Best value for money 

Sucrotech’s technicians go international.            

Sucrotech’s senior technicians have been globe trotting to undertake assessments, maintenance and safety checks on BMA centrifugals.

Call outs for assessments before the mills stops crushing for off crop are becoming more of the norm as factory rely more on the Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) technicians to tell the mills what should be done in off-rope either by the mill or Sucrotech to keep the machine safe and ready for start-up.

Mills and refineries that have used this service in the past, and that are users of OEM equipment and consumables, know well that this service is provided free of charge.

Off-crop 2022/3

 Pirate goods are causing problems

With the off-crop work in full swing at our factory, we are this year, more so than in previous, received broken, incorrectly manufactured, wrong material non-OEM Centrifugal components that have been in operation at massive risk to the machine and operators.

These components have either been incorrectly repaired by the mills themselves or supplied by companies who perceive, incorrectly, to be able to supply or repair fast rotating centrifugal components to BMA standards.

We have this year repaired or replace numerous main bearing housings, distributors, main spindles and baskets all which have prematurely failed / cracked because of not being manufactured to OEM tolerances and material specifications.

 Not all BMA spares are ex import. Sucrotech is allowed to manufacture certain spares locally in accordance with BMA specifications to be able to use our costings and keeping the pricing local.

So, if you believe that you are getting the real or compatible component from others at a lesser price it is in fact, a lesser product which does one of three things;

  1. Either it breaks putting your machine and operating persons in harm’s way.
  2. Does not give the required process requirements.
  3. Or does not last as long in operation before requiring replacement.

All three relate to higher costs in the long run.

 For your amusement and expense, we include pictures of the some of this year’s findings.


Incorrect material and tolerances on a continuous spindle causing bearing seizure

Incorrect material and weld prep causing conti bearing housing to fail

Incorrect material causing conti distribution cone to fail

Incorrect material causing batch main spindle to fail

Incorrect tolerance causing conti basket not to be located and crack

Locking hood material fatigue cracking reported ok by others last season??

The correct hand fitting of plough assembly Guide Latches takes hours.

Screen Comparison

Why does Sucrotech only supply OEM screens?

BMA does not make screens but supplies them from vetted manufacturers to ensure that the BMA centrifugals meet their process requirements as offered.

We have undertaken many comparisons of screens in the past, at the user’s request, to ensure they last the ideal minimum 6 weeks of operation and to ensure that the through put is achieved and purity rise across the machine is kept to a minimum.

We have again made comparisons on two different makes of screens, one a vetted BMA supplier and the other not, but which is locally available. We have undertaken measurements and physical testing of the screens and, if asked, will also undertake a process test next season which we can already see will not be acceptable

You don’t need to be a separation expert to visually see the difference in uniformity / sizing of the slots. It’s clear that the one will do less curing and cause increase losses in the run-off.
From a measure properties point of view, it is clear that the one is more nickel with a lesser chrome covering but still less in overall thickness. Add to this the 20% reduction in the hardened working surface it is clear the OEM screen will provide extensively more operational time.

Costing out different Screen usage

What savings can one expect?

After reading the bullet above one may ask does it really affect me. This depends on who you are in the company.


  • The Buying Department are happy, they have bought screens in at the lowest price.
  • The maintenance staff are not, as they are having to concentrate more time on changing screens that wear or break prematurely. They also have the added pressure from the Process Department that the machines are not performing properly.
  • The Process Department is both happy and sad. They think that they have come-in under on the seasons screen budget which is short lived as they see at the end off the season, they are well over. The mill manager is on his back for losses and increased circulation / exhaustion which caused them not to meet the total cane crush estimate.
  • The Farmer is furious that his crop did not get harvested.

 So how much does this cost. Based on a moderate factory size with an average sized continuous machine (6 ‘B’ and 10 ‘C’) together with a 9-month crushing season then……  


Total number of screens used OEM                   96

Total number of non-OEM screens                   144

Purchased cost saving at a 20%

reduction between the screens….oops!.. neg R288 000 this is the direct cost      y you overpay per year

Add to this…….

Additional screen changes per season              48 at 2 hours per change.

Production time lost per season                       96 man-hours x 2 people.

          Throughput lost on ‘B’ product                         310 tons massecuite.                    Throughput lost on ‘C’ product                         100 tons massecuite.


          Add to this……

          Additional purity rise across the machine of  

just 1 unit rise based on 1.3m tons cane and

85 recovery for the season, lost potential          R1 760 000


Approximate total loss on an average mill with average sized centrifugals and just 1 point increase of purity rise R2 500 000.

With 2 points R4 260 000

With 3 points R6 020 000


All this loss without even looking at exhaustions, and all just from not buying OEM.


Ronnie Chetty          - Business Manager Sugar

Sheryl Moodley        - Spares servicing            

Cheryl Callanan        - Accounts 

Clayton Chinneck         - Works Manager

Stuart Ritchie            - Engineering

Ian Ivison                  - Commercial

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