For CBC’s Tony Voiklis, engineering opportunities are part of day-to-day business. But every so often a unique solution opportunity comes along that allows him to truly make a difference in the community. When an Adelaide local school was unable to host their annual fundraiser due to an engineering roadblock, Tony stepped up to keep things rolling.
The school was planning to bake fresh donuts to raise money for new books, equipment, programs, and facilities for their classes. The donut machine they were using was an investment the school board had made to raise funds, inviting guests to join the festivities with the smell of freshly baked donuts in the air.
However, as the day approached, the school maintenance staff discovered the donut machine conveyor was not working. When they pulled it apart to service it, they discovered to their dismay that they could not work out how to reassemble it in a working fashion.
Eager to find a solution and get the machine fixed in time for the fundraiser, the school rang up the team at CBC and Application Engineer, Tony decided to pay them a visit and see if he could get it running for them.
“When I arrived, the machine was in pieces, so I first took a look at how it reassembled,” says Tony. “The machine had a wire belted conveyor chain with a dough plunger that was out of synch with the chain, so the donuts were piling up rather than coming out on the train in intervals.”
Tony noticed there was no coupling arrangement to hold the shaft and plunger in place to synchronise them with the chain drive. The cost to replace the drive in the machine, plus a brand-new coupling was more than the school’s budget, but this did not dissuade Tony from helping—he was on a mission to restore the balance to the school’s donut production.
With the team at CBC, he organised a Fenner jaw coupling to be donated to the school to fix their machine and ensure it would be in good working order for the upcoming fundraiser and future events.
“I performed an assessment for the school as I would with any other customer,” says Tony. “I calculated the cost saving to be a few thousand dollars when accounting for the repairs, coupling and potential loss of funds at the event.”
The CBC team delivered the new Fenner coupling to the site and Tony set to work installing it and tested the system before he reassembled the machine.
“We used our engineering capabilities to synchronise the system to make sure that the donuts would be conveyed smoothly without catching on the raceway,” explains Tony. “We know how machines work and operate, so I just said to myself, we have got to replace any missing parts, put the machine together, synchronise it, and make it work.”
The donut machine was repaired better than new, and the school fundraiser went ahead as planned, thanks to the team
“This is a small act of kindness that allowed us to share our engineering knowledge with the community and make a difference for the kids,” concludes Tony. “Every so often we get the opportunity to pay it forward and this was just one of those feel-good moments for us.”