Quinplex® Food Machinery Lubricant (4025)
Hanover Foods – Centre Hall, Pa.
Green Bean Line
- Reduced bearing replacements by 50%
Hanover Foods, located in Centre Hall, Pennsylvania, is one of fourteen plants in the company. This plant processes approximately 30 million pounds of green beans per year. Other products processed include sweet potatoes, carrots, celery, squash, dry beans and pastas. They have been in business since the mid 1940s.
Hanover Foods operates a green bean line that was assembled on-site by the Hanover maintenance staff many years ago. Various sized bearings are found throughout. This system consists of a vibratory belt system manufactured by Key Technologies, a conveying belt system manufactured by Hanover, as well as various bean washers and bean snippers manufactured by Hughes. This bean line constantly washes the green beans while the snippers remove any stems from the bean prior to entering the main building for further processing.
The bean line not only operates in the harsh environment outside the plant, but is also under constant water wash down. It operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week from the end of June thru September.
Challenge and LE Solution
Hanover was an LE customer years ago, but was replaced by less expensive brands in an effort to cut costs. In July 2006, the local LE lubrication consultant and James Ackley, sales manager, approached George Puff, head of plant maintenance. George reported that he was losing 13 to 14 bearings each month. When they examined the bean line in operation, it was obvious the grease they were using wasn’t properly protecting their equipment. It was emulsified, running and oozing out of the bearings.
The LE consultant and James talked about the superior performance and additional protection offered by LE’s Quinplex® Food Machinery Lubricant (4025). They showed George a sample and demonstrated the tackiness of the grease. George said he had to do something because the amount of bearings they were losing was unacceptable.
They made the conversion to Quinplex 4025 at the height of green bean season (July) and used it through the end of the season (September). Bearing replacement costs from $38 to $138 depending on the bearing type and application. Labor costs are around $35 an hour. George said they did a study about 10 years ago to determine downtime costs. Then, bean line downtime would cost the company approximately $1,700 a
year and George estimates the cost to be double that today.
Maintenance cost reductions are significant due to the lack of downtime using Quinplex 4025. George said they went from losing 13 to 14 bearings a month to about 6 or 7, a reduction of 50%.
The bearings that did fail still had grease in them, where as in the past the failed bearings would be dry.
Thank you to George Puff, head of plant maintenance, and to Caleb Hayes, LE lubrication consultant (pictured), for providing the information used in this report.
Visit www.le-international.com for more information about Quinplex® Food Machinery Lubricant (4025)