September 21, 2017

Equipment Monitoring and Maintenance

A stitch in time…

Companies are becoming fully aware that machinery maintenance accounts for a large proportion of plant operating costs. By doing the right maintenance at the right time rather than just operate a calendar based maintenance regime can have significant positive impact on your profit.

Maintaining one’s fleet is all important

On average, load/haul accounts for around 30% to 40% of the quarry’s operational costs. Afrimat’s northern regional manager, Charl Marais has one important rule when it comes to improving the efficiency of the machines on site, “If you cannot measure it, you cannot manage it.” One can probably attribute this outlook to the fact that Marais is an ex-accountant.

According to Marais, the only way to really save costs is to capture data continuously. We have instituted a system where our operators need to do inspections of their own machines. In addition to that, our mechanics need to inspect each of the machines at least once a week and the workshop manager for the area needs to inspect each machine at least once a month.

“Using this system, we are able to flag emerging maintenance issues and decide whether to do immediate preventative maintenance. The biggest challenge with this system is training. We are constantly training our operators in the workings of their machines. Perhaps not to the level of mechanic but at least to a point where he can identify basic maintenance issues,” Marais says.

This company is also pedantic about its fuel consumption figures. “We log the fuel consumption of the load/haul equipment constantly. The data is sent to be processed and we can review the figures in an understandable format,” Marais says.

Fuel consumption figures are scrutinised closely. Hardy recently noticed a trend concerning the dump trucks on a certain part of the incline from the quarry. “We realised that fuel consumption spiked when the trucks used a certain incline out of the pit. We would lose about an extra litre per hour on that section because the incline is slightly too steep. We are currently discussing ways of adjusting the incline because that loss in fuel can seriously add up over time,” Hardy says.

When a breakdown does occur or a machine part does not make its intended hours, Marais states that the cause of the problem is thoroughly investigated.

One question that arises is whether this system of data capturing might not be a serious waste of production time. The extra effort spent on data capturing and inspection could surely be spent more productively. Marais points out that Afrimat’s strategy, when applied correctly, collecting data should not take a significant amount of the worker’s time.

“A quick inspection is all that is needed. The secret is actually in the presentation of the data. If the data collected is reworked so that it is simple to analyse, half the battle is won already,” Marais concludes.

The quarry’s Bell machines are being supplied and serviced by Bell equipment.

Leonova-Diamond: a new portable condition monitoring device

BMG has launched a new portable condition monitoring device from SPM Instrument, which has been designed for accurate analysis, as well as diagnostic and troubleshooting capabilities, in harsh environments.

The robust hand held Leonova Diamond instrument provides a powerful combination – in one device – of well-proven measuring techniques and supporting diagnostics, for every situation.

“The Leonova Diamond, with the latest digital technology, offers advanced slow speed capabilities in a single, portable instrument. This device is not just a predictive maintenance tool – it can also be expanded to perform corrective maintenance, such as fast and easy machine alignment and balancing,” says Pieter van Zyl, condition monitoring manager, BMG – Bearing Man Group. “This durable instrument – the newest in the SPM range of condition monitoring products – has been designed for reliable and cost efficient maintenance, as well as extended service life in the most demanding circumstances.

“Core to effective pro-maintenance, is up to date information on a machine’s status. Shock pulse monitoring with the SPM HD method gives early warning of bearing deterioration – the most common cause of machine failure. The Leonova Diamond measures vibration velocity, acceleration and displacement, according to the latest ISO 10816 standards.”

The Leonova Diamond has an excellent signal-to-noise ratio and provides sharp signals, even in areas where signals are normally weak and low in energy content. This device, with advanced tracking functionality, measures a machine’s condition in the 1 – 20 000 RPM range. The wide frequency range, between 0 and 40 KHz, enables reliable measurement, where absolute position is final.

This device is also used in machines with journal bearings to measure dynamic and centreline movement of the shaft. Multi-channel measurement enables the use of triaxial transducers and multi-axes vibration monitoring. Previous lengthy measuring routines are now quickly and efficiently conducted.

In machinery operating under variable speed, vibration analysis with ‘HD order tracking’ provides reliable data and accurate measuring results, even under large RPM variations. The sampling rate is automatically and continuously adjusted to the current speed, enabling more precise measurements and more detailed spectrums than could be obtained previously.

Corrective maintenance techniques, including shaft alignment and dynamic balancing, can be added to this instrument as optional modules.

Specially designed modular software, supports the Leonova Diamond, providing easy set-up of personalised default settings for exact user requirements.

An intrinsically safe version of the Leonova Diamond instrument will be launched locally in the first half of 2013.

BMG’s portfolio of SPM condition monitoring equipment extends from basic hand held instruments, to high level on-line systems. These products are designed for users at every level – new operators, as well as advanced vibration analysts.

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