BSC opens the Gates to quality hoses for Australian premium winemaker

For a winery with a history as rich as South Australia’s Oxford Landing Estate winery, choosing the right equipment is essential to ensuring the wine’s quality. This is why when BSC Sales Representative, Robert Harris first introduced Gates’ food-grade hoses to the winery, he did not expect the winemakers to approve the product right away.

Robert says he knew about the stringent quality assurance process that the winery had in place, but he also had great confidence in the quality of the product he was offering.

Robert says when he called Oxford Landing Estates’ cellar manager to set up an appointment to introduce Gates’ hoses to him a couple of years ago, he was told to not keep his hopes high. He took his shot and went in with samples of the high-end Gates hoses. The winery agreed to test the wine transfer hoses and soon placed their first major order, forging a relationship with BSC that has flourished over time.

Chris Leggett, the Logistics Manager at Oxford Landing Estate, says the winery has one of the most stringent quality control processes in the industry.

“Any product that comes into any form of contact with the wine, such as the inside surface of the hose, needs to go through a quality control process and be approved for use before we can purchase it. Once we purchase a hose, it will go through a cleaning process and then through the quality control verification process,” he explains.

Chris has worked at the Oxford Landing Estate winery since the winery was built in 2004. He says he’s quite happy working with BSC as a supplier.

“BSC supplies us with quality hoses, as well as other equipment such as chains, bearings, seals and spare parts. We have never had any issues or concerns working with BSC. Their response time is very good and they understand what we need,” Chris says.

“The Gates’ hoses being of very high quality, it saves us time when it comes to testing the products. Robert visits us regularly on behalf of BSC and offers consultation to the maintenance department regarding any components that they need,” he adds.

Gates is one of the key suppliers of hosing solutions to the food and beverage industry in Australia and they work closely with BSC as a trusted partner to deliver those solutions.

Gates Australia Product Manager for Food Products, Kent Clark, says the Gates FOOD MASTER XTREME 250SD CR is an ideal hose for transferring wine, as well as any other beverage that could have its taste tainted if run through a lower-grade transfer hose.

“A number of well-known wineries only trust this particular product for transferring their wine. This is mostly based on their experience of being able to maintain the wine’s taste and flavor when it passes through the hose. We also sell the hose to manufacturers of beer, ale, milk, yoghurt, juices, soft drinks, cosmetic and pharmaceutical products.

What makes the FOOD MASTER XTREME 250SD CR unique, Kent says, is the proprietary Sanitron developed by Gates for use in the Food Master premium series.

The tube material, Sanitron provides a glass-smooth interior surface for efficient product flow – a smoothness competitors can’t match. It will not discolour foods and beverages or impart any unusual taste or odour during product transfer. And Sanitron is a snap to clean using open-end steam or high-temperature cleaning solutions up to 110°C. which meets the requirements of Food and Drug Administration (FDA), 3A-Class 3 and United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

“The hose is also reinforced with a conductive filament and a monofilament helix, which provides crush and kink resistance. This means the hose can be run over or hit up against hard surfaces without any impact to the structure of the hose,” he adds.

Gates also offers a range of other hoses particularly designed for the food and beverage industry. These include, among others, the light and flexible FOOD MASTER BEVERAGE 150SD CR and FOOD MASTER OILS and DAIRY 150SD, which is ideal for transfer of animal fat, vegetable oil and dairy products.

Kent says working with BSC, Gates is able to provide flexible and custom-made solutions when required.

“For example, our hoses are often available in the standard 30-metre lengths. But we also have a custom-length program with BSC, wherein we can provide customised hose lengths to customers on a case-by-case basis,” Kent says.

“We hold our customers in high regard and support them as best we can. We understand that pricing and product availability are top priorities for our customers and that is why we work with BSC to provide quick turnarounds for customers,” he concludes.

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Volt belt leads the charge in ATEX environments

The explosive nature of grain and flour dusts is well-documented, with some of the worst industrial accidents in the world caused by explosions from dust clouds. Research published in the United States additionally reveals that 50% of all explosions from combustible dusts in the 20th century occurred in grain silos and flour mills1.

Dusts from wheat are particularly dangerous, as the source of heat required to ignite them is minor. Not only are accidents relating to static electricity common, and can cost businesses millions of dollars in equipment and production losses, they also pose significant risks to workers.

This is why it is so important that the componentry on food and beverage (F&B) applications that involve the handling of grain and flour, are designed to dissipate static electricity. Just as recently as May 2018, a flour mill in New South Wales experienced an explosion that left one worker injured and a whole section of the mill seriously damaged2.

Moreover, safety codes for the avoidance of hazards due to static electricity are vital and are constantly updated in industrial environments3. The international standard ISO 9563:2015 defines the requirements for antistatic synchronous belts in the workplace, specifically for new belts intended to be used in an explosive atmosphere or in situations where there is a fire risk4.

According to Steve Hittmann, who is the National Product Manager for Mechanical Drive Systems and Belt Drives at CBC Australia, the electrical resistance of synchronous belts used in F&B applications that handle grain or flour in their processing, cannot be understated.

“Components like roller chains simply cannot be used in these environments. A roller chain is metal to metal and produces sparks. But even a standard timing or V-belt will produce static electricity,” he explains. “Combustible dust in any food and beverage plant that involves baking or the handling of grain is a real hazard. And while there are a number of synchronous belts available for power transmission in these applications, the industry-leading Gates Poly Chain Carbon Volt belt is by far the safest on the market.”

Importantly, Hittmann points out that the ISO 9563:2015 is limited to new belts only. Despite this, the Gates Poly Chain Carbon Volt belt holds to the standard over the entire lifespan of a belt.

“Antistatic power transmission belts should not just be meeting this standard when they are new. That poses a significant risk to any ATEX (ATmosphere EXplosible) environment,” Hittmann states. “To ensure the highest level of safety, their capacity to safely dissipate static electricity should meet those ISO 9563:2015 requirements over the lifetime of the belt.”

Iain Street, the Business Development Manager of Power Transmission for Gates Australia in NSW, concurs with Hittmann’s statement. He further acknowledges that the Poly Chain Carbon Volt belt is the only belt to actually meet this level of safety.

“The Gates Poly Chain Carbon Volt belt is the only belt on the market that meets the ISO 9563:2015 standard over its complete lifespan,” he explains.

“Industry standards don’t define the used belt conductivity, and typical rubber belt conductivity declines rapidly with use. The safety risks of this in volatile environments – such as those common to F&B applications that involve the handling of grain or flour – are very significant.”

The Gates Poly Chain Carbon Volt features patented static-conductive fibers that safely transfer static electricity to carbon tensile cords – away from the driven side of the application. According to Street, this makes it the “safest and strongest option for applications in ATEX environments.”

“No other rubber or polyurethane belt can match it,” he further asserts. “As part of the world-recognised, industry-leading Poly Chain belt system, the Carbon Volt also offers the advantage of higher horsepower, reduced drive size and lowered component costs.”

As a national distributor of Gates Australia, CBC also work together with the Gates engineering team to ensure that Volt belts are properly installed and working at their optimum.

“It’s a partnership through and through,” explains Hittmann. “We’ll consult with Gates engineers on the correct design and tensioning of the Volt belts, using the Gates DesignFlex Pro software. We’re also committed to the safety of our customers in their workplace, so making sure these are set up right is of utmost importance.”

Read more articles like this at: www.lets-roll.com.au

                                                   

References:

  1. Cause and prevention of dust explosions in grain elevators and flour mills
  2. Manildra Australian flour mill restarts operations after explosion
  3. Accidents and Losses Caused by Electrostatic Discharge
  4. ISO 9563:2015
  5. Gates Australia Poly Chain Carbon Volt belt brochure

Gates provides cost-saving solutions for food manufacturers

There’s no doubt that the food manufacturing industry can present a number of challenges for food manufacturers.

From food contamination to belt stretch, manufacturers need to be constantly on the ball with regards to maintaining a clean, efficient and functioning system. And that starts with equipment.

Downtime can be costly. Then there’s the potential reputational damage you could also incur. A cause of downtime is maintenance and efficiency losses due to roller chain drives. Roller chain drives present a contamination risk.

They require constant lubrication with oil or grease which can contaminate your products and, beyond that, carry an environmental risk and ongoing cost to your business through unnecessary maintenance downtime.

READ: Gates Poly Chain GT Carbon designed to replace roller chain drives

Food processing environments are subject to frequent washdowns to remove bacteria, germs and other contaminants, using aggressive cleaners and chemicals.

These liquids can damage roller chains – meaning you need to fix them, or replace them over and over again. High moisture environments can also cause rust problems, which you definitely don’t need.

The ravages of time also impact roller chains; in service, chain joints will wear, causing the drive to ‘loosen’, resulting in timing and synchronisation problems in food processing operations.

Finally, there’s the location of your drives to think about; drives in areas with difficult access are more time consuming to maintain. And, since metal and chain components wear quickly, they have to be replaced more frequently.

One immediate change that could be implemented is a switch from roller chain drives to belts, which offer numerous benefits and solutions to many of the common problems facing food production operations – helping you to meet production goals and save money.

Gates belt drive systems are virtually maintenance free – no lubrication, no messy and expensive oil baths.

Being maintenance free, they are designed for difficult-to-access spaces that would usually require disassembly, costly health and safety procedures, or the use of ladders or crawlspaces to get to for that maintenance ritual.

Gates can provide belt drive components that don’t need to be covered prior to washdown; that’s because the polymeric belts such as Gates Poly Chain and stainless components are resistant to water and caustic chemicals.

Equipment can be washed down in place, again reducing the time needed to maintain your system. Polyurethane belts combined with stainless-steel or nickel-plated sprockets and bushings are unaffected by most common disinfectants, bactericides, and cleaners used for washdowns.

The aggressive caustic solutions used in food processing plants have no effect on Poly Chain belts or stainless-steel sprockets and bushings. Gates belts rarely need re-tensioning and do not stretch over time. Gates offers a variety of belts and components suited to food manufacturing environments.

Poly chain GT carbon belts

• Clean-running, high-powered polyurethane belt drive alternative to roller chain.

• No slipping, 3X longer life than standard roller chain, virtually maintenance free.

• Ideal for low-speed, high-torque drive applications. Conveyor applications.

Stainless-steel and nickel-plated metals

• Sprockets, sheaves and bushings available in stainless steel.

• Nickel-plated sprockets also available.

• Non-corrosive, chemical resistant.

• Ideal for aggressive washdown environments.

Power curve belts

• Engineered to handle transverse bending and twisting.

• Unique under cord construction for optimal flexibility.

• Gates patented Flex-Weave cover.

• Power turn conveyor beds.

PowerGrip GT2 twin power belts

• Designed with teeth on both sides of the belt to provide synchronisation from each driving surface.

• Equal load capacity on both sides of the belt.

• Suitable for serpentine applications requiring rotation reversal in some driven shafts. Conveyor applications.

Round endless belts

• Designed for 1/4 turn or twisted drives where more than an O-ring is required.

• Power turn and line shaft conveyors.

Specialty synchronous belts

• Line includes long-length belting, Twin Power belts and spliced belts.

• Wide variety of belt materials, constructions, and backings available.

• For food conveying, washdown applications, and antibacterial conveyors.

• Micro-V profiles can be provided as backing for synchronous belts for applications that require synchronization on one shaft and have the ability to run an alternative shaft off the back of the belt as in flour mill applications.

• FDA construction option

• Low durometer option with higher friction coefficient for applications that must convey packaged materials up inclines or transfer fragile food products (e.g. packaged potato chips).

Gates Mectrol food-grade belting

• High strength, low stretch polyurethane belts designed specifically for the food processing industry.

• Clean-in-place convenience for washdown environments.

• Reductions in downtime, wastewater, and maintenance costs.

• Conveyor applications.

Gates Poly Chain GT Carbon designed to replace roller chain drives

Gates Australia has introduced its latest version of the Poly Chain GT Carbon synchronous belts, designed to replace roller chain drives.

Poly Chain provides higher efficiency and reliability whilst eliminating the maintenance required with traditional chain drives.

It is Gates’ most powerful synchronous belt, specifically designed for optimum performance on high torque, low speed drives often seen in industrial applications.

An excellent alternative to chain drives, Poly Chain offers many benefits to any business.

Poly Chain GT Carbon belts are constructed using a lightweight polyurethane compound combined with carbon fibre tensile cords providing extraordinary power carrying capacity and flex fatigue life.

This means Poly Chain GT Carbon has the strength to withstand shocks and surge loading, is virtually immune to abrasions and is much lighter than steel chain, reducing overhung loads.

Additionally, the new Poly Chain has a service life up to three times longer than conventional roller chain and up to ten times longer pulley life.

Poly Chain GT Carbon belts are completely maintenance-free, meaning no messy lubrication or oil baths or re-tensioning every few months.

They will not stretch during service, saving businesses time and money.

Poly Chain GT Carbon is inert to most acids, chemicals and water, making it an ideal solution for wet environments – unlike roller chains, which can rust, potentially contaminating food-handling spaces.

Specifications

Poly Chain GT Carbon comes in a range of pitches, including both short and extended custom lengths.

Short length versions of the belt in 5m and 8m are suitable for industrial markets requiring a short centre distance but high-density power and offer all the benefits listed above.

Poly Chain GT Carbon is also available in up to 19m extended lengths to handle longer drive centre distances. Poly Chain GT Carbon offers a massive 96 percent weight saving versus traditional, comparable transmission roller chains.

All Poly Chain GT Carbon belts are fully operational in temperature extremes of -54˚C to +85˚C and can be used for applications in a diverse range of industries.

Poly Chain GT Carbon also offers reduced width drive conversions for existing roller chain applications, and over 120,000 possible ratio combinations, making it easy to switch the drives. The space-saving, weight-saving, time-saving and money-saving drives offer a long and reliable service life.