Supporting the building blocks of Australian manufacturing

Recent supply chain issues have strained Australia’s construction industry, with resources such as timber and steel proving more expensive to import at an increasingly lagging rate. This national reliance on outsourcing has highlighted the importance of local production and self-sufficiency in manufacturing vital materials.

On the NSW central coast, a company manufactures high-performance building blocks and panels from autoclaved aerated concrete (AAC). These panels contain an anti-corrosion steel reinforcement, making them ideal for domestic or infrastructure projects such as walls, floors or exterior cladding.

Michael Burgess, Key Account Manager at Radio Canada Beresfield, said the company’s 30 years of experience in the manufacturing industry makes it a valued customer with a service footprint in residential, commercial, industrial and utility applications.

“I’m proud to say I’ve worked with them for a long time,” he said. “They trust us to maintain their site on an ongoing basis to resolve any technical issues. CBC provides them with many types of bearings, specialist sealants, lubricants, V-belts, cam followers and various power transmission including roller chains, couplings etc. I visit their site every two weeks to check everything and make sure we have ongoing communication on the effectiveness of the product.

According to Burgess, one of the main units sold to this customer is the Schaeffler INA linear recirculating ball bearing, used to support product movement on large automated machinery. These highly versatile linear guide systems have adjustable clearance and are capable of long, unlimited round trips along a guideway.

“These bearings are crucial for most on-site automated processes, in dynamic systems that manufacture a large volume of cement bricks,” Burgess explained. “The machines in the plant mix the wet concrete, cook it and then shape large building panels of different sizes. There are a lot of factors to consider in an environment like this around safety, temperature and corrosion.

Although much attention is often paid to rotating bearings, linear systems are equally important to the success and efficiency of industrial equipment. Hidden within the undercarriage, these parts are responsible for supporting the weight and movement of a large volume of products, and must also withstand environmental stresses.

“Schaeffler linear bearings stand out in the market for their extreme precision and sealing quality,” Burgess said. “When you’re considering a tracking component like this, which can carry a relatively heavy load, alignment and accuracy have to be perfect. He can’t be sloppy or prone to leaning.

“There is also a seal at each end of the bearing, and they are crucial. As the unit moves back and forth on the track, it often picks up dust and other contaminants, so it is important that they cannot get inside the bearing to potentially cause binding or accelerated wear.

Because these landings can be connected directly to adjacent construction, they encourage flexible low section height solutions. The complete INA guide system includes two recirculating linear ball bearings, lubrication connectors, full or half guide rails and plastic closing plugs.

The bearing units themselves feature hardened steel saddle plates and precision ground element raceways. The balls sit in a closed channel with plastic return elements, with a cap that holds the balls in place until the bearing is mounted in the application.

Schaeffler and CBC have worked together for over 60 years to provide a premium service to a range of industry sectors, earning a strong reputation and successful supplier partnership across Australia.

“We collaborate with Schaeffler on many different customer projects, and our joint effort always benefits the long-term bottom line,” Burgess said. “Their product expertise coupled with CBC’s long history of serving the Australian industrial market means that together we can offer the best possible solutions, with ongoing after-sales support.”

Features and Benefits of the Schaeffler INA Linear Recirculating Ball Bearing

  • Can support loads from all directions
  • Allows acceleration up to 100 m/s² and speeds up to 3 m/s
  • Interchangeable in any combination within a size and accuracy class
  • Suitable for oil and grease lubrication
  • Temperature tolerance between –10°C and 80°C
  • Available with corrosion resistant coating, Corrotect

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