“Once we put them in, we don’t have to worry,” says Omar Kheir about the Timken® spherical roller bearing solid-block housed units.

As State Engineering Manager for Sims Metal Management in New South Wales, that’s high praise. Sims Metal Management is the world’s leading – and publicly listed – metal recycler, with wide-ranging operations in Australia. The company was founded in Sydney back in 1917 and has grown to include over 250 recycling facilities in more than 20 countries worldwide. Sims Metal Management specialise in the buying, processing and reselling of ferrous and non-ferrous recycled metals.

“Given the conditions of our processing facilities – which classify as being heavy industry environments – these bearing units cop a lot of punishment,” explains Kheir.  “But we have absolute confidence in their performance. They do the job well, despite the tough environment.”

For Kheir and the reliability teams who work within the Sims Metal Management shredding operations in NSW, having the Timken® product in employment relieves a lot of maintenance concerns.

“Their reliability is a big advantage. We know they won’t fail. It takes a lot of the pressure off the maintenance staff,” says Kheir.  “My understanding is that the Timken® spherical roller bearing solid-block housed units are a standard in heavy industry as they work so well in this application.”

Tony Tormey, who is CBC Australia’s Product Manager for Industrial Bearings, confirms Kheir’s assumption in that the Timken® spherical roller bearing solid-block housed units are a standard for heavy industry applications such as those experienced in the metal recycling sector.

“The Timken® spherical roller bearing solid-block housed units – formerly known as ‘blue brute’ – is an absolute industry standard for heavy industry applications. They’re the strongest unit on the market,” Tormey enthuses. “When you’ve got heavy product moving through conveyors, the bearing units need to be able to cope with the loads as well as withstand contamination.”

The Timken® spherical roller bearing solid-block housed units are the only spherical roller bearing housed units to provide cast steel solid-block housings as standard. This feature gives the bearing unit its exceptional strength under extreme operating conditions, whilst the range of locking and sealing options protect the bearings from contaminants; allowing for extended life.

Issues with shaft alignment are also common in heavy industry and these affect the life expectancy of housed units. However, the Timken® spherical roller bearing solid-block housed units have been designed to accept a total of 1.5 degrees of misalignment, which can significantly improve longevity.

Tormey says the design features ensure a more durable and longer bearing unit life compared to alternative split type units that are the typical in heavy industry conveying applications. But as Kheir mentioned, the easy installation of the Timken® solid-block units is a key feature that remains unmatched.

“The ease of fitting and the installation time of about 20 minutes with a Timken® spherical roller bearing solid-block housed unit compared to at least 90 minutes for a split type unit is a big advantage,” Tormey stresses. “The fact that the Timken® product is also a sealed unit that’s ready to install means it is not exposed to contaminants, unlike split type blocks which are exposed to the elements during the installation process. That can create a problem from the outset in an environment such as a metal recycling operation where contamination is always a key concern.”

Moreover, the Timken® spherical roller bearing solid-block housed units include precision locking styles and there are advanced seal options available to offer even further protection from contaminants.

When it comes down to it though, for Kheir and the team working on maintenance in the Sims Metal Management recycling operations, it’s about keeping the machinery in working order.

“These units get the job done. In a huge operation such as ours, that’s what matters,” he says.

In terms of support, Tormey reiterates the role that CBC plays in helping customers such as Sims Metal Management to improve the efficiency and productivity of their operations.

“CBC have a large footprint and our staff profile is second to none in terms of collective expertise. We also provide engineering services that range from installation and problem solving to advanced predictive maintenance services,” he says. “For clients such as those in the recycling sector, helping them choose the right type of solution and ensuring that solution is installed and working at its optimum, is really important. That’s what we’re about. We’re not just a distributor of products, we’re a solutions provider. Our goal is to provide our customers with viable solutions that improve the reliability of their machinery and save them money.”

The relationship that CBC and Timken® share is also unique and beneficial to the end customer, confirms Tormey.

“We work jointly with Timken® to deliver solutions to customers. In conjunction with Timken®, we provide onsite training on the solid-block units to ensure correct installation. Our CBC engineering team also have an intimate knowledge of how these units work and which applications they are best suited to. This specialised knowledge is hugely beneficial for the customer.”