May 23, 2013
As more and more wind turbines are coming out of warranty, the industry is focusing on making sure that the assets they have in place are in proper running form. If it is the gearbox, the generator, and/or the rotor blades, they need to be inspected and/or checked.
In the case of the rotor blades, if they have had any sort of work performed on them such as repairs after lightning strikes, moisture in the blade, removal and/or addition of coating on the blades, etc. It is good practice to check the mass unbalance. By checking mass unbalance first and then performing the balance job, this will constrain the vibration levels to acceptable tolerances such as the VDI 3934. It will also help reduce the amount of wear on the rolling elements and gears.
May 21, 2013
Most people don’t understand the difference between aligning a short flex coupling vs. a spacer shaft and the importance of using the correct tolerances to align them properly. Our crash course video explains and simplifies the definitions and uses of alignment tolerances for short flex couplings and spacer shafts. It makes clear the absolute necessity of having both short flex and spacer shaft tolerance options in your laser alignment tool when performing an alignment.” —Pedro Casanova, Manager of the Alignment Division – LUDECA, Inc.
The Spacer Shaft Alignment Crash Course Video focuses on spacer shaft alignments, describing the unique benefits, tolerances and alignment methods specific to spacer shaft machines using laser alignment equipment.
May 16, 2013
The alignment of machine trains can be a lengthy task. In the past, alignment data of the entire machine train had to be manually graphed to scale in order to determine the optimal moves. The ROTALIGN ULTRA laser alignment tool can now instantly graph the alignment results of an entire machine train of up to fourteen machines to scale—maximizing efficiency and minimizing frustration. You can optimize an alignment centerline through a machine train to minimize corrective moves everywhere. Forget graph paper!” —Pedro Casanova, Manager of the Alignment Division – LUDECA, Inc.
The Machine Train Alignment Crash Course Video provides background knowledge along with tips and procedures for efficiently completing the alignment of multiple-element drives using laser alignment equipment.
May 14, 2013
Too often management remembers the unanticipated machine failure of three years ago rather than the dozens of prevented failures that did not occur since that event. The challenge to maintenance and reliability teams is how to keep their successes in the forefront of management’s mind. I have visited a large number of plants and factories over the years and one of the most effective tools I have ever seen is a trophy case. These display cases are most often located in hallways where plant personnel walking by can see the displayed saves. Often they will show a cut-away of a bearing or gear showing slight damage. The background often includes graphics indicating the amount of saved production time or saved cost when compared to breakdown maintenance.
One paper mill had a cutaway of two bearing raceways that both appeared to be normal. The accompanying background included pictures of the raceways taken with a stereo microscope. It showed a magnified picture of the good bearing in contrast to the bad bearing, which had looked good to the naked eye. The differences in the pictures were striking. The message was, we know what we are doing and this is real science, not guesswork, thereby proving that we provide value. Displaying your SUCCESS stories where everyone can see them will help paint a positive and progressive image of your reliability team. When they think of your program, they should think SUCCESS!
May 10, 2013
We will have all our shaft alignment, pulley alignment and vibration analysis and balancing maintenance-related products on display at the following trade show:
ACE13 ANNUAL CONFERENCE and EXPOSITION
June 9-12, 2013
Download FREE Pass to Exhibit Hall
2013 EASA CONVENTION
June 30 – July 2, 2013
Las Vegas, NV
Download FREE Pass to Exhibit Hall
May 9, 2013
If you are a vibration analyst or are responsible for managing a Condition Monitoring (CM) program or reliability effort, you are probably keenly aware of the “what have you done for me lately” mentality. This is a mentality that may frustrate us somewhat, but if we think about it, it is only natural. In fact, if we are honest with ourselves, we will probably find we apply the same mentality to others at times.
This being the case, it is very important that we keep our management team apprised of the value they are getting from us, our tools, and our training. This is not a personal pride thing, but simply a part of business operations. Corporate management reports regularly to stock-holders, showing the value of their management. Investors are willing to maintain their investment in a company, so long as they know they are getting a valuable return on their investment. In the same way, management will be willing to sustain their investment in CM along with its practitioners and equipment, as long as they are aware they are getting ample value in return for their investment.
CM efforts provide direct and positive contributions to key indicators like reduced downtime, reduced repair costs, reduced parts inventory need, increased production capacity, etc. If tracked correctly it will be clear to management that CM provides a big return on investment (ROI). Do not hesitate to bring Management’s attention to the many ways that CM contributes to the business goals of your facility or corporation.
Many companies are so accustomed to the CM department detecting unbalance in fans and the like, and then driving the remediation of the problem (via cleaning, repair and field balancing) that they no longer appreciate the value of such things. If the CM manager is not careful, he may find himself wondering what happened, because he took it for granted everyone appreciated the value of the CM contribution to the bottom line, only to find out some of his people (or even himself) are seen as expendable because the value of their work is not fully appreciated. In this era of downsizing and “leaning up”, this is a chance no one should take. Document the actual savings in parts, labor, lost production and downtime that you generated with your CM successes by averting the potential failures that would have occurred without your efforts.