MechChem Africa October 2017
Mech Chem OCTOBER 2017 AFRICA
This month: Customised agricultural solutions for African soil
The convergence of PLM software and the IIoT
The RADIALcvt for EVs and industrial reducers
Hydrogen scanning for optimised refinery performance
Power transmission, bearings, bushes and seals 8 Customised agricultural solutions for African soil MechChem Africa visits BI’s Parkhaven distribution centre and talks to CEO, Burtie Roberts; Gerhard Pienaar, manager of the recently established agriculture sector product range; and business unit head, Ross Trevelyan. 10 The RADIALcvt for EVs and industrial reducers 13 New service packages for rotating equipment users Hydraulic and pneumatic systems 14 SS Nujoma sea vessel gets advanced hydraulic sampling tool Hytec has successfully designed, manufactured, installed and commissioned the hydraulics for three systems on board the advanced marine diamond-sampling vessel, the SS Nujoma. 17 Conserving energy with plug-and-play vacuum solutions 18 Standby valves and clean-style valve manifolds Computer-aided engineering 20 The convergence of PLM and the IIoT Charles Anderson of productONE highlights the role of technology as a vehicle of transformation for the defence sector. 22 VW Caddy fitted with 3D-printed front-end Automation, process control and instrumentation 24 A future-proof assembly concept for high-end shavers Sietze Bremer describes the implementation of a forward-looking automated assembly concept for Phillips shavers. 26 Smart sensors for smart factories: at the crux of Industry 4.0 28 Customised measurement, control and monitoring: A local specialist 30 E+H instruments are IIoT-ready; are your processes? Minerals processing, metallurgy and materials 32 Rapid drying oven improves sample turnaround times Developed in-house by thyssenkrupp Industrial Solutions South Africa, the Infra-Red (IR) rapid drying oven sets the speed and efficiency benchmark in mineral sample drying. Innovative engineering 38 Hydrogen scanning for optimised refinery performance Tshwane-based hydrogen specialist, RTS Africa Engineering, is now introducing H2scan hydrogen analysers, which are ideally suited to optimising the performance and efficiency of oil refineries. Regulars 2 Comment: Industry 4.0, employment and skills 4 On the cover: Process Automation: winning solutions from Festo Festo Process Automation introduces its new valve automation package using the analogy of a football team. 6 SAIChE News: Member profile MechChem Africa profiles SAIChE iCHEMe stalwart Philip Lloyd 34 Product and industry news 40 Back page: Enhanced vehicle communicator for the connected car
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October 2017 • MechChem Africa ¦ 1
Peter Middleton Industry 4.0, employment and skills U nemployment in SouthAfrica, according to Derek Yu of the University of theWestern Cape, is “shockingly high” and a deeper analysis reveals an even scarier picture: chronic joblessness and worrying details about the country’s youth unemployment statistics.
between systems, machine and components to enable further transparency, autonomy and optimisation of factories and production plants. It is already being implemented in upper and middle-income countries and aspects of it are arriving on our shores, too. Through all of these revolutions, working people have feared the change, arguing that factories/ma- chines/robots/The Internet will replace them. Yet today, unemployment in highly industrialised nations is low: 4.5% in the US and UK and 3.9% in Germany, while the rate in recession-hit Japan is lowest of all, at 3.6%. These statistics suggest that the advance of indus- trialisation is not the cause of high unemployment in South Africa. In addition, wages in the industrialised nations are significantly higher and, while poverty exists, it is less extreme. Why? Because working people are properly trained to do proper jobs involving the avail- able technologies. In his talk on the convergence of the Industrial Internet of Things and PLM software delivered at the AMDconferenceearlier thismonth, CharlesAnderson ofproductONEpointedoutsomeinterestingwaysthat Internet access and artificial intelligence, both central tenets of Industry 4.0, could be used to assist people towards higher productivity and skills levels. “Through augmented reality, it is possible to use technology tohelp tradesman such aswelders towork at much higher quality standards and productivity levels. This canhelp to transformour industry: creating jobswithout sacrificing thehighqualityof the required products,” says Anderson, adding, “augmenting peo- ple’s skills rather than replacing themwith automation technology enables people to remain competitive… In the South African context, such technologies can help overcome our skills challengeswhile creating jobs and improving productivity.” The tools involved in implementing the likes of augmented reality technologies –MicrosoftHoloLens, Tablets and Smartphones – are far more ‘youth- friendly’ than the hacksaws and files associated with past industrial trainingprogrammes, as are the training methodologies. If made accessible, our youth are sure to respond. To resolve our unemployment issues, we cannot simply close our eyes and wait for economic growth to miraculously return. Let’s embrace the new tech- nology, use our youth’s love for all things Internet- connected to develop high-level training courses. Thenwecan implement locallycustomisedversions of Industry 4.0 to better produce what we want and need while creating real jobs with real prospects. q
Yu reports that 39% of all unemployed South Africans have neverworked before and, among young people, this figure is even higher – at 60.3%. In addition, the elderly face the problem of long- term unemployment after they lose their jobs. A greater proportionof them lastworkedmore thanfive years ago : 47.4% for 50-65 year-olds. Despitepolicies suchas the2011NewGrowthPath tocreatefivemillion jobs and reduceunemployment to 15%bytheendof2020,only2.2-millionjobshavebeen created since and unemployment is sitting at 27.7%. This compared to the World Bank’s 2016 average unemployment rate for all upper and middle-income countries of 6.2%. 6.17-million South Africans are currently unem- ployed and “even more concerning is that the annual- isedunemployment growth rate of 4.8% is double that of employment growth (2.4%)”. Yu suggests that, to save the situation, the govern- ment might have tomake difficult choices: “accepting that certain age groups, above youth age are unem- ployable and need poverty alleviation interventions” and that government’s focus should be on “facilitating job opportunities for those aged between 15 and 29 who account for nearly half of the total unemployed”. Artificially created jobs are often associated with very lowpay and the least job satisfaction. Arguments already abound about theminimumwage, with labour unionswanting it raisedandemployers arguing that, to reduce unemployment, the minimum wage has to be virtually abolished. What is the quality of the jobs we are talking about, though? Shouldn’t we care? The world is currently going through its fourth industrial revolution, Industry 4.0. In the first, steam and water powered machines began to be used in factories toweave cloth, for example, putting the rural cottage industries out of business. Mass production of motorcars such as theModel T Ford followed in the second revolution, driven by the widespread avail- ability of electrical power. Then along came electronics, computers and advanced control of automatic machines and robots, which put the manual workers in factories on the streets, turning parts of traditional automotive cities, such as Detroit into ghettos. Todaywehave Industry4.0, whichadvances theuse of the Internet to connect and communicate with and
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2 ¦ MechChem Africa • October 2017
Festo South Africa has introduced a new valve automation package. To simplify this very complex topic, a global campaign with a microsite has been developed that creates an analogy between Process Automation and football. Alexander Acksel, head of Process Automation for Festo Europe West, takes us through this microsite and describes the company’s approach to choosing a winning strategy. Process Automation: winning solutions from Festo
“ F esto is widely known for fac- tory automation, the automatic handling of discreet tasks such as clamping and pick-and-place applications. Process Automation is about the automatic control of fluids and media flows. We have been doing this since 1996, when we presented the first linear actuators for opening and closing knife-gate valves,” Acksel begins. “At that time, we found thatmany custom- ers were buying Festo components and using them for process automation applications. So we started to tailor a product range in this direction to better service our clients.” Since then, Festo has been continuously launching new products across the whole automationpyramidand can thus nowdeliver a broad variety of process valve automation – complete solutions from a single source. . The key element of this campaign is the microsite. “As the starting point”, says Acksel, “you need to pick your league, which is the industry segment in which the ‘team of players’ will have to optimally control media flows. Four leagues have been indentified for Festo’s initial focus: Chemicals, including fine chemical, oil and gas and the petrochemical industry; Water, wastewater and industrial
skid purification plants; BiotechPharma and Cosmetics;andFoodandBeverage,whichisal- readyafactoryautomationsectorstrengthfor Festo – but with process automation, we are focusingon theuseofwater- and sugar-based liquids for food processing,” Acksel reveals. “When we select any one of the industry- segment ‘leagues’, we see the different auto- mation component ‘players’ that are needed in order to automate this sector’s process valves,” he sayswhile clicking on theChemical ‘league’. This ‘league’ focuses on ‘defence’ us- ingFesto’ssafeandreliablesolutionsforharsh environments. With respect to the ‘team players’ Acksel starts with the process valve. “Festo offers a range of valves for each target industry. In the case of the chemical sector, for instance, we are recommending our VZAV stainless steel butterfly valve as ‘the goalkeeper’, which features a one-piece shaft with high chemical resistance and non-stick properties due to its UltraleneCoating TM . It also features a replace- able liner for long service life. Clicking on the valve actuator image, Acksel points out the new Festo quarter turn DFPD actuator used as the ‘striker’ in this process automation team. ”This new actuator is a rack and pinion
Striker: DFPD actuator
Goalkeeper: VZBF ball valve
90°, so the actuator is simply sized to suit the breakaway torque of the valve. In contrast, a Scotch yoke actuator has a very high torque requirement Festo’s Process Automation team for the Chemical industry segment: The new valve automation package uses the analogy of a football team with component ‘players’ to ‘help win’ the process automation game.
at zero degrees, which reduces up to 45° and then increases again, which matches the characteristics of aball valve’s requirements,” he explains. The newDFPDactuators are preferred in the chemical industry, though. They are sim- ple, robust, reliable and easy to install, even whenspace is limited. Useable inATEXZone1 and with an SIL rating, they meet the needs of both low and high demand applications. Compact andmodular, the powerful DFPD is suitable for use at highand lowtemperatures, from -50 to +150 °C,” he notes, adding that they are available in anodised aluminium as well as with an Epoxy coating for additional corrosion protection. Then, in order to pilot the actuator, a so- lenoid is valve is needed: the ‘playmaker’ in the team. “In this case we choose the VOFC pilot valve, which is a high performance pilot valve designed for use in harsh outdoor environments. With amoulded, intrinsically safe coil, the VOFC pilot valve is suitable for ATEX Zone 1 and 2 applications and their equivalents. It is a proven-in-use endurance player, built to offer high and low temperature resistance and it is suitable for inline orNAMURmount-
single- or double-acting actuator suitable for ball valves, butterfly valves or air dampers. It provides a constant torque for open- ing angles from zero to
In order to make team selections easier for its new process valve automation package, Festo has
developed a microsite that summarises the attributes of all the players’ for each of the process automation ‘leagues’: Chemical; Water and Wastewater; BiotechPharma; and Food and Beverage. www.festo.com/teamwork
4 ¦ MechChem Africa • October 2017
⎪ Cover story ⎪
ideal partner for the pharma and cosmetics industries,” says Acksel. It features electro- polished surfaces (SFV4or 0,4µm), longweld- ed ends and clamp ferrules. Manufactured in 316L stainless steel, the valve and its seals are FDA-compliant, while cavity fillingminimises dead space to reduce the risk of microbial growth. Withrespecttoactuators,thequarterturn DFPD actuator along with a low-cost VSNC pilot valve is ideal for the clean environments in this industry, with the SRBC sensor box again being suitable. “We have also recently launched an angle seat valve, the new VZXA, and several other versions of this valve will become available in coming months,” he continues. Angle seat valves are ‘all round players’ for controlling process fluids. “Ball valves typicallyneed their soft seals to be changed every 20 000 cycles, while theVZXAanglevalvecanaccommodate millions of cycles, making them ideal for high switching cycle applications,” Acksel explains. “Another uniqueFestoproduct isour pinch valve for the BiotechPharma industry. With metal housing and a silicon sleeve, pneumati- cally operated pinch valves are able to stop themedia flowwithout having to cut through it. This makes them ideal for powders and solids, for tablet presses, for example,” he says. These valves come with an easily changed internal sleeve and are available in normally open and normally closed versions. “While many of the combinations for the Food and Beverage league are similar to BiotechPharma, the team is be more flexible, reliable and always plays clean. Food produc- tionhas tobe adapted todifferent application needs, from gaseous, liquid or even solid me- dia, so thereare farmore substitutes available to meet the diverse needs,” Acksel says. “Our aim is to simplify the complexprocess automation area and itsmultiple solutions, to make it easier for end users and OEM plant builders to access and use themost appropri- ate solutions available,” he says. “The approach significantly lowers instal- lation costs and, when it comes to mainte- nance work, only one company needs to be contacted for spares or service support.With respect to control concepts, Festo has the right game plan for every situation, includ- ing pneumatic operator panel, centralised installation, decentralised installation, hybrid installationandmodularautomation.Weeven offer additional value added services such as trainingcoursesthroughourDidacticdivision. ” Acksel says. “Most importantly, though, by carefully selectingthebestteamforthejob,unbeatable productivity,efficiencyandcost-effectiveness can be achieved, giving our customers the winningadvantage in theProcessAutomation field,” he concludes. q
Sweeper: SRBC sensor box
Playmaker: VOFC pilot valve
VZBE 3-way ball valve
ing. “It also has a high SIL range of up to SIL4 in the double channel ver- sions. Festo is the first company to have an un- limited SIL certification for this type of product, whichmeansthatthere is no service life limita- tion on this product’s SIL certificates,” Acksel points out. VOFC’s are available
range. Each part of the team is designed to ‘play’ together perfectly, without modifica- tions. We are a ‘one-stop-shop’ for complete solutions,” he tells MechChem Africa . As an alternative set-up for the chemical team, Acksel highlights the advantages of Festo’s DFPI linear actuator. “The sturdy and flexibleDFPI features an integrated position- er or displacement encoder, and an optimised guide rod for swivel motion, making it ideal for regulating air dampers, processing bulk materials or for regulating flowand fill levels. “It looks like a standard ISO cylinder, but the integrated position encoder enables accurate position sensing – typically 1.0 % on a stroke length of 1.0 m – which enables a very fast response to a set point change coming from the PLC,” he explains, adding that, because the positioner is built in, it is dust-protected and very robust. Moving onto the Water sector, Acksel demonstrates a similar approach to team selection. “In the water industry, the VZAV butterfly valve is the valve of choice forwater treatment, with the new DFPD rack and pin- ion actuator. On top, though, a single CMSX positioner with integrated pilot valves can be used,which is ideal for controlling theposition of either single or double-acting linear and quarter turn actuators. “As a basic low-cost and low-air consump- tion option, safety is achieved due to position monitoring and feedback signals andEx certi- fication is available. For BiotechPharma applications, Festo offers its VZBD ball valve as its ‘goalkeeper’. “The 3-piece, 2-way VZBD ball valve is the A CMSX positioner and the quarter-turn DFPD actuator is being used to automatically drive a VZBE 3-way ball-valve system.
as 3/2 single acting actuators with spring returns to open or close the pilot, depending on which is safer, or as a 5/2 pilot valve with fully pneumatic actuation in both directions. To provide feedback to the PLC or control system, a sensor box – the ‘sweeper’ in the process automation team – is also required. “Festo’s SRBC sensor box is connected to the actuator’s shaft to determine the valve’s position and mounted on top of the valve assembly. “Sensor boxes are available with several different sensors – mechanical, inductive, reed and different switches – and for explo- sive zone 1 and 2 environments. “I think of these SRBC boxes as general purpose boxes, because they are suitable for many applications. But for high demand and safety critical applications SIL2 versions are available, along with IP67, NEMA4 and 4X ratings for aggressive environments – and even an explosion proof XD housing encap- sulation,” he adds. “What makes us unique is that we can supply the valves, along with the actuator, pilot valve and sensor box – all fromour basic range. And all of the basic requirements of process automation can be met from this
October 2017 • MechChem Africa ¦ 5
MechChem Africa talks to SAIChE iCHEMe stalwart Philip Lloyd, whose chemical engineering career began some 65 years ago and he continues to find new directions today. Six and half decades of exciting opportunity
P hilip Lloyd was born in the UK and came to South Africa as a boy im- mediately after the Second World War. “Imatriculated inCapeTown in 1953 and then spent a year with the O’Kiep Copper Company in Namaqualand, where I developedan intensedislike for shiftwork,” he says. “While doing laboratory work, though, I became fascinatedby a newway of producing acidbyseparatingsulphidemineralsfromcop- per ore andusing it togenerate sulphuric acid. “I had always been fascinated by science, and chemistry, in particular. So following my year out, I was advised by a career counsellor to take the Applied and Industrial Chemistry degree atUCT, which I did,” he tells MechChem Africa . Half way through his degree, Applied and Industrial Chemistry became Chemical Engineering, so Philip Lloyd was among the very first batch of chemical engineers to graduate fromUCT. While still a young graduate, Lloyd “got lucky”. After completing his degree. “There
was a scholarship going begging, funded by theChamber ofMines and later by theAtomic Energy Board. So I stayed to do a PhD and that work not only set up my career, it also resulted in a significant change in theuranium industry,” he recalls. The work? “Uranium extraction at that time relied on the ion exchange process. During my PhD I developed a far more cost- effective method using solvent extraction – and within five years, this new process had completely replaced ion exchange,” he says. Describing the principles involved, he says that the leach solution from the uranium ore was mixed with a long-chain amine, which selectively extracted uranium into a solution at relatively high purity. “We then found a very cost-effective way of precipitating the uranium out of the paraffin solution – by manipulating the pH, the uranium tumbled out in a single step.” “This worked out much cheaper than the ion exchange process, which depended on highly concentrated nitric acid to get the ura- nium off the ion-exchange resins,” Lloyd explains. As a reward for this success, the
reveals, adding that the research done was very widespread. “We investigated how to fight underground fires; how to get rid of the pathogenic fungus that grew on the mine- prop timbers; and we doubled the size of the Fanagalolanguagetoimprovecommunication underground.” During this period, Lloyd supervised the work done to reprocess the mine dumps on the East Rand. “The East Rand gold and ura- nium complex (Ergo) was first formed during this time to focus on recycling the dumps. As well as getting residual metals out of the old tailings dumps for recycling, the real benefit was opening up a the land along the reef for development,” he notes. “We also did a lot of work to improve the economics of gold mining. It was clear that a huge amount of rock had to be brought to surface and processed to extract the gold, which led us to look at the possibility of get- ting the gold out of the ore underground,” Lloyd recalls. Describingeffortstomilloreunderground, he says that, on the surface, gold ore is fine milled in a 1G gravitational field. “We bolted amill onto the end of a centrifuge to expose it to 20Gs, which enabled us to process 100 t/h using a mill only 1.0 m in diameter and 1.0 m long.Thisistypicallydoneonthesurfaceusing a 5.0 mmill with 5.0 m length,” he says. “While underground processing was not taken up at the time, “the real benefit of this research turned out to be the safety advantages of backfilling. Today, about a third of underground support in goldmines is achieved by backfilling,” he notes, adding that company called Gekko has now taken up the challengeofprocessingoreathighefficiencies underground. “We alsodiscovered thatwe could recover up to 97%of the goldwithout having to crush the ore so finely. This proved unpopular with mine owners, however, who felt leaving 3.0% of the gold in the ground was a waste. The economic argument for going that route was strong, though,” Lloyd points out. Describing a success story for the gold mining industry in the Free State town of Virginia, Lloyd says that the Chamber of Mines’ Research Laboratory developed a portable X-ray technique for analysing the amount of gold present in a rock face.
Atomic Energy Board sponsored Lloyd to attend MIT in the USA for three years of research into nuclear physics – “along with a lot of other exciting stuff.” On his return he went to work for the GovernmentMetallurgical Laboratory, which was based at Wits at the time. “The Lab had an extractionmetallurgydivision that was part of the Atomic Energy Board and I continued to do work on uranium – until the division was renamed Mintek and moved off campus to its current site in Randburg. At that stage theBoard was moving into nuclear weapons related work and I did not want to be involved with this,” Lloyd informs MechChem Africa . “So I joined the Chamber of Mines Research laboratory in Melville, Johannesburg. In those days it was funded to the tune of R100-million per year, so it was a very exciting place to work,” he
A 3.0 m 3 rougher flotation cell recovering gold in up to 2.0 mm particle sizes at 97% efficiency.
6 ¦ MechChem Africa • October 2017
⎪ SAIChE news ⎪
SAIChE IChemE SAIChE Board members: President: C Sheridan Imm. Past President D van Vuuren Honorary Treasurer L van Dyk + Vice President: Honorary Secretary: EMObwaka Vice President: D Lokhat Council member: JJ Scholtz Council member: AB Hlatshwayo Council member: K Harding Council Member: M Low Council member: BK Ferreira Council Member: HMazema Council Member: MChetty Council Member: A de Bondt Council Member: MMabaso Council Member NN Coni Member (co-opted): MD Heydenrych Chair Gauteng: C Sandrock Chair KZN: D Lokhat Chair Western Cape: HMazema Contact details SAIChE PO Box 2125, North Riding, 2162 South Africa cooking stoves,” he tells MechChem Africa . Lloyd was also recently appointed an Adjunct Professor at theChineseAgricultural University inBeijing, wherehehas beendoing some cleaner stove studies. “I also work with the Intergovernmental Panel onClimateChange, helping towrite, for example, the special report on carbon capture and storage – and they were kind enough to recognisemeaspart of the teamwhichshared the Nobel Peace Prize with Al Gore in 2007.” “Chemical engineering opens up so many different and fantastic opportunities because chemistry, itself, is part of everybody’s every- day lives,” Lloyd says. “So my advice to students is, don’t be frightenedandcarryon learning for thewhole ofyourlife.Achemicalengineeringdegreewill provide the tools to understand a huge range of technologies and technological advances, withoutwhich thewholeworldwould be a lot poorer,” he concludes. q
Seen from the spiral feeder is a 1.0 m diameter 1.3 MW centrifugal crusher capable of crushing 100 t/h of gold ore.
“Evaluation of gold content was typically done by knocking a piece of rock off the face and sending it for crushing and analysis – and one had to hope that the piece you chose ac- curately represented the reef. “Our X-ray work with the gold mines in Virginia – done with the famous mining en- gineer Danie Krige, the inventor of Kriging – showed that ourmethod identified the gold farmoreeffectively than rock samplingdid. At someof the shafts inVirginia, the gradeswere not high enough for mining, while at some of the shafts that had already been abandoned, mining was still worthwhile. “The research information we collected gave themines inVirginia a10-year lifeexten- sion,” Lloyd tells MechChem . In1983, Lloyd joinedMurray andRoberts’ MineralsProcessingunit as aprojectmanager to finish off the Richards Bay Coal Terminal. “I was also just in time to contribute towards the design of Mossgas plant in Mossel Bay, which led to an offer from Edward Bateman on the project management side to look after some key aspects of the Mossgas construc- tion,” he adds. “As a chemical engineer one gets experi- ence in a lot of different areas: In the 70s, for example, some of my friends and I got involved in a skiing venture in Lesotho. Then we went into essential oils for the French perfume industry and, when one of our group inherited a farm in the Free State, we got involved in improving the technology used and the yields. We developed a safer and much more efficient way of drying lucerne, for example, which did not involve putting it into sacks near a fire.” Basedonanassessment of themaize seeds being used, Lloyd and his friends determined that only one crop in five seasons would produce good enough yields – and this data agreed well with the farming community’s
experience at that time. “By switching to a hardier seed variety, we could get a decent crop in four out five years and people soon becameconvinced that thiswas amuchbetter option,” Lloyd says. On nearing formal retirement age, Lloyd bought the consultancy division that he had been running at Bateman. He was soon involved in a huge dispute in Jordan. “A US company hadbeen contracted tobuild a plant tomakemagnesium-based fertiliser fromthe water in the Dead Sea. Although the design was good, the constructingwas not well done at all and I set about learning law and proving that the US construction company had been to blame. They had not supplied the plant as specified and had, instead, provided lower torque thickeners and low-cost propeller mixers in order to save money. So the plant never worked,” he recalls. Relatingwhy hewent back into education, Lloyd tells of a “brilliant” lecture on optics by Polaroid founder, Edwin Land. “Following the lecture I introduced myself and asked why he was teaching following such a successful career. He replied that all the money he had made had come from knowledge learned at MIT: and he would be a poor American if he didn’t pass some of that knowledge on to youngsters. “Thatstuckwithmeandledmetodosome- thing similarwithmy retirement,” Lloydnotes. Following four years at Wits teaching Environmental Chemical Engineering, Lloyd moved back down to Cape Town and took up a post at UCT’s Energy Research Centre. “And instead of retiring in 2009, as UCT sug- gested, I took up another post at the Energy Institute of CPUT: Looking at how poor people cook anddeveloping safer and cleaner alternatives. I am off to an ISO Standards meeting inKathmandu later this year, to help develop the standard for cleaner burning
Tel: +27 11 704 5915 Fax: +27 86 672 9430 email: email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org website: www.saiche.co.za
October 2017 • MechChem Africa ¦ 7
Customised agricultural solutions for African soil
MechChem Africa visits BI’s Parkhaven distribution centre and talks to CEO, Burtie Roberts; Gerhard Pienaar, manager of the recently established agriculture sector product range; and business unit head, Ross Trevelyan.
“ I n order to better target its bearings, gears, belts, chains, motors and drives to the farming community, in Sep- tember 2017, BI (formerly Bearings International) has established a specialist agricultural industry sector under the lead- ership of Gerhard Pienaar,” begins BI’s CEO, Burtie Roberts. “Wehave always hadanextensiveproduct line-up to meet the requirements of South African farmers, alongwith extensive experi- ence and product knowledge in this sector to assist farmers inkeeping their equipment fully operational and well maintained. In line with our ‘Always there, making it work’ motto, we have pooled the skills and dedicated agricul- tural products developed over the years into a specific agricultural service offering – and we are already very pleased with the results and prospects,” he adds. “In terms of applications, the number of products that are already used or suit- ably for use in the agricultural sector is far larger thanwe initially anticipated,” continues Trevelyan. As well as ploughing, planting and fertilising, there are numerous sizing, sorting, packing and storage systems on most farms that rely on aftermarket components to
keep them healthy,” he says, adding that the range also flows into the food and
beverage sectors where produce has to be pulped, juiced, bottledor cannedbeforebeing made available to consumers. Describing current market conditions, Roberts says that the agricultural and food sectors are among the few showing growth in current times. “With the challenges we currently face in the mining and industrial sectors, we decided to focus more heavily on areas that show growth and that is why we have added this special focus. While not the largest sector of the economy, agriculture is
seasonal activity, which means that BI’s agri- cultural-sector stock must also take account of seasonal demand. “The planting season, for example, starts in September/October, so August is a busy time for us because
farmers are getting their equipment ready for the intense activity of the planting season.
one of the largest employers, so it makes sense to try to grow the sector and to improve its health and competiveness,” he notes. BI’s agricultural sector manager, Gerhard Pienaar, has his roots among farming communities all over South Africa. “I started my career in Newcastle selling Massey Fergusson tractors to the farmers of Northern Natal,” Pienaar recalls. “Then I became a rep for veterinary medicines with Smithkline Beecham and from there I joined Voermol Feeds, which suppliesmolasses- based high energy feeds for livestock,” he tells MechChem Africa . He joined the BI network
inNewcastle in 2000 before moving to Polokwane and then to the Bethal branch, from which the Secunda
BI stocks agricultural chain, gears and accessories that are suitable for use in John Deere, Claas, Case, Clayson, Fahr, Laverda, Massey Fergusson and Slattery combine harvesters, planters, balers, spreaders and mixers.
“Generally, farmers only have a six week window to get the planting done, so when planning for this time, they are very proactive aboutmaking sure their equipment is reliable enough toget themthrough this period. I hear farmers say that all their planting must be done by the end of November, but sometimes it takes them until the 35 th to get it done,” he quips, adding that maize, in particular, which
branch was started. “I then moved back to Polokwane, then to the Vereeniging branch, which, as well as supporting the industrial sector, servicing farmers up toPotchefstroom in the North West Province all the way to Heilbron and Villiers in the Free State,” Pienaar points out. Describing the features of the agricultural market, Pienaar points out that farming is a
BI’s bearing hub units for seeding and fertilising coulters have better sealing arrangements than OEM or premium-brand equivalents and are less expensive.
8 ¦ MechChem Africa • October 2017
⎪ Power transmission, bearings, bushes and seals ⎪
moreeasily andwithamuch lower riskof dust getting into the grease – and fitting the unit involves removingone central bolt, takingout the existing bearing an simply bolting in our new unit,” Trevelyan explains. “Also, our newBAA003bearinghub, which has a better sealing arrangement than any OEM or premium-brand equivalents, are, in fact, less expensive. A complete OEM kit can cost up to R1 300 per assembly, while our single unit bearing hub costs around R750,” adds Pienaar. “In addition, installation
works onheat units, so it has a critical planting windowand “if farmersdon’t catch it right, the harvest will suffer”. On the effect of the drought on the ag- ricultural sector, he says that, following the 2016 season, “which was the worst year in a long while for the agricultural sector, 2017 is looking likebeing thebest year ina longwhile. Within one year, business conditions have flipped considerably. And next year could be better still.” To better service farmer’s needs, Pienaar says: “we like to talk to farmers to find out whenandhowwe canmake it easier for them: through agricultural shows such as Nampo, whichwehavebeenattendingforwellover30 years and through regular contact with local farming associations in the different regions. For us, this helps us to keep the right stock at the right time and tokeepupwith the farming trends and their preferred solutions,” he adds. “John Deere, for example, is currently moving over from imperial to metric sizes, which affects the nuts and bolts as well and
BI gearboxes are ideal for hubs and brushcutters, peanut production equipment and other
time is slashed by more than half and, based on our expe- rience with a similar unit (BAA001) for fertiliser coulters, our hub units last as long as four sea- sons before they need replacing,” he says. “Newer planters can
have asmany as 76bearings, so we are now undertaking a new design to better support farmers using these,” says Trevelyan.
bearing and shaft sizes. We offer aftermarket spares for these ma- chines that are 100% compatible and in- terchangeable with t hos e f r om t he OEM,” he continues. BI, however, also develops customised af- termarket solutions when recurring issues are not- ed.“Wefarminveryharsh environments in South Africa – we plant in dust,” saysPienaar.“Toenhance equipment life in this
Another key change for farmers, accord- ing to Pienaar, is that they no longer use local cooperatives to store their maize. “Most farmers now play the timing game from a pricing point of view. Markets are nowmuch more volatile, whichmeans that farmers also have to sell at the right time in order to make a sustainable profit. “So farms have tohave conveyingand stor- ing solutions on their own farms, which use our electric motors, gearboxes and transmis- sionbelts andchains todrive screwconveyors andbucket elevator systems for getting grain in and out of storage bins,” says Pienaar. “Our PTO (power take-off) range is also popular.We sell PTOshaft kits that are ideally suited for non-aligned transmissionof torque. For the pumping systems along the Orange River, for example, farmers tend
torsonhiscentrepivotirrigationsystems,one Polokwane farmer was able to save R8 500 per pivot per month on electricity. “Also, when starting a direct-on-line 22 kW motor, it draws 110 amps (A) for a split second and Eskom charges for making 110 A available to the farmer. The VSD was able to limit the current draw to 14 A, which enabled the farmer to get the peak supply rate reduced by Eskom,” Pienaar informs MechChem Africa . “Before the VSDs were installed, every time he experienced a trip, he had to get up to restart the pivot. Now, the VSDs auto- matically restarts – up to seven times – so the farmer never has to get up in hemiddle of the night,” he adds. “We focus on creating lasting solutions. Wewant tobe a solutions partner for farmers and by combining our comprehensive range and significant engineering expertise we can helpfarmerstorealisethemostcost-effective solutions possible for almost any agricultural application,” Roberts concludes. q
environment, we design and develop special bearing and sealing arrangements, in conjunction with suppliers such
to use our PTOs between their pumps and motors. This allows them to
as KML. Trevelyan continues: “We have, for ex- ample, recently developed a new bearing hub unit for seeding coulters. These use discs that cut furrows for the seeds to accurate depths; plant precisely spaced seeds; and add fertiliser. “Each rowof a 12-rowseeding coulter has two cutting discs in a V for the furrows, one front guide wheel and a back press wheel. That means there are 48 bearings on each planter, which are replaced every year,” he tells MechChem Africa . “The OEMs offer bearing and seal kits for this purpose, but installation involves as- sembly of a number of different components. Our solution is a custom-designed bearing hub that can be fitted as a singe unit, much
quickly remove the motors when the river floods, which protects them from water damage. The use of PTOs avoids having to realign the pump when it is refit- ted,” Pienaar explains. Also very successful for farm- ers are BI’s variable speed drives (VSDs) for centre pivot irrigation systems. “ByusingVSDdrives for powering the 22 kW pump mo-
Farmers along the Orange River tend to use BI PTOs between
their pumps and motors. This allows them to quickly remove the motors before the river floods and quickly recouple them once the water subsides.
October 2017 • MechChem Africa ¦ 9
Varibox CVT Technologies was founded by Jan Naude, an inventor of CVTs (continuous variable transmissions) who has several unique patents across three different CVT technologies.This article summarises the advantages of usingVaribox’s RADIALcvt for electric vehicles (EVs) and as a variable speed option for motor-driven industrial drives. The RADIALcvt for EVs and industrial reducers
W ith the current migration towards electric vehicles and the optimisation of compo- nents contributing to overall energy efficiency and range – higher energy density batteries, energy recovery systems and other efficiency advances – overcoming inefficiencies in the drive train is becoming an imperative. The primary power source in EVs, the electric motor, shares some disadvantages with the internal combustion engine. These include the fact that the electric motor and its drive/inverter are not equally efficient under different loads and speeds – as is the case for internal combustion engines across the RPM range. A typical EV’s efficiency varies between about 92.5% and 70%, as reported by Antonov plc (David, 2011) as well as by Turner, Cavallino, & Viotto in 2011, who report a 10% improvement in energy efficiency when using a two-speed transmission in combination with the vehicle’s electric motor. The transmis- sion used, however, added 19 kg of mass throughtheadditionofadryclutch,sprag and locking ring. Their transmission was used to drive a front-wheel drive elec-
tric minibus using a 60 to 70 kWmotor, with ratios estimated at about 3.5:1 for the first speed and 2.5:1 for the second speed, cor- responding to a speed variation of 1.4. On the more luxurious end, Antonov’s dual-clutch, three-speed transmission was installed in a Jaguar XJ, known as the Limo Green, an eco-friendly luxury limousine. This vehicle was powered by a 129 kW electric motor and reported an energy saving of up to 14.7% due to the transmission. Antonov also integrated its three-speed transmission intoa3.5 t SmithElectricVehicle demonstrator known as ‘E-Van’. The ratios involved were about 3.8:1, 2.3:1 and 1.7:1, respectively, giving a relatively narrowspeed range of 2.3. In 2014, Bottiglione, De Pinto, Mantriota, & Sorniotti used a 28 kW, 108 Nm electric motor in a 872 kg vehicle and compared transmissions that included: single speed; stepped two-speed; full and half toroi- dal CVTs, as well as two IVTs (infinitely variable transmissions). The resultswith respect to energy consumption showed that, at constant speed and load, the single and two-speed transmissions outperform the variable ratio ones, as
can be expected due to the lower mechanical efficiency of the latter. However, when driven according to UDC and J10-15 city drive cycles, the half and full toroidal CVTs outperformed the fixed ratios by 10%and 15% respectively. This is because the variable drive enables the electric motor speed to be fully optimised in drive as well as in regeneration conditions. CVT market leader, Bosch, forecasts mul- tiple ratios for EVs and continued growth in its market share of belt-driven CVTs and, to make the steel belt more attractive as an EV transmission. Overall CVT volumes are predicted to increase from 12-million units in 2016 to an estimated 18-million by 2020. This is further demonstrated by the cumula- tive sales of Bosch CVTs: 10-million in 2010; 25-million by 2012; and a total of 50-million by March 2017. All the reviewed works that considered CVTs/IVTs were limited to using existingwell known toroidal and belt/chain CVT trans- mission systems. Compared to fixed-ratio alternatives, these are typically characterised by much lower mechanical efficiency; they
Varibox’s novel RADIALcvt design uses a variator configuration with three radial friction drivers making contact and driving the two disks, one convex and one concave, in opposite directions. This creates six parallel power paths, which reduces contact stresses to, typically, below 2.0 GPA.
10 ¦ MechChem Africa • October 2017
⎪ Power transmission, bearings, bushes and seals ⎪
require hydraulic control systems; and they are heavy and expensive. On theupside, however, these transmissions enable theelectricmo- tor in an EV to be fully optimised for varying driving and regeneration conditions. They also offer better vehicle acceleration and gradient performance. RADIALcvt: an efficient CVT for EVs Following on fromtheROTORcvt prototype design thatwas featured earlier this year – described in the April 2017 issue of MechChem Africa –Naude has nowpatented an advancedRADIALcvt design that incorporates a new radial shaft and driver roller design; repositions the disc combining planetary system to be inline with the input shaft; and includes an option for a two-speed AMT (automated manual transmission) to extend the speed ratio range. This design uses a variator configuration with three radial friction drivers making contact and driving the two disks, one convex and one concave, in opposite directions in a traction fluid. This arrangement creates six drive contact points, splitting the input motor power into six parallel power paths, each containing only one friction drive interface in series. Key advantages of this design include: • Line contact friction drive points can be used, which reduce the maximum contact stress substantially. • Via the fixed diameter drivers, the RADIALcvt has a constant fric- tion drive input radius. All other CVTs have a variable input radius, which results in high surface rolling speeds with lower coefficients of friction and, therefore, higher clamping force requirements. • TheRADIALcvt has at least six parallel power paths, which reduces contact stresses to, typically, below 2.0 GPA. • The large output friction drive disks of the RADIALcvt can be posi- tioned concentric and close to the motor/engine flywheel and can approximate flywheel size. This enables the RADIALcvt to provide its highest efficiency at the low ratios associated with city driving. • Test and simulation results for a RADIALcvt determined drive con- tact power efficiency inall ratios andundermaximumengine torque of about 95% in high ratio to about 98% in low ratio. • A ratio range up to 4.7 is possible, while with two-stage AMT in- tegration, a speed ratio range up to 10 and beyond is achievable. • TheRADIALcvt canbe realisedwithout anyhydraulic clamping con- trol, whichall current developmental and commercial CVTs require. • Losses due to reduced clamping forces are, in theory, 50% lower in the RADIALcvt and bearing losses are only associated with the RADIALcvt output, namely the convex and concavedisks. This is be- cause the three radial input drivers are inequilibrium. Thesebearing losses, for a given (lower) clamping force, are only a function of the RADIALcvtoutputspeedandareatamaximumof2.5%atthehigher ratios and reduce to about 1.5%when operating at lower ratios. Since the RADIALcvt uses existing and well-developed traction/ fric- tiondrive technology, anypotential licenseeof the technology canvery easily evaluate and verify these results. For an EV transmission, in the 30 kW range with a maximum ratio range of 2.3 using 292 mm disks, the effective concave and convex driven disk radii will vary from65mmto150mm. The variator contact efficiency in this case will vary from about 97.5% to 98.7%. And for a 130 kW drive using a transmission of the same size, 95.8% to 98.2%
White paper references 1 RADIALcvt as an EV transmission: www.varibox.com/media/1189/radialcvtelectricver15-updated.pdf 2 RADIALcvt design and simulation www.varibox.com/media/1177/radialcvtdesignver16.pdf These advantages also apply to industrial drive systems for simple variable speed drive and low-cost soft starting, and the use of a RADIALcvt can quickly be justified in terms of energy savings and Varibox is currently looking for local industry partners to commer- cialise the RADIALcvt for the industrial market. q The efficiency of the 28 kW, 108 Nm electric motor used by Bottiglione et al to determine the effects of using different transmissions: fixed speed, stepped, CVTs and IVTs clearly showing that electric motors and their drives/inverters are not equally efficient under different loads and speeds. [Bottiglione, De Pinto, Mantriota, & Sorniotti, 2014] efficiency can be achieved from the variators. Ratio actuation – achieved by shifting the driven discs parallel to the central shaft, which forces the contact position of the driving discs radially inwards and outwards – is done via a 12 V PWM-controlled motor that draws no more than 150Woff the battery. No clutch or clutch control systems are required, only a locking ring/dog clutch (for emergency towing), whichmakes the system100% compatible with current electric vehicle transmissions. Most importantly, the mechanical efficiency of the RADIALcvt is only about 3% less than a stepped transmission, while offering amuch more compact length than the stepped transmission with a clutch or dual clutch. With the general advantages of CVT technology for EVs proved by the cited trials, theRADIALcvt adds significantly higher drive efficien- cies compared to current commercial CVTs, which tend to erode the advantages. The RADIALcvt provides an excellent solution for pure electric vehicles, because of its simplicity and its very high mechani- cal efficiency.
October 2017 • MechChem Africa ¦ 11
⎪ Power transmission, bearings, bushes and seals ⎪
SKF has recently created two innovative service packages for manufacturers and users of rotating equipment to help them to integrate technology, excel in their sectors and achieve business success. The company has also extended its gearbox manufacturing service, enhanced the quality of its dual fan housings and reduced turnaround times. New service packages for rotating equipment users
C ommenting on the company’s new offerings, Roberto Tommasi, product linemanager for industrial digitalisation and solutions at SKF, says that the SKF Premium programme has been set up to help SKF bearing customers identify their maintenance and operational needs towards reducing expenditure. The programme enables customers to adopt best maintenancepractices for their critical assets, resulting in machine reliability and uptime improvement. This SKF offering provides a free Client Needs Analysis and a free starter value pack of SKF Rotating Equipment Performance technology and services, subject to certain qualifying criteria. Further technology and services can also be added to the programme as required, offeredonafixed,monthly feeba- sis, removing the need for capital investment. The SKF Rotation For Life programme guarantees the reliability and availability of selected critical rotating machinery assets, reducing the total cost of ownership for the customer over an agreed contract period. This programme incorporates a wide range of SKF capabilities, customised within a package for the specific customer’s needs, whichmayinclude:bearingsupply;lubrication management; seals;machinehealthproducts; remote diagnostic services; and root cause failure analysis – and much more. Both the SKF Premium and SKF Rotation For Life offerings are designed to help SKF bearing customers develop their digital and IoT strategies without placing demands on restricted capital investment programmes. Drawing on its expertise in bearings, gears, seals and lubrication, at CONEXPO 2017, SKF demonstrated how its industrial gearbox remanufacturing service can deliver perfor- mance enhancements and extend the service life of obsolete or damaged gearboxes. The service covers: inspection and diagnosis at the customer’s site; removal to one of SKF’s accredited gearbox repair centres for recon- ditioning and/or upgrading; re-installation SKF’s gearbox remanufacturing service
Above: The SKF Rotation For Life programme guarantees the reliability and availability of selected critical rotating machinery assets through, for example, remote diagnostics via the SKF compact Multilog IMx-8 online condition monitoring system. Left: SKF’s value-added service offering ensured its OEM supplier status for companies such as South African truck manufacturer Henred Fruehauf.
SKF’s industrial gearbox remanufacturing service covers: inspection and diagnosis; reconditioning and/or upgrading; re-installation; commissioning; and vibration fingerprint acquisition for condition monitoring.
Rapid delivery secures more dual fan business SKF South Africa’s service capabilities and commitment were highlighted, when the company met a customer’s tight deadline for thedesignand supplyof eight fanhousings for anOEMcustomer, a global supplier of air and gas solutions, as part of a turbine application. Following the determination of the cus- tomer’s requirements, SKF’s engineering de- partment presented a proposal. Satisfied that all the application criteriaweremet, theorder was placed, including as a must, a very short timebeforedelivery.Nevertheless,SKFpulled out all the stops so that both deliveries to the customer were made on time,” according to SKF key account manager, Anneritha Maritz. The manufacture of the dual fan housings included a bearing housing, deep groove ball bearing (DGBB), end covers as well as seals and shaft fasteners. Impressedwithboth thequalityof thedual fan housings as well as the fast turnaround times, the customer ordered more units from SKF. q
at the customer’s site; commissioning; and vibration fingerprint acquisition for future condition monitoring implementation. SKF addresses the root causes rather than the symptoms of gearbox failures. Such an ap- proach prolongs unit life, improves reliability andsignificantlyreduceslifecyclecosts.Itmay alsodeliver a level of performancebetter than that of the original gearbox. From an environmental standpoint, re- manufacturing makes a lot of sense: It avoids problems associated with scrapping and materials recycling; means less energy to manufacture a new replacement unit thus saving considerable energy over its lifetime. A remanufactured gearbox is at least 40% less expensive than a new unit and can be delivered much more quickly – an important consideration for large, purpose-built indus- trial gearboxes. Says Davide Pandolfo, product line man- ager, driveline service and gearbox remanu- facturing at SKF: “Large industrial gearboxes are often driven hard and rarely get themain- tenance attention that they deserve.”
October 2017 • MechChem Africa ¦ 13
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