Recent supply chain issues have put significant strain on the Australian construction industry, with resources such as building timber and steel proving more expensive to import at an increasingly delayed rate. This national dependence on outsourcing has highlighted the importance of local production and self-sufficiency when it comes to manufacturing vital materials.
On the central coast of NSW, one business is making high-performance construction blocks and panels from Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (AAC). These panels contain an anti-corrosion steel reinforcement, rendering them ideal for domestic or infrastructural projects as walls, floors, or external cladding.
Michael Burgess, Key Account Manager at CBC Beresfield, says that this company’s 30 years’ experience in the manufacturing industry renders them a valuable customer with a servicing footprint across residential, commercial, industrial, and utility applications.
“I’m proud to say that I have been working with them for a long time,” he says. “They trust us to service their site on an ongoing basis to resolve any technical issues. CBC supplies them with many different types of bearings, specialised sealing products, lubricants, V-Belts, cam rollers and various power transmission products including roller chain, couplings etc. I visit their site every couple of weeks to check up on everything and to ensure we have an ongoing communication about the product efficiency.”
According to Michael, one of the key units sold to this customer is the Schaeffler INA Linear Recirculating Ball Bearing, used to support the movement of product on large, automated machinery. These highly versatile linear guidance systems have adjustable clearance, and are capable of long, unlimited tracking back and forth along a guideway.
“These bearings are crucial to most of the automated processes on site, in dynamic systems that make a large volume of cement bricks,” explains Michael. “The machinery in the plant mixes up the wet concrete, bakes it and then shapes large construction panels of different sizes. There are a lot of factors to consider in an environment like that around safety, temperature, and corrosion.”
While a lot of attention is often placed on rotating bearings, linear systems are just as important to the success and efficiency of industrial equipment. Hidden in the undercarriage, these parts are responsible for supporting the weight and movement of large product volume, and must be resistant to environmental stresses as well.
“Schaeffler linear bearings stand out in the market due to their extreme accuracy and seal quality,” Michael says. “When you are considering a tracking component like this, that might be bearing a relatively heavy load, the alignment and accuracy needs to be spot on. It cannot be sloppy or prone to lean.”
“There is also a seal on each end of the bearing, and they are crucial,” he continues. “When the unit moves back and forth on the track, it will often pick up dust and other contaminants, so it is important that they cannot get inside the bearing to potentially cause a jam or accelerated wear.”
Because these bearing units can be linked directly to the adjacent construction, they encourage flexible solutions at a low section height. The full INA guidance system includes two linear recirculating ball bearings, lubrication connectors, full or half guideways, and plastic closing plugs.
The bearing units themselves feature hardened steel saddle plates, and precision-ground element raceways. The balls sit in an enclosed channel with plastic return elements, with an end piece that holds the balls in place until the bearing is mounted on the application.
Schaeffler and CBC have worked together for over 60 years to provide premium service to a range of industrial sectors, gleaning a strong reputation and successful supplier partnership across Australia.
“We collaborate with Schaeffler across many different customer projects, and our joint effort always benefits the outcome in the long run,” reflects Michael. “Their product expertise married with CBC’s long-term history servicing the Australian industrial market means that together we can offer the best solutions possible, with ongoing aftermarket support.”
Features and benefits of the Schaeffler INA Linear Recirculating Ball Bearing
• Can support loads from all directions
• Permits acceleration up to 100m/s² and velocities up to 3 m/s
• Interchangeable in any combination within one size and accuracy class
• Suitable for oil and grease lubrication
• Temperature tolerance between –10°C and 80°C
• Available with corrosion-resistant coating, Corrotect