ABB’s Dodge gearing helps Thailand’s Capital Rice increase conveyor uptime
Capital Rice Company, an affiliate of the STC group, is one of Thailand’s top rice exporters, twice receiving the Prime Minister’s Export Award. To keep up with the growing demand for its white and jasmine rice products, the company recently completed a two-phase plant expansion of their Chai Nat facility in the Sapphaya district, Chai Nat province of Thailand.
When planning the expansion, company officials were especially interested in finding a more robust and reliable gearbox for all of the conveyors. Issues – from leaks to failures – were causing too much unplanned downtime in the existing plant.
“Some of the unreliable gearboxes were located on bucket elevators – which are used to haul bulk materials. These are often in areas that are hard to access,” explains Thitakanok Pimdee, plant manager. “We experienced many gearbox failures that stopped production. Because of where they were located, it added even more time to get the units repaired or replaced.”
When ABB’s Dodge sales team in Thailand, along with channel partner, Innodrive, learned that the plant’s maintenance team was unhappy with a competitor’s product, they offered a solution: a Dodge Torque-Arm II shaft mount reducer, alongside a low voltage IEC motor.
“We talked about how this rugged cast iron reducer is manufactured to withstand the heavy shock loads typcial of these applications,” explains Suttichai Wannapinyo, owner of Innodrive. “We also explained how the dual sealing system on all the shafts prevent contaminants from entering the reducer. We wanted them to understand that this reducer is engineered to handle the harsh environment of a rice plant and perform with minimal maintenance.”
Reliability was exactly what Capital Rice needed. In total, 110 reducer packages were ordered for the expansion. Today, this ABB package is now running on bucket elevators, as well as drag and belt conveyors, moving raw material through the mill. Production has jumped from 300 tons per day up to 800 tons per day, and the promise of reducer reliability has been delivered.
“We have come to trust ABB and Dodge product quality,” says Pimdee. “The reducers are operating reliably with no issue and only require the standard maintenance. We also appreciate getting the reducer and motor delivered as a package because it’s better to deal with one supplier, have one contact and one invoice.”