Located near Queensland’s Central Coast, CBC Rockhampton keeps well stocked with industrial bearings solutions products that cater to mining customers in the surrounding region. According to Andrew Fletcher, Technical Sales Representative at Rockhampton, the branch is focussed on assisting mining companies with the continuous improvement of operational processes and optimising the performance of rotating equipment.

With more than ten years of experience providing engineering and technical support for rotating equipment, Andrew understands the time and labour costs associated with downtime on critical pieces of equipment, and the impact on mining production. 

“Bearings failures can incur considerable downtime for mining operations,” he says. “Changing out the bearings can be a costly exercise, especially if the bearings are in hard-to-reach areas on site. If a bearing is entrapped in a drive assembly, just pulling apart the pulley and shaft arrangements; dismounting the drive; and dismantling the power trains to get to the bearing out; can take many hours.” 

To address these operational concerns, Andrew often makes trips to mine sites to assess problematic rotating equipment in person. Many of his customers are in the nearby Bowen Basin Coalfields – which is widely considered the most prosperous coal province in the state. The Basin contains most of the region’s coking coal which is used in steel making and it is one of the largest reserves of thermal and coking coal in the world.

Recently, one of his customers approached him with an issue concerning some of their key rotating equipment on site. The bearings on their pulley systems were experiencing frequent breakdowns during operation, requiring lengthy workarounds to accommodate replacement of the bearings. 

“Entrapped bearings assemblies were incurring hours and hours of maintenance costs on their site, not to mention production losses to the tune of tens of thousands of dollars – per hour,” Andrew expounds. To avoid complicated disassembly, he suggested that they replace their standard bearings with the Schaeffler FAG Split Spherical Roller Bearings.

“The Schaeffler Split Spherical Roller Bearings are ideal for those hard-to-reach areas and can be changed in situ,” says Andrew. “Additionally, the bearings can handle essentially the same load capacity of a standard high-performance bearings. In fact, the design and construction of the Split Spherical Roller Bearings makes them interchangeable with standard bearings. So, operators can use the same housing, the same rings, the same clearances. That’s the beauty of the Schaeffler FAG Split Bearing solution.” 

After a smooth installation that took a matter of hours, Andrew’s customer was very pleased with the results. After just a few months, the savings on operational costs proved enormous for the operation, reported Andrew. “The customer came around to the benefits pretty quickly once they saw the quick return on investment.”

For other mining operations considering upgrading the bearings on their equipment, Andrew suggests stopping by CBC Rockhampton. “We are always happy to develop tailored bearings solutions for our customers and we work closely with our supply partners to achieve the best results possible,” he concludes. 

“The goal is for all of our customers is achieve optimal equipment performance for more efficient use of their time and resources. So, they can focus on what’s important – running their business.”