Bearings prove cream of the crop at Tong Engineering

Tong Engineering turns to precision motion components from R.A. Rodriguez

Tong Engineering, a market leader in the design and manufacture of vegetable grading, handling and cleaning machinery, is using precision motion components supplied by R.A. Rodriguez (U.K.) in its latest innovation, the FieldLoad PRO.

A KDM-series turntable bearing and pinion provide each machine with an effective and reliable solution for the crop unloading elevator, ultimately helping the company to meet customer demand for greater efficiency and quality in this highly competitive arena.

With roots dating back to 1930 as a humble ironmonger in the market town of Spilsby, Lincolnshire, Tong Engineering has evolved into a £19 million turnover business that specialises in manufacturing advanced vegetable handling equipment – from single machines to complete, custom-built solutions.

The company exports its world-class equipment to more than 50 countries, providing machinery for processing everything from potatoes, onions and carrots, to parsnips, Brussels sprouts, swedes and more.

Superior transportability 

Constant innovation is one of the principal keys to retaining Tong’s market-leading position. The next-generation FieldLoad PRO is a case in point. Offering effective and versatile in-field and on-farm crop loading and cleaning, FieldLoad PRO provides users with superior transportability and the gentlest of handling. The machine can provide throughput rates of up to 150 tons per hour.

Reliable performance is vital in modern agriculture, which is why the company insists on high-quality components for its machines. The development process for FieldLoad Pro highlights this ethos. Tong wanted a solution to precisely and reliably control the slewing position of the crop unloading elevator, in effect a type of cleated conveyor that expedites the efficient transfer of harvested, clean crops to an awaiting trailer.

Preferred option

“We decided on a turntable bearing for this task, because, looking at the loadings and level of control required, it seemed the most reliable option,” explains Tong Engineering’s product development manager Neil Milson.

After a little research and advice, the company identified a KDM series turntable bearing from Rodriguez as its preferred option. Rodriguez medium series KDM four-point-contact bearings have for many years been meeting requirements in a multitude of approved and economical turntable applications.

As axial and radial loads – and tilting moments – can be absorbed, these bearings are robust and proven in the toughest of tasks. Featuring hardened raceways, KDM turntable bearings are available ungeared or with gear teeth as an integral part of either the inner or outer ring.

The KDM.I (internal gear) variant, supplied to Tong Engineering, features a diameter of 1094mm with standard clearances of ≤0.3mm (radial) and ≤0.53mm (axial), although reduced clearance options are also available.  

Maximum support

“For this project, Rodriguez gave me all the support I could ask for,” says Milson. “When I was looking at making the optimum selection, the advice I received was enormously helpful, pointing me in the right direction for this particular application.”

Originally, Tong Engineering had specified a larger bearing, but Rodriguez calculated that a smaller unit would still meet the needs of the task, thus helping the customer to reduce costs.

Each FieldLoad PRO requires one turntable bearing and each bearing features a pinion (also supplied by Rodriguez – SS825 model). Rodriguez has already supplied four turntable bearing/pinion sets to Tong Engineering as it ramps up the production of its FieldLoad PRO, every one of which is built to order.

“The KDM turntable bearing has more than performed to its requirements,” concludes Milson. “It is a robust piece of equipment that looks right for the job it needs to do. The quality of the product is really good.”

Tong Engineering identified a KDM series turntable bearing from Rodriguez as its preferred option.
Tong Engineering identified a KDM series turntable bearing from Rodriguez as its preferred option.

R.A. Rodriguez (UK) Ltd

14 Old Bridge Way
SG17 5HQ

+44 (0)1462 670044

More news
7 hours ago
Schaeffler rewards suppliers for outstanding performance
Schaeffler presented 19 of its suppliers with the Schaeffler Supplier Award at the Supplier Day in Herzogenaurach, Germany, in honour of their exceptional performance.
9 hours ago
Educational programme announced for Manufacturing and Engineering Week
With just under two weeks until Manufacturing and Engineering Week 2023 and its centrepiece exhibitions open their doors on 7th and 8th of June at Birmingham’s NEC, the full educational programme has been announced.
11 hours ago
Streamlining banding machines for sustainable packaging
When sustainable bundling and banding solutions company Bandall faced the challenge of using different sensors for detecting various product formats, it turned to Omron for a solution.
12 hours ago
Acorn partners with Bosch Rexroth
Acorn has announced its appointment as an LT Solution Partner for Bosch Rexroth Linear Motion Technology. Rexroth offers a very wide range of linear motion solutions, from a single component to multi-axis complete systems.
6 days ago
See the latest and greatest in Machine Vision Technology at MVC 2023
Now in its seventh year, the Machine Vision Conference and Exhibition is recognised as the leading machine vision trade show worldwide. This year’s show will feature an exciting range of new machine vision technology including the latest products from leading companies.
6 days ago
Unlocking success for UK manufacturers amid industry challenges
Omron’s highly anticipated Discover Omron Roadshow will bring together industry experts, thought leaders and manufacturers to exchange invaluable insights and empower participants with strategies to overcome hurdles, reduce costs, optimise efficiency, and drive overall cost-effectiveness in their operations.
6 days ago
ABB closes automation skills gap with new robotics education package
ABB Robotics is continuing to close the global education gap in automation and prepare students for the future of work with the launch of a ready-to-use education package.
6 days ago
Exciting array of speakers announced for Automation UK seminar programme
Automation UK, the new exhibition highlighting the importance of robotics and systems integration to the future growth of the UK economy, has revealed the details of the first of the industry experts set to speak at the sell-out event.
6 days ago
Essentra exceeds sustainability targets and launches new customer-led strategy
Essentra Components reports that it has exceeded its 2025 Scope 1 and 2 emissions targets and is reshaping its sustainability strategy to focus on helping customers achieve their sustainability goals.
1 week ago
MiniTec UK highlights aluminium profile system at MachineBuilding.Live
MiniTec UK will be highlighting its full range of aluminium profile, accessories and solutions at MachineBuilding.Live, including its recent appointment as systems integrator for LG Motion’s collaborative robot application.

Login / Sign up