Jihad Salam from the Coates Hire Port Kembla branch was recently contacted by Transfield Services to provide technical expertise in the replacement of a bearing in a coal loader at the Port Kembla Coal Terminal (PKCT).
The PKCT is a key coal exporting facility on Australia’s east coast, 72 km south of Sydney and services two of the nation’s richest coal reserves, the southern and western coalfields of New South Wales, exporting high quality coking and steaming coal to customers around the world.
The Port Kembla coal loader is roughly six stories high, located in a stockpile facility 100m wide by 1km long and capable of loading at 6,600 tonnes per hour. Recently Transfield Services was engaged for a bearing replacement at the PKCT.
Executing the job six stories up was just one challenge. The team had to pull the shaft out first before any machining work was done. The shaft makes up the axle, which is surrounded by bearings with a housing over the top. The bearings had to be taken out before the axle could be worked on, and the 2.5-3m axle had to be machined.
The bearing had been there for 28 years, which meant there were very fine tolerances in measure to pull the bearing out. If jacked up too far, the bearing and shaft would be loading in the opposing direction. If jacked up too low, the weight of the coal loader would be sitting on the shaft and it would be close to impossible to get it out.
Jihad Salam from the Coates Hire Port Kembla branch liaised with Technical Product Manager Michael Broome to help specify the necessary cylinders for the job. Transfield proceeded to prefabricate the material needed and when they were ready, used the cylinders specified by Broome.
A 400-tonne cylinder had to be used with the loader being supported in both the horizontal and vertical positions by lock nut cylinders. The horizontal and vertical cylinders were 200t and 400t respectively.
An additional 50t capacity hollow core cylinder was also used as a bearing puller to remove the old bearings. The entire job was completed in just two days.