Maintenance, Test & Measurement, Calibration

BMG services the sugar industry

August 2017 Maintenance, Test & Measurement, Calibration

BMG’s KZN field service team has been involved in a number of field service projects in the local sugar industry during recent off-crop season, as well as dealing with urgent breakdowns in sugar mills and refineries.

Large projects are a speciality

A recent field service project completed during the previous off-crop season was a turnkey in situ replacement of diffuser head shaft bearings and the complete refurbishment of the multi misalignment couplings driving each end of the head shaft.

“BMG’s design and installation team faced many challenges during this project, including the lack of engineering drawings required for the manufacture of replacement components,” says Chris Johns, regional manager, KZN and Swaziland. “This meant bearing sleeves could only be machined after the extraction of components, some of which had been in operation for approximately 20 years.”

Restricted space for moving enormous components, added to the difficulties of the project. Due to extended reach of the head shaft, it was not feasible to employ the conventional approach of using mobile cranes. Instead, support structures were specially manufactured and placed under the 126 ton head shaft and used to jack the shaft up and out of the pedestals, allowing the team access to replace the 900 mm bore diameter bearings.

“BMG coped with extremely tight timeframes to manufacture replacement components and complete the project, which also involved the installation of new bearings and adaptor sleeves, as well as new keys and connector arms for the couplings,” adds Johns.

Repair of a mill gearbox

BMG’s field service team also recently attended to a failure on a mill gearbox in KZN, where the coupling box had seized, causing excessive axial loading on the final drive bearings, resulting in a failure.

The complete mill gearbox had to be dismantled, all gearing dressed, and the damaged components repaired. Scope of operations also included fitting and mounting of all bearings, reassembly of the gearbox and alignment and blueing of all gearing. BMG supplied new bearings, adaptor and withdrawal sleeves, seals and grease for this project.

BMG is committed to providing engineering solutions and technical services that optimise productivity to make a difference to the efficiencies of every sugar mill and refinery.

A wide range of products, selected especially for the sugar industry is available throughout Africa. These components include carrier and diffuser chain, knife and shredder bearing housings, custom sprockets and gear couplings, as well as steam gaskets, heat exchangers and hydraulic tools. Diffuser and mill gear boxes, in addition to mill lubrication and hydraulic systems, form a critical part of this range.

BMG’s specialist services to the sugar sector include bearing and gearbox inspection, bearing and chain refurbishment, large size bearing assembly and alignment and balancing, as well as customised product design. The company also offers a troubleshooting and maintenance service, condition monitoring and training.

For more information contact Chris Johns, BMG, +27 (0)31 534 4825,,


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