Leading Journal of the Irish & UK Fishing Industries

Duwel Group, who will be exhibiting on stand 19 at Irish Skipper Expo, provides customers in the marine, industrial and hydro/clean power business areas with high performance, low wear and self-lubricating shaftline bearing solutions, including the PacFlange product range.

PacFlange was developed in New Zealand for the food processing and production industry, and was designed to replace conventional greased roller bearings, thereby eliminating grease completely and providing a zero-maintenance solution. The key component is the bushing material; ThorPlas-White, developed and manufactured by Canadian OEM Thordon Bearings Inc., which Duwel Group has represented for over 30 years. The material is self-lubricating, with low friction and wear properties and is food grade.

In 2020, Duwel Norway approached Norwegian trawler company Havfisk regarding their new build vessel Kongsfjord.  On older vessels they use greased roller bearings which the crew maintain with food grade lubricants, but find:

  • Lubricant costs are high.
  • Periodic washing down of machinery removes the grease.
  • Ungreased bearings regularly seize.
  • High cost associated with downtime and repair/replacement of seized units.

Seeing an advantage to their operation, they equipped PacFlange units to the new fish handling conveyor system.

PacFlange units are made from food grade approved housings, marine grade stainless steel sleeves (grub screwed to the shaft), which run on ThorPlas-White bushes.

The units operate just as well in wet environments as dry, so can be washed down freely with water or chemical cleaners without risk of operational deterioration. With a correct application, the ThorPlas-White will wear out gradually and thereby avoid unexpected failure.

When the bush does show wear, it can be turned 180°, doubling the life and reducing Mean Time Between Failures (MTB).

Two years on and Havfisk report they have achieved their return on investment, consumption of costly food grade lubricants has decreased, crew maintenance routines have shortened and risk of non-compliance with MARPOL is reduced.

Visit the Duwel Group stand at Irish Skipper Expo, to find out how PacFlange can help your vessel.