Motion Control in Southern Africa Motion Control in Southern Africa South African Fluid Power Assocation


Lubrication solution for Mondi
4th Quarter 2011, Other technologies

SKF’s Lubrication Application Centre (LAC) is part of the SKF Solution Factory in Johannesburg and is equipped to offer complete lubrication solutions to diverse industries.

When Mondi relocated a hardwood chipping line from Silvacel to the Richards Bay mill site, SKF was called to assist. The chipping line had operated for five years with the older SKF Safematic lubrication system. SKF was requested to assess the existing systems and provide a cost proposal for replacing, restoring and improving the systems where necessary. The dual line grease lubrication and single line oil lubrication system consisted of two separate pump centres and a common control unit for the various conveyors and drive components.

SKF inspected the current lubrication system and provided a budget and time schedule for the project. Part of the solution was to relocate the existing partly overhauled pumps and control. Of the 27 dosing module groups and 55 dosers, only 15% had to be replaced with new units and SKF technicians were able to repair another 15%. This represented a substantial cost saving for Mondi. The lubrication system was incorporated in the final phase of the relocation project.

The hardwood chipping line consisted of nine conveyors, chippers and discharge pockets. Ninety grease lubrication points were provided for the bearings and twelve oil lubrication points for the wash roll conveyor drive chains. Additional bearing lubrication points were identified and installed, ensuring a completely automated lubrication system for the line.

SKF was responsible for the rehabilitation and final commissioning, a relatively complex operation from a project management point of view, with the main complexities centred around logistics. “We had two installation teams on site. There was the SKF team, which included two technicians, and a second team of SKF partner subcontractors. We fielded a site supervisor and a qualified safety inspector who managed the risk and safety assessments to both Mondi and SKF specifications and standards. They also supervised environment and health matters to ensure a safe working environment for everyone. A mobile workshop was established on site for pipe bending, component modifications and repairs to cater for any contingency,” said Sean Weir, SKF business development manager, Lubrication Solutions.

The installation and commissioning schedule provided 250 man hours and the project was completed within 84% of the allocated time. The new hardwood chipping line is now fully operational, operating at a capacity of 180 tons per hour.

“The customer’s return on investment is excellent because the installation was done right, it was done quickly and we enhanced the system where we detected the need to do so,” said Sarel Froneman, manager, Lubrication Solutions.

SKF has now been asked for a proposal to replicate SKF automated lube systems on Mondi’s other lines as well as on wash conveyors at the Mondi Richards Bay mill.

For more information contact Samantha Joubert, SKF, +27 (0)11 821 3500,,

Supplied By: SKF South Africa
Tel: +27 (0)11 821 3500
Fax: +27 (0)11 821 3501
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