Visiting a client in the Pilbara can be an arduous process. Besides the transportation time to fly in and get out to site, working in the mines is a hot and dusty business. But Sinisa Petkovic doesn’t mind the experience, because he gets great satisfaction in providing solutions for his client – a metal miner that CBC has been servicing for over a decade.
“It’s a fly-in-fly-out site that is two hours out of Perth. You arrive around seven in the morning, deposit your luggage, and go out to the site. It’s a different experience, but one I’m happy to undertake – I like getting out on-site and seeing firsthand where we can add value and improve the operation,” explains Sinisa, who is a Key Account Executive for CBC Australia in Malaga, Western Australia. “On the last visit we inspected every single conveyor, carefully noting each bearing, the details of the housing, and checking the lubrication was adequate.”
Importantly, Sinisa says the mining company has come to lean on CBC’s expertise and advice in a wide range of mechanical applications, particularly with critical assets such as conveyors.
“Over the years we’ve actually built a relationship with the guys on site, particularly the maintenance personnel and the supervisors,” he says. “They will ask for our advice regarding a surfeit of issues they may be experiencing on their conveyor systems, whether it be lubrication, bearings, sealings or belt issues.”
Sinisa points out that a conveyor can have anywhere from two to 15 pulleys on it, so each could vary greatly from one to another in terms of the complexity of their design. He notes that where CBC could provide value-adding service besides the supply of parts and products is in their thorough site surveys and engineering services.
“For example, we’ve developed – through our engineering team managed by Gary Payne – a version of a taconite seal that is specifically suited to one of their applications. They’re very happy with the success of this seal and are looking to make this part of their specifications,” he says. “And this type of innovation comes from the relationship we’ve built and grown with this client, as well as being out on-site to get a good understanding of their operations and how well the solutions are working for them as a whole.”
Another example where CBC provided significant value to this particular mining customer was with their cone crusher machinery. CBC worked with an original equipment manufacturer to design the drive on the crusher for the customer, and this included the supply of the correct Fenner banded belts.
The Fenner Concord PLUS banded belts combine the advantages of wedge belts with a neoprene-fabric band that forms a single belt. They are ideal for applications where pulsating or shock loads cause instability in matched sets of wedge or V-belts.
“The Fenner banded belts are suited to this application because they eliminate whipping of the belt, which is a common issue,” Sinisa explains. “Whip is often caused by incorrect tensioning and is typical to long centre drives. If a slightly higher or lower tension does not cure the problem, there may be a critical vibration frequency in the system and that’s where we recommend using these Fenner banded belts.”
Moreover, the Fenner banded belts are heat and oil resistant, and fully approved by all international standards including the BS 3790 British Standard. They are also supplied to suit either the Fenner® ISO standard Taper Lock® pulleys or RMA standard pulleys.
At the end of the day, however, it’s the trust that CBC will not just supply a part for the job, but ensure it is the best match for the particular application – backed with on-site experience and expertise.
“We provide the drive design calculations to determine how many belts they need, and the lengths required,” Sinisa expands. “We show why the belt is suited to the drive and application. We take pride in the work that we do to ensure that our customers have the best available product and service from us.”