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Zambia: SKF Zambia and SKF South Africa collaboration optimises maintenance practices at Zambian processing plant

SKF MaPro tools as well as online lubrication solutions from SKF Zambia, in collaboration with SKF South Africa, is optimising maintenance practices at a processing plant as well as at six mills operated by a key customer in Zambia.

SKF’s Regional Customer Experience Manager CEA Central and East Africa, Tonny Luwo, explains that the customer recognised that the maintenance practices at a plant they had taken over were not in line with the organisation’s high standards. “Prompted by their longstanding partnership with SKF, they reached out to SKF Zambia for assistance.”

SKF shares a successful long-standing business relationship with the global food processing specialist’s South African and Zambian subsidiaries. Recent smart collaboration between SKF South Africa, SKF Indonesia and the South African subsidiary resulted in the optimisation of the customer’s plant on Johannesburg’s West Rand.

On the back of a maintenance gap analysis in 2023 at the acquired plant, the SKF Zambia team prepared a MaPro presentation recommending a list of some 25 SKF maintenance solutions tools, which was then presented, to the customer by SKF Authorised Distributor, METMIN Zambia. “There is a direct correlation between poor maintenance procedures and premature equipment failure with all the associated costs of downtime and production losses,” asserts Luwo. “Recognising that these SKF tools will enhance the maintenance practices at the plant, our customer placed an order for all the units on our list.”

After delivering the tools, the SKF Zambia team conducted a follow up visit to the plant in November 2023 where they presented the SKF QMR tool and shared the online QMR link as something that will benchmark the customer with similar industries. The customer completed and submitted the QMR link there and then, while Luwo and his team was on site.

According to Luwo, the customer also indicated the need for an online lubrication system for four flacking mills and two cracking mills located at a cooking oil process plant. He explains that flacking mills are used in preparatory processes for products in the chemical industry. “In this case the milling rollers are part of a crushing process. After crushing, the seeds are squeezed out with mechanical wringers releasing the oil. Cracking mills, also known as crackers, are used to break stock (soybeans etc.) into smaller pieces.”

During their site visit, SKF Zambia’s Daniel Makopo and Chitalu Mwape also proposed an online lubrication system for each of the six mills which was duly accepted by the customer. The lubrication system will ensure accurate, on-time lubrication and prevent over- and under- lubrication, reducing lubrication costs, improving reliability, extending the service life of the mills and subsequently enhancing operation and production. SKF Zambia will be responsible for the installation and commissioning of the lubrication systems with support from SKF South Africa with future customer support on the shoulders of Makopo and Mwape.

Luwo also identified a skills training opportunity and the customer approved his recommendation of SKF’s CMVA 90-M-CK-SL Microlog for vibration analysis and the TKSA 41 alignment tool. SKF Zambia will conduct the training as soon as the order is awarded.

The Southern African Lubrication Management Team’s involvement in the site visit to the cracking and flacking mills as well as in the QMR which was submitted and checked by SKF South Africa’s Product Manager MaPro, Eddie Martens, make this a successful SKF pooled resource initiative.

Martens lauds the SKF Zambia team for their professional and efficient project execution.

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SKF is a world-leading provider of innovative solutions that help industries become more competitive and sustainable. By making products lighter, more efficient, longer lasting, and repairable, we help our customers improve their rotating equipment performance and reduce their environmental impact. Our offering around the rotating shaft includes bearings, seals, lubrication management, condition monitoring, and services. Founded in 1907, SKF is represented in approximately 129 countries and has around 17,000 distributor locations worldwide. Annual sales in 2023 were SEK 103,881 million and the number of employees was 40,396.

® SKF is a registered trademark of the SKF Group.

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