provide us with an extensive range of product, as well as access to training programs and knowledge bases,” adds Peter. “We are a solutions-based organisation and that ensures a synergistic relationship with solutions-based suppliers like LOCTITE.”  Peter was approached by a mining contractor last month that required large quantities of adhesive sealant that could be used on high-heat applications on site. In collaboration with his account and area managers, the solution Peter arrived at was the LOCTITE SI 596; a silicone paste sealant that forms a moisture-proof rubber bond; ideal for operating under high-heat conditions, up to 250 degrees Celsius.  The customer agreed and ordered a high volume of SI 596 to be shipped out to their receiving location near major mining destinations in South Australia. Peter speaks to why this product was the right solution for high-heat conditions.  Read More

Let’s torque about tyre couplings

Where there is movement, there is power. A coupling takes that power and transmits it from one shaft to another, which may sound simple enough in theory. A kid pedalling a bike turns the bike shafts, which takes the power to the chain. In a bike it’s a chain. In a car it’s a drive shaft. But what about on a slurry pump at a mine site? This is where CBC’s expert on Power Transmission, Troy Markland, comes in. “Slurry pumps have two shafts, one for driving and the other being driven. The power comes from the motor and transfers to the turning shaft through a coupling arrangement,” explains Troy. “Joining two aligning shafts is very difficult to do without any deflection and misalignment.” For this application, Troy recommends the Fenner FenaFlexTM Tyre Coupling for high flexibility, which he explains is critical on mining applications. “Fenner® power transmission products have a long history in the mining sector,” says Troy. “From a coupling perspective, Fenner® is widely used by major pump companies, particular on high-speed applications.” According to Troy, this is due to their premium manufacturing facilities, installation services and highly involved after-market support. “Fenner® couplings are a robust choice for major pump applications for above ground and below ground operations because they have very good horsepower and misalignment capability,” he explains. “The coupling has up to a 4-degree misalignment which is very good for accommodating the gap between shafts.” To check that the flanges are parallel with the shafts, CBC technicians take various measurements to ensure the gap between the shafts allows for end-float. “Since the Fenner® couplings can accommodate a high degree of misalignment, this makes it easier to test for torquing ability, says Troy. “Sometimes we use a laser alignment tool or an alignment shim to check that the installation is parallel to the unit on all sides.” The couplings have a donut-style hub between two flanges that create flexibility for shaft-to-shaft misalignment. Read More