The building materials sector is incredibly diverse, with manufacturers producing a range of materials, from steel and concrete to timber and paper. However, as diverse as it is, CBC National Accounts Manager Wayne D’Souza says there are a number of common challenges that manufacturers face.

“Production has increased significantly over the last 10 years, with the capacity almost doubling,” he says.

“Machines are running harder and faster than they ever were, meaning maintenance is even more important. It’s important that maintenance teams are given time to keep things in good condition, but anything too long can start affecting production.”

To address these needs, CBC’s engineering services teams visit their customers and help find solutions to improve machines to meet modern efficiency requirements.

“One thing to keep in mind is that a lot of machines here were installed more than 20 years ago – what they were expected to handle then is no longer adequate in today’s competitive market,” he says.

“Our engineering services teams help customers to identify the issues they are facing. They then can supply technology and components that can help our customers improve their operations.”

Terracotta tiles

Monier Roofing has been producing tiles in Melbourne for more than 100 years. Based in Vermont, its factory produces around eight million tiles per year and operates 24 hours each day, for seven days a week.

Avoiding downtime is critical for the business, because each hour production has stopped costs the company $1700. If this continues for an extended period of time, the expenses begin to stack up.

John Tilli, Maintenance Manager at Monier Roofing, explains that preventative maintenance is a key part of keeping the factory running, and is glad to have the engineering support from CBC.

“We have been dealing with CBC for around 15 years now, providing us with engineering expertise and preventative maintenance services,” Tilli says.

“Manufacturing in Australia can be tough at times, and we’re running a big plant with a lot of capital invested into it. We need to make sure we’re running it efficiently to compete, so CBC’s assistance has been very important.”

Monier Roofing takes advantage of CBC’s engineering services teams, who are based all around the country. When the company began to experience issues with its power transmission, CBC was able to examine the belts, motors and drive fans to isolate the issue.

As a result, CBC was able to design a better, more efficient pulley belt arrangement that prevented the issue from occurring.

Its network of suppliers also means that CBC can quickly get any parts that Monier needs, which Tilli says is vital.

“They’ve got a big bank of suppliers, meaning they can get us what we need, when we need it.”

“If there’s ever a problem, we have certain numbers we can ring and there’s always someone there to answer the phone.”

“Even if a part is on the other side of the city, they’ll put it on a taxi and get it to us as soon as possible.”

Sealing the leaking pipes

When major air leaks in a galvanised pipe began to affect the air supply for a steel manufacturer’s industrial compressors and other assorted machinery, they picked up the phone and called CBC to help find a solution.

The manufacturer had used four fitters to use PTFE thread  tape across all the joints, but this would not work due to the limitations of PTFE technology and imperfections in the threaded joints and elbows.

Instead, CBC suggested using LOCTITE 567, which is a thread sealant paste made of anaerobic material which cures in the absence of air between close fitting metal surfaces. This sealing technology provides 100% seal and prevents loosening and leakage from shock and vibration which is perfect for this application. CBC then arranged for LOCTITE  Engineers Richard Hoe and Vaughan Bartleson to visit the site and confirm the viability. After approval, LOCTITE conducted a Maintenance and Reliability Workshop on site for the fitters about how to clean and prepare the components and apply the product correctly.

CBC then supplied a bulk quantity of LOCTITE 567  shortly after, along with MSDS, to the site. The staff at the site worked all day on Sunday to clean every joint of the original tape and apply the LOCTITE 567. By the Sunday night shift, everything was up and running again.

Other sealing measures would not have been able to work with thread imperfections in straight and elbow joints, and new pipe would have been too expensive to install. By using LOCTITE 567, the steel manufacturer was able to save around $45,000.