Delivering world-class bearings has served as the foundation for Motion Australia’s industrial solutions offering. Practical experience across multiple industry sectors has allowed Motion Australia to gain a superior understanding of the range and scope of complex production environments, and a diverse range of products and capabilities has earned them a reputation as trusted experts on maintaining, improving, and extending the life of industrial equipment.
And yet, at the core of Motion Australia’s collective capabilities and experience is a wealth of exceptional engineering knowledge, enriched by a vast network of business partnerships and working relationships that the Motion Australia team maintain with customers, manufacturers, and suppliers of engineered products. Enter Alan Phillips, Motion Australia’s Engineering Services Manager – NSW.
Prior to joining Motion Australia, Alan worked at several bearing businesses – including both the INA and FAG divisions of Schaeffler – and since transitioning to Motion Australia his career has included roles in Product Management and Application Engineering, as well as overseeing the management and delivery of engineered bearings solutions to customers.
He notes that he has been able to continue working closely with Schaeffler, performing joint site calls with Schaeffler’s Mechanical Services team to facilitate the refurbishment and restoration of bearings products for customers. “Refurbishment is an engineering service we provide through Schaeffler who has a Level One Refurb Facility here in Australia and a more advanced facility located in Germany,” says Alan.
“For the large Spherical Roller Bearings, replacements are expensive and often unnecessary, and the turnaround time can take months for a brand-new bearing construction and shipping overseas. While refurbishment offshore can cut that time in half and is a more cost-effective alternative.”
As part of Schaeffler’s aftermarket Mechanical Engineering Services, and in lieu of having a brand-new bearing be manufactured at full cost, customers can instead opt to have their larger bearings refurbished and restored to new at Schaeffler’s manufacturing facility in Germany.
This was the case when a local paper manufacturing customer approached Alan about needing a replacement bearing for a Schaeffler Spherical Roller Bearing that Motion Australia had supplied as part of their paper machine. Nearing the end of its life, the bearing was ready for a replacement, which Alan recognised would be a sizeable investment. Alan’s recommendation to the customer, was that they pursue an alternative option provided through Motion Australia and Schaeffler’s joint efforts.
The customer agreed to the service and Motion Australia’s Engineering Team picked up the bearing from their site and transported it to Schaeffler’ Engineering Hub in Australia for inspection to determine what level of refurbishment it required. This was followed by shipment overseas to Germany.
“In addition to tremendous cost savings and significantly reduced lead times, the customer also received a completely renewed warranty from the point of purchase,” explains Alan. “From the customer’s standpoint, it is a very good deal, but I also believe that this is exemplary of Motion Australia’s dedication to providing exceptional engineering solutions and Schaeffler’s integrity as a world-class supplier.”
When the bearing arrived back on Australian soil a few months later, the Motion Australia Engineering Services team picked it up from Schaeffler and had it delivered back to the customer’s site. At that point, Alan returned to the site on a joint call with Schaeffler Engineer Graham George-Davidson to ensure that the bearing was correctly fitted and installed. The bearing restoration was successful, and the customer has since had several more shipped off for refurbishment.
Alan’s role continues to be central to the success of the operation. “Providing engineered bearings solutions is always a wholistic, full-circle process. It’s not a linear process where we just propose a solution and then proceed to have the bearing shipped off to a customer. The relationship doesn’t end for us at the point of sale,” he concludes.
“Quite the contrary, we monitor our solutions every step of the way and track and measure their success. That’s how we grow our knowledge base and become familiar with different kinds of applications, and it allows us to gauge what bearings solutions will yield the best results for our customers.”