When a pulp and paper factory experienced a critical situation caused by the breakdown of its refiner bearings and lacked an adequate replacement, they turned to Schaeffler, a global supplier of automotive and industrial components. Matt Thornton, the Branch Manager at Motion, shared his valuable insights on the steps taken to swiftly resolve this issue.

Matt explains, “Refiner bearings are an essential component in the paper and board industry for refining pulp, and these bearings are designed to withstand the high stresses and loads involved in this process.”

Matt explains that the refining process in the paper and board industry is a demanding one, involving intense pressure and friction as the fibres are mechanically treated to produce the desired texture and strength.

Furthermore, the process involves exposure to chemicals and high temperatures, which further increase the stress and load on the bearings. In addition, the bearings may need to support heavy equipment and withstand the weight and movement of the machinery during the refining process. All of these factors contribute to the need for high-performance bearings that can withstand the challenging conditions of the paper and board industry.

These bearings are often large and require high performance due to their complex design and tight tolerances. Therefore, when these bearings fail, paper mills may face significant downtime and lost production.

According to Matt, “The stock for replacement bearings was on order, but unfortunately, there were no available replacement bearings or spacers nearby. Although new bearings had just arrived in the country, spacers still needed to be manufactured.”

Therefore, this situation demanded immediate action to prevent prolonged downtime and production loss.

According to Matt, the manufacturing process for the spacer is a critical and intricate one, as each spacer needs to be tailored specifically to its corresponding bearings.

He explained, “Although the bearings may appear similar, they can have slight differences in size and dimensions. Therefore, precise measurements need to be taken to determine the correct thickness of the spacer.”

This is a crucial step in ensuring that the refiner bearings function optimally and can withstand the high stresses and loads involved in the pulp refining process.

Matt further highlighted that due to the time sensitivity, Schaeffler rose to the occasion and an urgent pickup was arranged from Sydney, where the spacer was obtained and delivered to the site within the same day. This illustrates how Schaeffler and Motion go the extra mile for their customers.

When discussing the impact of this issue, Matt highlighted the potential for a significant loss of production had the issue not been resolved quickly, possibly in the thousands. However, downtime and loss of production are critical issues in any industry, and quick resolution of such problems is crucial to maintain smooth operations. He emphasised it is important for companies to have reliable partners like Schaeffler and Motion to help address such issues promptly and efficiently.

Schaeffler is a leading global supplier of automotive and industrial components, with a strong reputation for their expertise in the paper and board industry. They offer a range of bearings specifically designed for use in the paper and board industry, including their refiner bearings which are designed to withstand the high stresses and loads involved in the pulp refining process. Schaeffler’s solutions are known for their reliability and durability, which is essential for the demanding conditions found in paper mills.

Additionally, they offer technical support and engineering expertise to help their customers optimise their processes and achieve maximum efficiency. This combination of high-quality products and technical expertise has made Schaeffler a trusted partner for many companies in the industry.

This successful resolution highlights the importance of strong relationships between suppliers and their customers. Motion’s unique relationship with Schaeffler enabled them to quickly address and resolve this critical issue for their customer. Through their collaboration, they were able to minimise downtime and lost production, demonstrating the value of effective partnerships.

According to Matt, Motion is a reliable source for supplying bearings due to their extensive distribution channels and technical know-how. Their expertise in bearings makes them a go-to option for customers in need of bearing solutions.

Motion’s commitment to providing top-notch customer service and technical support sets them apart from competitors in the industry. With a team of experienced professionals, they are equipped to handle complex bearing issues and provide tailored solutions to meet the unique needs of each customer.