Schaeffler Australia, through its close partnership with Inenco, supports the construction industry with a range of bearings that provide reduced friction and heavy loading to reduce machine downtime for its customers.
According to a McKinsey report on Reinventing Construction, the sector’s annual productivity growth has only increased one per cent over the last 20 years.
Increased productivity is highly sought after in the industry. Long idle times limit high productivity and it is widely recognised as one of the factors to focus on when considering a component and system solution from a supplier.
Unexpected machine breakdowns, extensive lead times and product availability significantly delay projects and increase costs for plant owners.
Martin Grosvenor, Products and Sector Manager for Schaeffler Australia, says reliable bearings and system solutions are integral to construction equipment when aiming to prevent breakdowns and increase productivity.
“Quality components are essential to every machine. We specialise in designing and manufacturing high quality premium performance bearings. Our bearings have higher basic dynamic load ratings compared to conventional products, resulting in a longer rating life and service life. Ultimately, if a machine’s life cycle is extended utilising Schaeffler bearings, the machine owners will have a lower cost of ownership on their assets.” Mr. Grosvenor says.
The Schaeffler Group is one of the largest family owned companies in Europe with over 90,000 dedicated employees and manufacture over 40,000 products. In Australia the industrial division provides components and systems to a range of industries such as mining, oil & gas, wind power, steel, food & beverage and including the off-road sector where quality bearings are essential.
Both INA and FAG are Schaeffler’s brand of bearings. Schaeffler’s product range is available in Australia through an authorised distributor network. Together, Schaeffler and Inenco provide support to customers and supply components and systems for planned and unplanned maintenance events. CBC and BSC are part of the Inenco Group, which distribute Schaeffler products over 80 locations across Australia.
The FAG and INA brands complement each other well across the range, their use is far reaching into the automotive, industrial and aerospace industries and their applications.
Initially, INA and FAG were competitors until the Schaeffler Group acquired FAG in the 1990’s. Schaeffler now use the expertise from both brands to enhance its component and system offering across the globe.
“Both the FAG and INA brands are premium performance bearings available globally,” Mr. Grosvenor says.
“Schaeffler manufacture a wide range of anti-friction rolling and plain bearings. Our products are used in a variety of machine applications including standardised and customised bearings, for example, those found in electric motors, crushers, vibrating screens, excavators, cranes and tunnel boring machines,” Mr. Grosvenor says.
Original equipment manufacturers and contractors use Schaeffler bearings to build and maintain machines used in the construction and building industry sectors. Global brands such as Caterpillar, Liebherr, Komatsu and Terex select and use Schaeffler products in mobile and fixed plant machines.
“Rotating equipment reliability is an important factor for owners and operators of machinery. Machine reliability is paramount to ensure their projects meet construction deadlines” Mr. Grosvenor says.
Schaeffler bearings are designed and manufactured to precise dimensional tolerances with special surface finishes and surface coatings. These features ensure the bearings operate with minimal friction between the rolling elements and raceways.
When friction is reduced, the operating temperature is lowered enabling the lubrication to last longer, extending the operational life of the equipment.
“The correct lubrication specification is crucial to separate the rotating components. When this is accomplished, we reduce the wear on the bearing, and when the bearing lasts longer the machine lasts longer” Mr. Grosvenor says.
Despite a reduction in friction the bearings may still be required to work at elevated temperatures especially when transmitting heavy loads.
“Schaeffler use different heat treatment methods to produce bearings that are heat stabilised to withstand elevated operating temperatures. The quality of steel used to manufacture the bearings is essential for premium products. High quality steel must be clean, wear and abrasive resistant with high fatigue load properties. We utilise a variety of alloy steel to achieve these goals,” Mr. Grosvenor says.
Schaeffler manufactures a range of premium performance class of bearings called X-life, with increased load carrying capacity.
The X-life range ensures the bearings are characterised by higher basic dynamic load ratings compared to conventional products, resulting in increased reliability and longer operating life.
“The service life of rolling bearings and machine reliability is important for both original equipment manufacturers and end-users as unexpected breakdowns are not only expensive but can damage other parts of a machine such as gears or shaft,” Mr. Grosvenor says.
If problems or premature bearings failures do occur, Schaeffler can provide after sales support for technical issues. Schaeffler offers a network of highly experienced in-house engineers across Australia further supported by their established network of authorised distributors. Schaeffler Australia has qualified and experienced mechanical and field service engineers on-hand to assist our customers to find the right solutions.
Mr. Grosvenor says the durability and reliability of Schaeffler bearings make them the supplier of choice for worldwide equipment manufacturers and road construction companies.
“Globally our customers demand safe and reliable machines capable of operating in extreme conditions, Schaeffler bearings and solutions help our customers achieve these goals at the lowest Total Cost of Ownership.”