Last year, Motion Australia introduced the globally recognised Timken range of food-grade bearing products. These hygienic, widely applicable components have been met with customer satisfaction in many of Australia’s food handling sectors, including abattoirs, breweries and confectionary plants. Ensuring the use of food safe parts on conveyor, filling and packing systems is crucial in manufacturing, as firm HACCP and ISO codes are considered baseline across the industry.

Timken’s exciting new expansion of this product range – the Poly-round Plain Bearing Housed Units – are now entering the Australian OEM market, with supply exclusively available through Motion Australia. These bearing solutions can withstand the rigorous hygiene procures of the food production industry, and are made from corrosion-resistant materials. The high pressure and chemical washdowns that are necessary in maintaining clean worksites can often damage generic bearings in a matter of weeks, whereas Timken’s products have proven durable over much longer periods of time.

Leon Stefanec, National Business Development Manager Food & Beverage at Motion Australia, has been working alongside manufacturers to supply bearing solutions in the Australian market for a long time. This has given him a thorough insight on how bearing design can impact the overall performance of a production line, and he elaborates on the diversity of the Poly-round equipment that allows for tailored use across many different types of equipment.

“These bearing units undeniably elevate food safety, improve production up-time and extend bearing life. They are available in six different polymers, depending on the application needs extreme temperature ranges, chemical resistance, or high-speed capabilities. They have been continuously outperforming conventional bearings in an assorted range of environments.”

The primary benefit of this range is the no-maintenance and lubrication free capabilities. Rather than incorporating a ball or roller design, the units are constructed of high-performance polymer material. This feature alone significantly decreases downtime otherwise spent on re-greasing, especially when utilised repeatedly around a site location. By investing at the outset of bearing integration, businesses can make significant cost savings on years of lubricant consumption.

“Unlike generic brands, these bearings can withstand aggressive caustic or wash down solutions,” Leon says. “So far in Australia, they are being used in the poultry industry and have demonstrated high performance over a 12 month period.

The QuiKlean casing eliminates dead volume between the machinery and base of the housing frame, allowing thorough and efficient washdown from all angles. Additionally, the smooth outer surfaces and precise laser marking makes removing reside far more accessible. Being able to effectively clean the bearing without extended pause online movement means more time spent in production.

The risk of bearing damage is lower with these exceptionally well-made units, but responsible manufacturing involves preparing for the worst. The blue thermoset or stainless steel housings are optically detectable if dislodged, leading to faster identification and contamination removal. This is a highly beneficial design aspect, as undetected stray components usually lead to costly product recall and reputational damage for food manufacturers.

The Poly-Round housing units are designed specifically with the food industry in mind. The stringent consumables safety requirements of mechanical parts necessitate only the highest quality and long wearing guarantee. Timken delivers on both of these fronts, as the bearing units comply with international and Australian regulations such as USDA and NSF/ANSI/3-A SSI-14159-1-2014, HACCP and HARCP.

They are easy to install and change out, with tailored mounting styles for unique placement and rotation needs. Further adaptability comes with their dimensionally interchangeable options, rendering them compatible with most industry standard bearings. This makes upgrading entire work sites to the Timken product easier, more cost effective and with as little downtime as possible.

Food production often involves extreme temperature ranges, and linear systems must have guaranteed strength capacity regardless. The Poly-round parts are designed to operate at full capacity between -40°C and 93°C, without compromised clasp or weight bearing capabilities. They are also moisture resistant, with a protective coating against the corrosion that can often occur due to condensation and other harsh environmental factors.

The AISI 316 shaft-locking sleeve is held in place by Timken KleanCap screws – these do away with deep socket crevices that could potentially harbour bacteria in a food handling environment. The sleeve itself protects the shaft from day-to-day wear to significantly extend the bearing life and lengthen time between necessary maintenance.

Applicable to an extensive range of manufacturing equipment such as modular conveyor belts, dumper pivots, horizontal mixers, freezers and bottling machinery, the Poly-Round series displays exceptional performance in a relatively new area of specialised bearing requirements. According to Leon, Australian customers can rely on Timken to address small but significant details that make the lives of production teams easier.

“The overall unit is made up of three components – a blue housing, a black bearing polymer insert, and a stainless steel locking sleeve. Timken keeps stock of all these components, and can dispatch very quickly to fulfil orders through Motion Australia. With other brands, you are sometimes contending with an 8 to 10 week lead time, plus shipping, but because of our close supply partnership we can get our hands on these parts much faster.”

OEM customers can arrange to consult with a Motion Australia sales engineer on the appropriate variation in specific plant settings. With multiple polymer styles to choose from, this range is being introduced as a project driven solution. Leon is confident in their potential impact as a time and cost saving factor for an increasing number of businesses.

“Being maintenance free means that this range delivers extremely high return on investment. If you think about all that time saved from pausing production, carrying out lubrication procedures and waiting around, the plant is using that time to carry on with production instead.”

Features & benefits

• Optically detectable blue thermoset

• Increased mounting strength

• Lubrication and maintenance free

• 100% corrosion proof