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Brammer help avert costly downtime for Tarmac

Brammer have helped Tarmac avoid costly downtime after a failing gearbox threatened to halt asphalt production at the company’s Mulberry Wharf facility, in Belvedere, Kent.   

A local Brammer branch in Crayford had received an urgent call from Tarmac regarding a potential motor gearbox breakdown, as the transmission unit was operating unusually loudly.

Brammer quickly diagnosed the mechanical problem as irreparable and found that the normal delivery time for a replacement was four weeks. An urgent request was made by Tarmac but this could only be reduced to two weeks – which would have led to downtime costing some £160,000.  

Brammer, therefore, sought alternative motor gearboxes, but the selection was limited as the broken down unit featured a 48mm output bore, which is not standard on other gearboxes.

The company was determined to find a solution, and Brammer technical specialist, Mitchel Chambers, suggested the use of a coupling with taper bores – one at 48mm to fit on the existing shaft, with the other to fit on a new Flender in-line helical gearbox, which had been identified as being suitable for this type of application.

As a result of the recommendation, the gearbox was built, delivered and installed at Mulberry Wharf in less than 24h, ready for operation the following day. All parts for the new motor gearbox are available from the local Crayford branch so, in the future, any replacement parts can be sourced within a matter of hours.  

Steve Wallis, regional manager for Tarmac, said: ‘The failing gearbox would have completely halted production at Belvedere, leaving us unable to meet orders and costing us a substantial sum in terms of downtime.

‘However, the rapid response and creative thinking of Mitchel Chambers and the local Brammer team delivered a solution, which meant production was not interrupted and that we can now access spares locally at short notice as and when required.’

Brammer UK, Claverton Court, Claverton Road, Wythenshawe, Manchester M23 9NE; tel: (0161) 953 8633; fax: (0161) 953 8694.


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