Bearings supplier aims to hit sweet spot at Durban sugar congress
17 July 2019 | Web Article Number: ME201915488
BEARINGS International (BI) aims to exhibit its range of products for the maintenance and equipment upgrade requirements of sugar mills at the 92nd South African Sugar Technologists’ Association (SASTA) Congress from 20 to 22 August at the International Convention Centre in Durban.
BI is the official distributor for SENQCIA Chain, formerly known as Hitachi, manufactured in Japan, and Ewart Chain, manufactured in England. Other products supplied to sugar mills include ordinary transmission chain, bearings, industrial gearboxes, and lubricants. On-site inspections throughout the year form part of BI’s value-added service offering for the sugar industry.
“We have seen an increased demand for the refurbishment service offered at our Durban branch, where we strip, inspect, and reassemble chain using new components where necessary,” said BI Sugar Division Manager Nick Allanson.
“Our ability to advise a client whether or not a particular component needs to be refurbished, or will run for another season, is vital for the sugar industry at present, which is facing constraints such as ever tighter margins.
“Our aim is to assist our clients to reduce their total cost of ownership significantly, with a key focus on extending the life of components without putting the production capacity of sugar mills at risk.”
He added that this strategy of helping to contain costs by obtaining longer life from chain products and refurbishing specific components where possible had made BI one of the most proactive suppliers in the sugar industry.
In supplying sugar mills as far afield as Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Malawi, Swaziland, and Mozambique, BI also offers technical advice and operator training, not only to boost productivity, but to ensure the buy-in of local communities.
“In rural areas, sugar mills typically form the economic backbone of these communities, and that is why it so important to do all that we can to assist in preventing job losses,” Allanson said.
Further to this is the need to assist in the promotion and development of green energy. Many African sugar mills are already supplying electricity to the grid in their country of operation. Worldwide, ethanol produced from sugar cane is an accepted additive to fuel to lower carbon emissions.
“It seems policymakers in South Africa have realised the value of this green resource, and indications are that policy will be introduced to create a greater market for ethanol, which will go some way to assisting in the long-term viability of the sugar industry.”
BI has been supplying industrial power transmission products to the sugar industry for the past 60 years. Allanson said an area of expertise has been the design, selection, and supply of specialised chains for sugar mills in particular.
“On-time delivery is critical, and here BI is sufficiently flexible to be able to manage its stockholding according to the specific requirements of the various sugar mills it services.”
The premier event for the sugar industry, the 2019 SASTA Congress will provide a platform for the latest sugar-cane research and innovations. An accompanying trade exhibition allows key suppliers to engage with the sugar industry and present its full service and product offering.