THE BEGINNING OF A BETTER SOLUTION

The Issue

After years of trying various manufacturers and solutions BHP approached McNeall Plastics in the early 2000’s to work with them in developing a solution for the issues they were experiencing with their pivot bushes.

Originally manufactured using manganese steel, this material was creating a multitude of issues, which significantly impacted the productivity and profitability levels of BHP’s operations.

The Impact

  • High contact loading causing significant wear
  • Considerable down time
  • Ineffective grease lubrications due to high bearing loadings
  • Excessive bearing operating temperature, also due to high bearing loadings
  • Exorbitant noise output audible over 5km radius, both in pitch and distance

The Process

This project saw the McNeall Plastics and BHP teams work collaboratively over a period of years to develop the optimal custom-made solution BHP needed. A solution that would not only eliminate the issues being experienced by BHP, but that would also deliver substantial value and advantages to BHP over the long-term.

Weekly site visits, extensive research, comprehensive testing, continual refinement and enhancement saw the evolution of a high performance engineering plastic that, to date, outperforms all other traditional materials such as steel, bronze and brass.

The Solution

The custom-made solution that emerged was AustLon® Bushes. Engineered to outperform, this unique and exclusively manufactured plastic bush provided BHP with numerous benefits including but not limited to:

  • High impact resistance
  • Excellent noise reduction and vibration dampening
  • Resistance to brittleness and UV deterioration
  • Low friction due to high lubricity
  • Exceptional machinability
  • Flexibility of design
  • Resistance to chemicals and corrosion

The Implementation

The implementation was achieved via amending the existing housing to accommodate a full-length welded internal sleeve that was to become the bearing house. Engineered plastic space washers were also used to comprise the complete pivot bearing assembly.

The change from flanged bushes to spacer washers enabled for easier assembly whilst eliminating the risk of damage and greater flexibility of side clearance adjustment.

All components were manufactured with AustLon®.

The Outcome

This project overcame the bushes issues formerly experienced by BHP. The raft of benefits our custom-made solution delivered to BHP includes but is not limited to:

  • Bearing pressure of design was reduced by to a third of its former amount of pressure
  • Down time was significantly reduced
  • Enabled the grease to function
  • Reduced to 1/3rd and down time according to its design performance features due to lower bearing pressure
  • Decreased noise emissions in pitch and radius reduced from 5km to under 1km

TO DATE MCNEALL PLASTICS CONTINUES TO SUPPLY BHP WITH THIS CUSTOM-MADE SOLUTION.

WHILST OTHER MANUFACTURERS AND SUPPLIERS HAVE TRIED TO DELIVER THE SAME BENEFITS, OUR EXCLUSIVELY DESIGNED AND MANUFACTURED AUSTLON OUTPERFORMS INFERIOR REPLICAS AND OUTLASTS TRADITIONAL MATERIALS SUCH AS BRASS, BRONZE & STEEL.

THAT’S WHY WE CONTINUE TO BE THE PRIMARY SUPPLIER TO THE MINING SECTOR AND VERTICAL DISTRIBUTION CHANNELS SUCH AS ENGINEERING FIRMS.