India is the second-largest sugar producer globally after Brazil. The country is also among the most significant consumer. Today Indian Sugar Industry’s annual output is worth approximately 10700000 USD. There are 732 installed sugar factories in the country as of 31.07.2017, with sufficient crushing capacity to produce around 33900000 MT of sugar. The capacity is roughly distributed equally between private and cooperative sector units.
Sugar production in factories works on a seasonal basis which varies from 6-9 months in a year, while the balance period is used to maintain the equipment and machinery. The equipment needs to run without stoppage for the entire production period. Any stoppage during the production period due to equipment failure leads to substantial production losses for the factory, thereby showing the importance of the concept of maintenance and repair to the highest level.
The trash plate is one of the most critical components of a sugar mill. It is placed in the middle of the three crushing rolls and is adjusted to obtain maximum juice extraction from the canes, increasing efficiency. The trash plate is subjected to abrasive wear combined with corrosive wear from cane fibres and extraneous sand particles and hence to be protected against wear.
The Rollers in a sugar mill are given a drive-by to rotate and crush the canes. Due to continuous operations, the journal area of the roller shaft gets worn out, which affects the drive. The journal gets worn out due to frictional as well as corrosive wear. Being an essential component of a sugar mill, it needs to be ensured that the journal is in good condition during the entire crushing season.
Hammers used in sugar mills crush the cane to extract juices. They are critical components, and a minimum of one season life is required to ensure productivity. Hammers are subjected to impact, abrasion, and corrosive wear.
Headstock in a sugar mill is subjected to corrosive conditions due to juices extracted from sugar cane. This leads to wearing out of the headstock, and it needs to be protected from corrosion.
Bull gears used in the sugar mill are critical components to run the rollers and are subjected to heavy load. A crack in bull gear may lead to high downtime for a sugar mill, especially during the crushing season.