BMG has completed the two-phase upgrade of its inhouse BTC bearing block unit (BBU) and housing range of products, which is manufactured exclusively for BMG, to stringent quality and safety specifications.
“Although the BTC range was developed for light to medium rotating equipment applications, recent important upgrades enable BTC bearings and components to be used safely in heavy-duty underground applications in mining, including the head and tail pulleys of underground conveyor belts. These robust units are also suitable for medium to heavy-duty underground mining applications, like underground conveyor systems and even crushers,” explains Carlo Beukes, Business Development Manager, Agricultural, Automotive and Lubrication divisions, BMG. “The first phase of the BTC bearings project involved an upgrade of all aspects of the bearing block units (UCP pillow blocks, UCFL and UCF flange, UCT take-up) designs, while the second phase encompassed advancements of the bearing housings (light duty SN and heavy-duty SD series).”
Phase one upgrades include an improved quality housing to ensure a stronger component that does not crack in tough conditions and a higher grade of steel for greater load capacity and speed stability. Because bearings form part of rotational equipment that is potentially hazardous, it is critical that these moving components are highly visible, rather than dark in colour. For enhanced safety, these upgraded housings are painted a new bright red, in line with all other BTC products.
As part of BMG’s ‘Going Green’ initiative, the packaging has been changed from a strong plastic bag to recycled wax paper. This new eco-friendly packaging will ensure a reduction of approximately 300 000 plastic bags per year, just from this one line of products.
Upgraded BBU’s benefit from an efficient amount of Shell Alvania EP2 grease (between 30% and 40% fill). For user convenience, these bearing blocks are supplied with an Allen Key and the installation and maintenance schedule is printed in English and Zulu, which is another first for this market.
Phase two of the project involved the upgrade of all aspects of BTC bearing housings. Materials have been advanced from SD3134 to SD3164, in line with international premium brands. Grey Cast Iron HT200 grey, which replaces grey Cast Iron HT 150, can accommodate up to 200 Megapascal pressure ratings. In addition, SD3168 and larger sizes, are now manufactured from grey Cast Iron HT250 which can accommodate up to 250 Mega pascal pressure ratings.
Special attention has been given to improving the dimensional control on the housing bore tolerance, to ensure an optimal fit between the bearing and housing and to the sleeve tolerances, to prevent any run-outs. Other advancements include improved sealing arrangements to prevent the ingress of contaminants into the bearing housing, thereby safeguarding the unit, as well as the upgrade of all bearing locking elements.
BMG specialists emphasise that these design improvements and quality enhancements require selection of the correct lubrication solutions, to ensure optimum efficiency and extended service life of the system. A top-quality lubricant will ensure that the equipment is able to reach its L-10 design lifetime.
A wide range of industrial quality branded lubricants is available from BMG, including Habot, Liqui Moly and CRC, as well the company’s house-brand, which has been specifically formulated for the general applications. TF ALTIS EM2 is suitable for high speed, high temperature applications, like electric motors and industrial fans, while TF Multis L2 is a general purpose NGLI2 grease, ideally suited for wheel bearings. TF CERAN XM220, which is water resistant, is designed for low speed, high load, extreme pressure applications. H Syntec is a fully synthetic high- performance GP grease, perfect for bearings.
BTC bearing block units are available from BMG’s extended branch network, as well as through the company’s online shopping platform. This online shopping portal adds value to BMG’s service offering and makes shopping for engineering components even more convenient.