NTN-CBC: Supporting Australian mining for 50 years

50 years

This year marks the 50-year anniversary of the 50/50 joint venture between NTN Corporation and CBC Australia, which began in 1971.

According to Fabio Rebecchi, Product Manager for NTN bearings at CBC, as the mining sector has seen increased demand for iron ore and other key minerals over that time, there has been a corresponding need to manufacture larger equipment.

“With the tonnages in iron ore, and coal increasing year after year, we have seen an increase in demand for bearings, in particular, large bearings,” says Fabio. “As a result, components and supports have also been made larger for extraction and bulk handling processes, involving heavy mobile equipment, processing plants and conveyor systems.”

“Bigger equipment means bigger bearings, and longer lead times on supply,” says Fabio. “That said, there are a lot more bearings operating on sites now than there were15 years ago, but the quality and longevity of the bearings has improved.”

Fabio highlights the key areas he has seen improvement in with bearings: longevity, materials, installation processes, and maintenance procedures.

“If you look at older catalogues, you can see the evolution of technology across all industries, really.” says Fabio. “Prolonging the life of a bearing has included the incorporation of seals, proper lubrication, and aligning better fits upon installation,” he furthers.

“In addition to this, steel technology has become more advanced over the years because of the purity of steel and heat treatment processes applied in the manufacture of bearings. The static and dynamic load capacities have been increasing over time,” adds Fabio.

When NTN began expanding their global manufacturing and sales network, CBC became the direct link between the global manufacturing and engineering activities of NTN and the Australian market.

At present day, NTN is one of the top five bearing manufacturers in the world, and with backing from CBC, this allows them to deliver a full range of bearings products, technical support, and end-to-end logistics to the Australian market.

According to Ross Lee, Technical Manager of Strategic Partnerships – Bearings at CBC, “It’s all about consultation.”

“We at CBC are the first point of contact for customers in determining where they have a problem and where NTN can provide a solution. No matter the location in Australia, we have a commercial and technical liaison between the branch, the customer, and directly with the manufacturer,” says Ross.

“We have a network of account managers and technical specialists that engage with customers at the regional level, supporting mines and mineral processing plants. From there, we receive application engineering proposals and look at what we can put forward as a solution for a performance or a productivity problem,” he explains.

“Australian ingenuity coupled with Japanese product innovation has benefitted mining operations across the nation, through the provision of a wide range of bearing products,” says Ross. “Through NTN, we are always trying to offer an appropriate bearing solution and often we secure agreements based on all of the lines of communication we keep open across our networks,” Ross adds.

Within the mining sector, NTN is the direct supplier to major manufacturers of heavy mobile mining equipment. NTN also extensively services the Maintenance Repair and Overhaul (MRO) segments of these businesses.

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