Home > Ubiquitous air springs fill maintenance gap when machinery wears out

Ubiquitous air springs fill maintenance gap when machinery wears out

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A challenge raised by a growing trend towards full importation of industrial production and processing machinery is ensuring a a readily accessible supply of the correct type of spare parts as key actuation and isolation components wear out.

"We have seen a distinct move in several major industries -mining, food processing, materials handling and manufacturing among them -towards importing entire OEM units of the latest overseas-manufactured machinery to do particular jobs," says actuation, isolation and suspension component specialist Mr James Maslin.

This can prevent a challenge to high standards of maintenance and productivity, he says, because "While importation of complete units often mirrors broader trends towards outsourcing and reduced dependence on local and on-site engineering, importation of complete units can ultimately raise part replacement and potential downtime issues. This happens when OEM systems work for many years without the need for maintenance or replacement, but when the time does ultimately arrive, it can be hard to quickly source original parts or to find compatible replacements."

"It's hard to tell when parts may fail -and when they do eventually need replacement, it's crucial to make sure you get good engineering advice and the correct OEM or quality replacement part -otherwise important machinery may not function correctly and ultimately cause delays or downtime," says Mr Maslin who is the National Sales and Marketing Manager of Air Springs Supply.

Air Springs Supply has been a leading supplier or actuation and isolation technology to the mining, quarrying, bulk handling, manufacturing and metal processing industries for more than 40 years. The company (www.airsprings.com.au) is the exclusive national distributor for a wide range of Firestone Industrial motion and fluid control technology which in recent years it has been expanding to match rising demand for prompt supply of replacement parts by holding a wider range of them in stock in its branches throughout Australia.

This wider range of quickly accessible products to help avoid companies becoming stranded by supply problems includes globally proven and highly cost-efficient Firestone pneumatic Airstroke actuators and Airmount isolators in individual load capacities from 40-40,000kg.

Nationally available ranges of Firestone OEM and replacement products also include Marsh Mellow fabric and rubber springs, which replace noisy old-fashioned steel springs for longer lasting, low-cost isolation performance. Easy-to-mount Marsh Mellows will not break, tap particles, corrode or bottom-out, but will accommodate a wide load range and perform consistently.

"Not only does Firestone technology naturally replace Firestone brand products in a wide range of OEM equipment, but often premium quality Firestone parts also easily cross over with Goodyear, Conti, Rexroth, Norgren and similar components incorporated globally by other OEM manufacturers," says Mr Maslin.

"Because we have been suppliers to Australian users of such technology nationally for decades, we can offer engineering assistance help identify and supply suitable top quality Firestone Air Spring and Marsh Mellow technologies to fill any supply gap and avoid production interruptions."

Firestone air springs are also being increasingly used as replacement actuators for existing motion and fluid control applications that had previously used traditional pneumatic or hydraulic cylinders involving internal moving parts that can break or wear.

"Especially in performance-critical applications -where downtime can be very expensive -air springs are compact, cost-efficient and easy to install, while also typically enjoying a considerable price advantage over conventional alternatives," says Mr Maslin.

"Their durability is outstanding -Firestone air springs have set quality benchmarks since the company pioneered the air spring in the 1930s and become the premier brand globally, synonymous with quality, performance and unparalleled support."

Major applications of Air Springs' Airstroke, Airmount and Marsh Mellow spring in Australia and globally include:

  1. Conveyors
  2. Processing lines 
  3. Belt scrapers
  4. Lift tables
  5. Vibrating packers and screens
  6. Shaker tables
  7. Shock absorbers
  8. Isolating equipment
  9. Heavy vehicle and work vehicle suspensions 

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