As the Paul Kelly song goes, from little things big things grow – and this perfectly describes the relationship that has formed between a large bakery operation and the CBC Braeside branch in southeast Melbourne. 

“This bakery business has existed for many years in Victoria, but we previously didn’t have a relationship with them,” says CBC State Sales Manager, Leon Stefanec. “However, they set up a state-of-the-art facility in 2019 which was designed to manufacture baked products and supply to a major Australian supermarket. Once this plant was established, we reached out to them and started doing business – and the relationship has grown and grown.”

According to Leon, the working relationship between the CBC Braeside branch and plant has developed to the point that the facility actually depends on CBC to supply a wide range of products. 

“The site was purpose-built as a large-scale manufacturing facility to cater to the contract they have with the supermarket chain and as such a lot of equipment was commissioned from Germany,” Leon explains. “Many of the parts that were in use are quite difficult to source in Australia.”

The Braeside branch was able to resolve this issue by conducting several surveys and identifying components that they could
supply, including a full catalogue of their bearings and power transmission parts. 

“We provide them with a Vendor Managed Inventory service where we regularly monitor their stock, visit their stores and record stock and then replenish the shorts,” says Leon. “We’ve also converted original equipment parts across to our parts for easy replacement and supply and have saved them a lot of money that way. Original equipment parts can be expensive and are often coming from Germany, so they save a lot by us matching them with locally procured stock.”

One of the essential parts used in the conveyor system at the plant was Rexnord Marbett® bearings. 

“Recently they undertook a maintenance programme on this part of their facility and realised they didn’t have any stock of the Rexnord Marbett® conveyor bearings,” Leon explains. “So, they approached us – actually they contacted us on a Saturday morning, because there was a sense of urgency in sourcing the bearings and finding a supplier who could provide them on an ongoing basis. They contacted me personally and I got in touch with the local Rexnord branch in Braeside and we were able to fulfill the customer’s order immediately. They’ve subsequently been using more of the product and purchasing extra spares – so we make sure we have adequate stock for them locally.”

The Rexnord Marbett® conveyor bearings are suited to the bakery plant because they are designed to withstand washdowns – which is necessary in any food manufacturing operation.

“The Marbett® bearing housings are made from a thermoplastic material which is easy to wash down and the steel content is nickel-plated so they won’t rust,” says Leon. “They also come with an integral oil seal to prevent the ingress of contaminants. Additionally, the bearings come in unitised packages with all the accessories that are required, including stainless steel washers, nickel-plated shaft locking collars, and open or closed covers.”

The partnership between CBC and Rexnord has facilitated benefits for both businesses as well as the end customer.

“The fact that Rexnord and CBC both have a local branch to support the facility is an excellent benefit. Rexnord have actually adjusted their stock holding to reflect our customer’s needs,” says Leon. “We’re also going to do another site survey at the plant utilising our combined expertise to identify what other Rexnord opportunities exist onsite.”