Motion Control & Drives

High-performance additives and lubricants for sugar processing

May 2023 Motion Control & Drives

BMG provides engineering components and support services to the sugar industry, ensuring high productivity, reduced energy consumption, minimal downtime and long service life of systems.

“The BMG team has seen operators in the local sugar sector face continuing difficulties with transmissions, for example, with the gearing in conveyor systems in arduous conditions. Problems occur where dust accumulates in the transmission, thus increasing friction between the gears and other components, and accelerating wear,” explains business development manager, Carlo Beukes. “This results in greater wear and higher temperatures. Another problem is the high ambient temperature, which increases the temperature of the oil in the transmission. The risk of inadequate lubrication and excessive wear thus increases, adding the threat of defects of the conveyor system, and subsequent loss of production.”

It is critical that gearboxes in the sugar industry function at optimal performance at all times to be able to efficiently control the speed of motors used in various applications. Without regular lubrication, friction would affect integral parts of the gearbox, thus compromising efficiency, and resulting in failure. Lubrication cools internal components and protects metal from corrosion, which reduces wear of the system.

Since the launch of Liqui Moly Cera Tec industrial wear protection last year, the BMG team has received positive feedback from customers in the sugar sector that these additives are proving to be highly effective in protecting gears in sugar mills. Customers report there are now fewer operational problems, including improved dust control, lower maintenance and replacement requirements, and longer service life of critical components.

Cera Tec Ceramic additives – with exceptional resistance to high temperature and pressure − improve reliability of industrial equipment, lower engine and transmission noise, minimise maintenance requirements, and reduce downtime. Other benefits include energy savings, reduced risk of contamination, lower pollutant emissions and more efficient operating costs.

Cera Tec – developed by Liqui Moly in Germany, global leaders in additives, motors, transmissions and hydraulic oils − is a micro-ceramic solid lubricant suspension based on hexagonal boron nitride (BN) in selected base oils. This product reduces friction and protects the engine and transmission against wear, thus extending service life of assemblies.

The graphite-like structure of resilient ceramic particles, with high mechanical and thermal stability, fill in the roughness in the metal of oil lubricated engines, transmissions, pumps and compressors, thereby preventing direct metal-on-metal contact. An active chemical utilises the existing friction energy to ensure a smooth-running effect that reduces fuel consumption in petrol and diesel engines. The < 0,5 µm particle size guarantees optimum filter flow properties and protects against depositing of solid lubricant particles. Cera Tec is miscible with all industrial oils.

Experts have proved that with the inclusion of Cera Tec additives in transmission oil, the temperature of the transmission oil decreases by up to 20°C. This solution not only offers improved protection of machines, but also reduces the risk of malfunctions, and lowers maintenance costs.

In power transmission systems that do not use specially designed additives, it is easy to see how heating destroys lubrication properties and has a negative effect on bearings and equipment. Lower operating temperatures mean longer lasting fuel and components, increasing the transmission’s life expectancy.

Oil temperature influences not only the bulk temperature of gears and bearings, but also the integral contact temperature. Besides the roughness of the mating surfaces and the applied load, the contact temperature is strongly influenced by circumferential speed. At a lower speed, which occurs mostly at the output of a gearbox, the oil temperature, bulk temperature of gears and bearings, and contact temperature, all approximate each other more closely. A reduction of the oil temperature leads to a substantial increase of oil viscosity during operation, resulting in the formation of a thicker lubricant film on component surfaces, which is critical to protect against damage.

The increase of operating temperature also affects the lifetime of oil, for instance if the operating threshold is 80°C, with every 10 degree increase, the effect is a concerning 50% reduction of the oil lifespan. This is very often not a consideration when oil lubrication intervals are set out by maintenance teams.

BMG is a complete process solutions provider to the sugar sector, which means all players in the industry – from cane growers to the sugar refinery – can access all essential quality branded products and essential support services from one reliable supplier. This integrated approach guarantees lower production costs and higher efficiencies.


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