The Situation

A producer of industrial minerals was grappling with recurring mechanical failures affecting one of their main twin mixer drive systems on-site. The planetary gearboxes within the application had failed and been repaired many times, with components such as the upper bearings not lasting beyond three months. The cost implications of this, as well as the amount of operational downtime being suffered, had become a major issue. As a result, the customer was considering completely replacing the entire machine for a new one, at considerable expense.

The Solution

The Hayley Exeter team invited a representative of STM UK, a preferred supply partner of Hayley Group, to attend site and attempt to diagnose the issue and pose a solution. It was soon identified that inadequate lubrication was the main cause of the persistent failures. The original manufacturer had not provided sufficient means for the upper bearings in the gearbox to be lubricated, especially given the restricted access and temperature ranges that the application is subjected to.

STM offered to replace both gearboxes with their own planetary units, well-suited to the application and small enough to fit within the existing footprints. An oil tank system was also designed, built and, installed within a few days of the quote being accepted to provide consistent and adequate lubrication to the bearings.

The Result

The gearboxes were able to be delivered from stock and installed quickly, as was the brand-new oil tank system that is key to preventing the lubrication-related failures from recurring.

Shortly after the new system was commissioned, Hayley and STM visited the site to verify was everything was working as planned. With positive feedback, the customer was left with the promise of further support in future should it be required. The site is already well-supported by the Hayley Exeter branch team for components, consumables, and related services.

Twelve months on from the switch being completed, the gearboxes have suffered no failures. Instead, they have operated without issue. This has significantly reduced the downtime suffered by the twin mixer drive system, preventing costly revenue losses and helping to maintain production levels at the site. Now that the bearings are sufficiently lubricated at all times, their service life has been extended. As a result, costs previously mounting have now been brought under control.