Seeding solutions for a Queensland bark mix manufacturer


Ralph Waldo Emerson once said: “The creation of a thousand forests is contained in a single acorn.” This is the case for Queensland-based Bassett Barks, who produce potting mix for plants from composted bark that provide healthy soil nutrients for growing operations. At the heart of Bassett Barks’ operations is a philosophy that promotes organic and sustainable processes through advanced bark processing technology.  

According to Workshop Supervisor Clem O’Mara, bark has valuable organic properties that retain water, improve the pH balance of soil, and encourage stronger growth rates in plants and micro-organisms. “The bark products we make are manufactured at the Bassett Barks site from plantation timber and recycled milling material,” he says. “Our composting is done on a purpose built concrete treated secure site and we perform rigorous on-site testing to meet strict quality control procedures.” 

About a year ago, Clem discovered CBC as a supplier and immediately saw them as a fit for Bassett Barks’ operational requirements. “We have wheel loaders, excavators, mobile screening equipment, trommels and a fleet of trucks that all require bearing and drives to run, and CBC is a one-stop-shop for those type of solutions,” he says.

During the manufacturing process, the raw bark is moved from the mills to the Bassett Barks workshop facility where it goes into a megagrinder to be ground into bark chips. At that stage, it is then sorted through screens and trommels and grouped by size for packaging. 

Clem maintains, repairs, and services all the equipment on site. “I do a lot of multitasking and prioritising to ensure our machines are always up and running,” he says. 

Recently, Clem was experiencing an issue with the belts on his megagrinder — the belts he was using were simply not lasting and causing unnecessary downtime to the most vital piece of equipment in his workshop. 

“The megagrinder was running a diesel V12 engine with three belts that were driving the rotor and grinding the bark,” explains Clem. “I rang up David Harwood and his team at CBC and they sent out a Gates® on-site engineer to our site,” he continues. “They did a design for us and suggested a new belt drive solution which allowed us to run less belts on the same megagrinder with even more horsepower.” 

CBC Sales Representative David Harwood explains how the right belt drive solution was selected for the megagrinder engine using Gates® Design Flex™ Pro™ software. 

“Finding the right belt solution is a constant challenge for any manufacturing environment because every machine has unique service needs,” says David. “Maintenance workers may try to implement the belts they have on hand when a piece of equipment has very specific requirements, which is why we work closely with Gates® as a partner to facilitate better belt solutions and increase the performance of belts on any given piece of equipment.” 

“The Gates® Design Flex™ Pro™ software makes drive design solutions much more streamlined by calculating the most efficient and effective belt solution for a particular piece of equipment,” enthuses David. “The software confirms the suitability of the existing drive solutions by analysing maintenance procedures and tension details. It can also survey an entire plants stock management plan to match and consolidate solutions.” 

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