Vector Lifting and Bonfiglioli collaborated last year on a 15-month installation for the Perth Transport Authority (PTA), successfully delivering a high-performance lifting solution to deadlines. The PTA had introduced a new fleet of trains and opened a new maintenance facility in Perth which needed 24 lifting jacks to be installed for the Perth Metro Network. Vector Lifting was awarded the tender for the supply and installation of a turnkey jack system, which elevates the train body off the track so the chassis and wheel set can be inspected, repaired, or exchanged as part of quality management. “This a new train with new requirements,” says Clinton Capelli, Mechanical Engineer, Vector Lifting. “Our jacks are synchronised and run through a controlled PLC system to lift all 24 jacks at the same time, same speed and to the right height.” “One of the reasons we were selected for this steel fabrication project – besides the fact that this is a highly specialised application – is that we are a local specialist manufacturer and are competitively priced,” adds Capelli.
To complete the jack system, Vector Lifting sought gearboxes from its long-time supplier, Bonfiglioli. “We have developed a good relationship with Bonfiglioli because we believe in their product – it is robust and reliable. Bonfiglioli’s short lead time and rapid manufacture of custom gearboxes is ideal. They always offer us very good product and technical support, and understand the pressures of our business,” says Capelli. Bonfiglioli supplied Vector Lifting with 24 A Series helical gearboxes in one consignment, ensuring that Vector Lifting would meet PTA deadlines in spite of the pandemic’s challenges. “Bonfiglioli offer local stock and assembly and, for large orders which may require an import, they achieve a quick turnaround because of their wide international footprint and manufacturing set-ups,” says Capelli.
Fred Whalley, Bonfiglioli’s State Sales Manager, says the A Series is suited to the jack system design so it required minimal adaption. “The helical bevel gear units offer a wide torque range and high efficiency in a compact and durable design,” says Whalley. “This enables smooth, easy handling of goods, even under the most demanding conditions. We have a large local stock holding but in the case of larger orders we can bring them in from Italy in a very short period.” Vector Lifting and Bonfiglioli have collaborated for 22 years. “Vector’s is a tried and tested model – they always order the right product for the application,” says Whalley about the Australian job crane specialist. “They boast a professional engineering team which is well-versed in the principles of mechanical engineering. We enjoy working with them.”
The pairing with Bonfiglioli has benefited Vector Lifting, in return. “Customers choose our products because we collaborate with Bonfiglioli and other suppliers which help us deliver a good product that can stand the test of time,” adds Capelli. “We feel that Bonfiglioli mirrors what is important to us in their own company ethos and how they interact with customers.” He points to the gearbox supplier’s comprehensive customer support offering, which benefits Vector Lifting customers. This is a prolific partnership, with plans underway for further collaborative projects. One is the roll-out of specialised winches (fitted with Bonfiglioli gearboxes) across several West Australian mines using mining plant and equipment, to provide functional and safety enhancements. “We are also in the process of designing specialised lifting equipment for other international rail operators,” concludes Capelli.