• Short case studies of solutions delivered across a range of industries


Sugar Mill Rolls





Components used in sugar mills for the extraction of sugar juices from sugar cane are subject to significant wear problems, where the grinding rolls can be severely impacted. Wear on the grinding rolls leads to decreased grinding production rates and an increase in energy consumption, resulting in higher total costs. To mitigate the effects of wear on equipment used in sugar mills, we offer an array of advanced welding wires and electrodes, as well as automatic and semi-automatic welding machines dedicated to sugar mill applications. We also have technical experts with hands-on technical knowledge and expertise, located across the globe, to support mills in finding the right solution for their specific needs, which is exactly what we did for a prominent sugar mill in the Americas.

Sugar mill roll

Our team was approached by the customer who was experiencing high wear on the grinding rolls and incurring significantly higher costs from frequent replacement. The customer had recently purchased several new sugar mill rolls but was finding that the lifetime of the rolls was not meeting their expectations. Therefore, the total cost of ownership was far too high.

The customer sought out our technical expertise to establish if repairing the existing rolls was a viable solution to increase roll lifespan, decrease plant downtime, and reduce their total cost of ownership.

After an initial online meeting with the customer, it was agreed that we would undertake a wear audit to assess the rolls and the working environment, where it was identified that the rolls had significant wear after just one season of 185 days of grinding. The wear was causing the rolls’ grinding teeth to lose grip, which was causing lower levels of grinding productivity and deformed teeth. This was leading to reduced juice extraction rates, which in fully optimised mills should be in the high 90s percentile.

Following an on-site inspection with some additional analysis and data gathering, our technical team determined the best solution for addressing the specific wear experienced on the rolls and taking into account the customer’s specific requirements. The proposal involved a solution to protect the roll teeth by hardfacing them with our specially developed cored wires for sugar mill rolls.


Insufficient lifetime and productivity of sugar mill rolls


Protect existing rolls using Welding Alloys specialist hardfacing wires and SMK machine


Increased lifespan of the rolls by 4 times and improved productivity

Despite the significant wear that had occurred on these nearly-new sugar mill rolls, we were able to efficiently build up the rolls with the help of our Sugar Mill Kit (SMK) machine, which is a specially designed piece of automated welding equipment for welding of sugar rolls either in situ or in workshops. The SMK welding machine is engineered to be so robust and compact that sugar mills are able to repair their rolls during grinding, without the additional effort and costs of having to remove the rolls from service, or having to bypass the cane to other tandems. For added protection, sugar mills can also use electrodes to weld during grinding in hard-to-reach mill rolls or in space constrained mills.

Once completed, the refurbished rolls were put back into service in better condition than they were when they were new and remained in operation without any issues for a further four grinding cycles.

By using our MaxExtract and MaxExtract PLUS hardfacing wires and electrodes, the wear resistance of the rolls increased significantly and the grinding efficiency was also improved exponentially. The solution further resulted in an increased lifetime of the roll, meaning reduced downtime and maintenance for the customer.

During our follow-up visits, the customer expressed total satisfaction with the performance and longevity of the rolls, which had achieved a lifespan four times that of the rolls that were not hardfaced. The rolls completed another 740 days of grinding before experiencing the same amount of wear, therefore successfully reducing the total cost of ownership for the customer.

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