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Metalock Engineering Group’s thermal spraying expertise keeps the beans moving

The worn journal, before being orbitally machined, thermally sprayed and then finish turned to accept a new bearing sleeve.

Bean Processor - rotary sterilizer shaft recovery

The backbone of the baked bean production process is sterilization of the finished product in sealed tins and any breakdown in the plant used could have very serious consequences. As a result processors pay a great deal of attention to regular maintenance checks of all their critical equipment.

Had the shaft replacement option, which normally takes up to 10 days to complete, been chosen, the cost would have been in the region of £25,000. Doing it the Metalock way, the repair cost was halved and was completed in half the time.

Worn shaft repair

Recently, a leading processor found a suspect bearing on one of its sterilizer units and if previous experience was anything to go by there was a high chance that a new drive shaft would need to be fitted fairly early to return the machine to production. This had been undertaken on other units previously and proved to be a rather expensive option, both with regard to downtime and replacement shaft costs.

The sterilizer plant suppliers in Belgium, FMC, have been using Metalock Engineering Group to repair worn shafts for a considerable time. When FMC heard that their customer might have a problem they recommended contact with Metalock. They visited the processing plant and after assessing the situation proposed a cost effective solution – a combination of orbital machining and thermal spraying. This was accepted.

Over a long weekend, the sterilizer was partly stripped to clear space on the drive shaft and allow Metalock engineers to set up their orbital turning equipment. The journal area of the shaft was then machined down to 115mm diameter by 90mm long and the thermal spraying system installed.

Sufficient metal was then deposited on the machined area to permit a final orbital turning operation and restore the shaft’s original 125mm diameter to accept a new tight fit SKF bearing sleeve. Within 4 days of being shut down, the sterilizer was back in operation.

Had the shaft replacement option, which normally takes up to 10 days to complete, been chosen, the cost would have been in the region of £25,000. Doing it the Metalock way, the repair cost was halved and was completed in half the time.

Thermal spraying specialists

Metalock Engineering Group is one of the leading specialists in thermal spraying which can be used to effectively repair and recondition, provide an anti-corrosion or heat shield surface, prevent erosion or provide insulation. Metalock’s team of highly trained specialists operate in the company’s workshops or on site, as the task demands and have the skills to achieve high specification results on all types of components. Typical deposited materials include steel, tungsten carbide, chrome carbide, ceramics and plastics and these are deposited using high velocity oxygen fuel (HVOF), flame spraying, arc spraying or plasma spraying techniques.

Find out how our experience working in the process industry can help save you time and money.