VICTOR STROBEL It is essential to be on the lookout for loose bolts and nuts when servicing equipment or carrying out routine maintenance to prioritise safety and reduce downtime
There is significant interest from the local mining community in bearings and accessories distributor Bearings International’s (BI’s) Dykem cross-check torque seal, and company sales at BI branches in mining areas are increasing monthly, says BI offer marketing manager Victor Strobel.
The tamperproof, vibration-warning indicator paste was launched in February this year and can improve safety and reduce maintenance costs with visual inspection, across several industries. Its applications range from long-distance haul trucks and trailers, head gaskets in vehicles and gearboxes in factories to conveyor belts.
The indicator paste is supplied in a tube and comprises a gel-like substance. This is dry to the touch in one to two hours, and fully cured in 24 hours. The product meets the Globally Harmonised System for Classification and Labelling of Chemicals, the guideline for ensuring the safe production, transport, handling, use and disposal of hazardous materials.
The product is available in eight colours for high visibility and is visible under ultraviolet lighting for dark places in factories that need to be inspected regularly. The torque inspection process for maintenance can now be done visually, as opposed to testing the torque of every nut with a spanner or torque wrench, he adds.
Strobel notes that, by the time it has been identified that the torque of any nuts and bolts has loosened, it is generally too late and the damage has been done, resulting in costly repairs and downtime.
“It is essential to be on the lookout for loose bolts and nuts when servicing equipment or carrying out routine maintenance to prioritise safety and reduce downtime,” he tells Mining Weekly.
The Dykem cross-check torque seal can be applied from the bolt head and along the threads of the screw once perfect torque has been achieved. Should the brightly-coloured mark not be aligned at the next inspection, immediate action can be taken on the specific bolt, instead of having to retighten all the bolts, thereby accelerating the process significantly and reducing the possibility of any loose bolts being missed.
“What makes the seal unique is that it is compatible with most surfaces – from metals to plastics,” Strobel highlights.
The product also provides warranty protection for applications where tampering could occur, and, with its two-year shelf life, ensures its effectiveness in many applications.
“The safety aspect of this product cannot be overstated, especially when you consider the potential danger of a bolt snapping off from a kilometre-long conveyor belt in a factory where people are working. Preventing such potential dangers using a vibration-warning indicator paste means safety checks can be carried out more regularly, as they now take just a few minutes,” stresses BI product manager Richard Lundgren.
The company has been introducing the product and offering additional training through a roadshow. The roadshow started in February at five BI branches in and around the Gauteng area. Strobel highlights that it has recently expanded into the mining areas of Witbank, Middelburg and Secunda. This month, the roadshow was in the Free State, with shows in Bloemfontein and Welkom.
“Our Rustenburg and Thabazimbi BI branches have showed the most significant increase in sales since the launch in February, which indicates that the platinum, copper and uranium mines have seen the benefit of and are using the indicator paste increasingly,” Strobel enthuses.
Meanwhile, BI launched its Agri HUB bearings, and the new blue and white 200 mℓ Agri Grease sachets at the Grain SA Nampo Harvest Day that was held from May 14 to 17, near Bothaville, in the Free State.
The sachets – for general-purpose agricultural application – are simple to apply, which is ideal for a farmer tending to machinery in the field.
“Many farmers showed interest and thought it might be a good idea to have some in their toolboxes, ready to be used,” concludes BI agriculture business development leader Gerhard Pienaar.