South African wear part and bearings manufacturer Vesconite Bearings produces Vesconite and Vesconite Hilube at its Virginia manufacturing facility in the Free State.
Vesconite and Vesconite Hilube are advanced engineering bearing materials with unique combinations of properties specially formulated for challenging applications.
One of the toughest environments for bearings is the agricultural industry, where traditional bronze and steel bearings have a particularly hard time of it, given the host environment of grit, mud and water.
Vesconite Bearings technical consultant Marius van Zyl describes planters, seeders, harvesters, sprayers, hoppers and tractors as being among the many applications in which farmers enjoy using Vesconite bearings.
“Actually, you can use it for many applications on an implement, depending on the conditions of the application. Vesconite bushings are used on pivot points, articulation arms, oscillating bushings, tensioner bushings and sprockets, as well as Vesconite plates on wear pads,” he says.
Van Zyl explains that the main benefits of using Vesconite include that it is self-lubricating, does not require regular greasing, has a long life expectancy, is the perfect fit-and-forget solution and design, it does not absorb water, it is abrasion resistant and can handle a high load capacity.
“It saves money, time and labour,” remarks Van Zyl.
Vesconite Bearings CEO Dr Jean-Patrick Leger explains that Vesconite can be easily machined on standard metal working equipment, noting that these parts can be machined to precise tolerances.
“We have always focused on high precision, long-life bearing materials that do not require regular greasing. So, the idea is that you install these products, and that hopefully you will never have to grease them or grease them very seldom. Our focus is on producing premium long-life products, precision machined,” he says.
“Agricultural equipment is a focus. We sell thousands of metres of material every year for farming implements. A lot is machined here in South Africa, and then much of it is machined by our customers overseas who supply it into original equipment, for example, agricultural planters,” he explains.
Meanwhile, Vesconite Bearings mechanical engineer and sales representative Johan Cronje highlights the main reasons why farmers should consider Vesconite for farming equipment.
“When designed correctly, Vesconite is a maintenance-free solution to a problem. Our manufacturing facility is capable of machining almost any part in any size and shape. We have quick turnaround times, eliminating the long waiting periods when ordering parts from overseas suppliers. The Covid pandemic has highlighted the issues that sometimes occur when procuring parts from overseas, so we can offer a quicker solution,” he notes.
As a tried-and-tested solution for challenging applications, Vesconite has proved itself time and again as a long-lasting, low-maintenance alternative to traditional materials.
Verbo Engineering MD Kobus van Zyl agrees, pointing out that his company partners with Vesconite Bearings to design, manufacture and repair agricultural implements and equipment.
Verbo Engineering designed and patented the Verbo Vesconite bearing and specifies it for use in agricultural implements, where it thrives in conditions where traditional bronze and steel bearings often fail.
“It is a long-lasting alternative that can function in sandy, muddy environments without the need for greasing. It is also a great cost saver since there is no need to replace the entire bearing, only the Vesconite bushing section,” he explains.
Verbo Engineering has tested the Verbo bearing for several years, with very good results. Van Zyl notes that there are even some farmers who have changed all their implements to Vesconite.
“I believe that as the product becomes well known in the market, people will increasingly realise the time you save and what a good product Vesconite is,” he concludes.