Labeling ultrasound data collection points

December 13, 2016

datacollectionpointsTo facilitate the initial learning curve, a labeling system was implemented to help technicians collecting data identify bearings that were part of the initial survey. These descriptors were laminated to prolong their life in the unfriendly environment of a typical cement plant. Standard locations for data collection needed to be understood since labels would become difficult or impossible to read over time.

On the job training included understanding that readings collected on the drive motor bearings needed to be collected from the grease fitting on the non-drive end and from the upper portion of the end bell housing on the drive end. On driven equipment bearings, where direct access was possible, the ultrasound readings were to be taken in the horizontal plane directly from the bearing housing. (Note: with ultrasound it is not necessary to record data from multiple planes on the same bearing). Technicians were trained to take ultrasound readings as close to the bearing as physically possible while respecting personal safety.

This simple label proved important to the integrity of the pilot project to prevent greasing from well-intentioned lubricators.


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Christopher Greene joins our Alignment Division

December 9, 2016

LUDECA is pleased to announce the addition of a new member to our Laser Alignment Division, Christopher Greene. Chris grew up in Austin, Texas and now resides in Fort Worth.

Chris has extensive mechanical field experience with the installation and maintenance of Ariel, Caterpillar and Waukesha equipment.

In the last five years he has been engaged as a technical trainer preparing and teaching classes on Precision Alignment, Compression Reliability, Skid Electronics as well as Engine and Emissions protocols.

In addition to engine and compressor work, Chris has worked as lead mechanic in various professional race series and enjoys maintaining race cars, where he applies his precision measurement knowledge to reliability and to winning at the tracks!


I am very happy that Chris has joined our organization.  This is all part of our strategic plan to provide our customers with unsurpassed local support.  We have carefully selected knowledgeable Solutions Providers throughout the country that allow us to quickly provide our customers with local support.  In addition to the strength of our Solutions Provider network we have also created a network of local LUDECA technical staff that further strengthens our commitment to provide best-in-class support. Chris comes to us with a strong technical and mechanical background, ready and available to provide users with a great experience.” —Frank Seidenthal, president of LUDECA.

In his new role, Chris will support our customers and solutions providers with applications and training related to machinery alignment and other industrial measurement tasks.

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Aligning the bar feed on an automatic lathe: A case study using the Easy-Laser® E940 Machine Tool system

December 6, 2016


Recently, I&E Central (along with a service partner) used the Easy-Laser E940 Machine Tool system to perform alignment on an automatic lathe similar to the photo above. The lathe has an automatic feeder for 20’ sections of tube stock which are supported alternately by V-rollers, and then clamped by “steady rests” while being machined. The objective of this job was to have the stock in perfect alignment with the rotational center of the spindle when supported by either V-rollers or the steady-rests. In addition, there is a pusher system that advances the stock into the collet. The movement of the pusher needed also to be aligned with the spindle center line. This was a challenging measurement made possible by the availability of a spindle laser which could be directed back through the collet.

Measurement Procedure:

A laser transmitter was mounted in the spindle with its beam directed through the collet. The laser was adjusted to the rotational center line, then the spindle was turned at 200 RPM for measurement. In this way the beam precisely marked the rotational center along the entire length of the machine.

The first measurement was the location of the center of each steady rest. A laser detector was mounted on a short piece of stock, which was locked in each steady rest for measurement. A center of circle straightness program was used to measure and adjust the position of each steady rest. These were adjusted “live” so that each steady rest held the stock in line with the spindle rotation.

Once completed, pk-pk deviation in the vertical plane was 0.0095”, in the horizontal plane it was 0.020”, well within the customer’s desired specifications.

The next step was measuring the straightness of travel of the pusher arm relative to the rotational center of the lathe. This was accomplished by grasping a similar piece of stock with the jaws of the pusher, then using the same program to measure and adjust its true position at 4 locations along its travel.

The final adjustment involved adjusting the V-rolls to support the tube stock in line with the center of rotation. This adjustment was actually done without the laser. A full length piece of stock was secured in the collet with the other end supported by the pusher. Each V-roll in turn was adjusted with shims so that it supported the stock precisely on the center-line. The customer tells us that the machine now runs smoother than it ever has.

The measurement and alignment of this machine section was never performed by the customer or any service contractor in that they had no way to make the measurements. The power and flexibility of the Easy-Laser E940 system made this a straightforward job that was completed in 1 day.

Special thanks to Bob Dunn with I&E Central, Inc. for sharing this case study with us!

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If you had one tool for reliability what would it be?

November 29, 2016

The practice of reliability has many tools, processes and methodologies that can and should be implemented within a facility. Try as we may, it is usually not possible to implement and sustain all of them. So the challenge quickly becomes deciding which aspects of reliability to implement and in what order!

Implementation and enforcement of standardized work procedures is a very critical aspect of reliability and should be at the very top of your list of required reliability tools! Standard procedures focusing on fundamentals such as proper torquing, alignment, balancing, bearing installation, and equipment installation, should be in place. In addition, standard procedures for work request, work approval, planning, scheduling and work execution should be implemented as well.

Make sure that standard procedures are in place to execute the reliability methodologies at your facility. Otherwise, your site may always find it difficult to achieve sustainable and best practice maintenance and reliability.

Why? Unfortunately, people are usually the biggest obstacle we face in our jobs. People do not like to change, forget or misunderstand what needs to be done. Standard procedures will help ensure that reliability processes are routinely followed and things do not fall backwards to the unreliable way they have always been done. Additionally, it will provide the ability to track how well your facility or company is doing at implementing, executing and maintaining the reliability practices desired.

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Who is the reliability leader in your plant?

November 22, 2016

Hopefully, your company has global, regional and facility resources dedicated full time to reliability initiatives. These resources are necessary to help ensure improvements in maintenance, equipment run-time, capacity, profits and much more.

The question you and your organization should be asking is “who is the reliability leader in your organization”? The answer may seem simple, but could be quite surprising when given serious consideration. The answer should be “everyone”. The truth is that most implementation efforts in a facility or company fail. Unfortunately, this is very true for maintenance and reliability improvements. The reason is that not “everyone” is committed to the effort. Sustainable reliability requires understanding and dedication from many different groups within an organization. Supply Side, MRO Stores, Engineering, Procurement, Maintenance, Management, Operations, and Training must all understand the strategic value in reliability efforts and cooperate with each other. Otherwise, failure and unsustainability may be guaranteed.

If the answer to the question is that the “Reliability Engineer” and/or “Global Reliability Leader” are the individuals responsible, then your journey may not be complete. Your organization should have training in place to demonstrate the value and create understanding in all of these groups about reliability. Procedures should be in place to ensure that proper reliability best practices are considered from design, procurement, installation, operation and maintenance. Failure to do so will result in increased life cycle costs of the equipment , reduced capacity and reduced profits.

Remember that your maintenance department cannot overcome poor equipment design, installation or operation.

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LUDECA announces authorized SDT Ultrasound Solutions Service and Repair Center for the United States

November 2, 2016

LUDECA SDT Service Center

LUDECA is proud to announce that effective October 14,  2016, LUDECA is certified as an authorized SDT Service and Repair Center for the United States.

Our factory trained technicians are highly experienced, and committed to providing our customers with excellent service.

We look forward to servicing your SDT ultrasound products at our Doral, Florida location.

For more information, visit our website.

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