Pan Pac Forest Products Ltd


When Cyclone Gabrielle washed two metres of water through the pulp mill and sawmill at Pan Pac Forest Products’ site in Napier, it damaged hundreds of motors and brought production to a standstill.

The majority of the motors were at ground level and therefore required servicing. Pan Pac’s Pulp Electrical Supervisor Brian Humphries, along with the Site Electrical team, turned to TRS and its nationwide network of branches to help get one of Hawke’s Bay’s largest employers running again.

Faced with unprecedented circumstances, Brian and the team worked with the TRS team to build a process to assess, service and repair every flood affected motor larger than 11kW ― some as large as 350kW.

“Everything relies on drives and motors to get the plant going,” said Brian. “We’re within the top five energy users in New Zealand and it was devastating to our electrical infrastructure for up to two metres of water to come through. Once we could get to site, weeks after the cyclone, we set out a plan for recovery ― part of that plan involved the remediation of all our motors.”

Having built a great working relationship with Mike and the team at Trind Service Hawkes Bay, Brian found the same good communication and quality service remained when it mattered most.

While closing the site and turning off the motors prior to the cyclone hitting had helped lessen the damage, a wave of water came through the evacuated plant.

“Most of our key electrical infrastructure is based at ground floor and water and silt definitely don’t mix with electrical equipment,” said Brian.

The clean-up task was immense.

“There are not just one or two motors that are going to go in for servicing ― there are going to be hundreds. We were quizzing Theo at TRS on what their capabilities were to support us ― because this is big. One of the factors that influenced us was TRS has got a network of branches ― a little workshop in Napier could not handle hundreds of motors,” said Brian.

TRS’s rewind staff were easy to deal with good communication skills, he said.

“Danie was responsive to all my queries and communicated with me as required when they found something additional that needed approval for repair.”

TRS also prepared the detailed reports and invoicing required for insurance and auditing purposes.

“With each motor we’ve been getting a service schedule back that tells us how they found the motor, what they’ve done to it and what state it was in when it left the workshop.”

A standard service protocol and priority return order for the motors was developed and anything found during the strip down and servicing was reported back with a quote for repair. They then sought instructions from Brian on how to proceed with each motor.

“This was a process that we put in place very quickly”, said Brian. “We developed, tweaked, and clarified the process as we went along by working together. Even when we’ve disagreed on some points, nothing major, we’ve dealt with them with good communication.”

Most of the motors needed to be stripped clean, serviced and the bearings replaced. Reports from a Baker electric motor test unit used by TRS also proved helpful in identifying defects with some of the motors that were lurking even before the cyclone, Brian said.

“We want good reliability from the motors ― once we get going again we don’t want to stop. We’ve lost a lot of production and a lot of money.

“When dealing with TRS, I’ve found them to be supportive to our needs, easy to communicate with and the quality of work is to a high standard. I’ve got no problems recommending them to others for their service.”

With TRS’s ongoing support, Brian estimates the pulp side of the plant will be up and running again in the first quarter of 2024.

If you are looking for a servicing partner for any rotating electrical equipment including electric motors, pumps, alternators, gearboxes and related equipment, get in touch with the TRS team on 0800 487 463.


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