Machine condition monitoring for metals processing - Metal
Metals processing industries employ large, critical assets, the reliability of which is absolutely essential to their business model. An undetected failure of a piece of processing equipment such as a rolling mill gearbox, or a 1000 ton extruder press not only involves the cost of equipment repair and line downtime, but the product quality may be severely impacted. Today more than ever, there is also less redundancy. Oil analysis is a critical aspect of a reliability based maintenance program, and for many large slow speed systems, it is the first line of protection. Spectro’s oil analysis solutions are designed to monitor this critical oil lubricated machinery, and provide the asset owners with timely information for reliability decision support.
One of the biggest challenges to metal processors is the harsh environment in which they operate. Metals processing plants have tremendous amounts of dust and debris in the air which gets into lubricating oil. Instituting best practices for handling and storage of lubricants can greatly improve reliability.
Another challenge is smaller workforces. Oftentimes as people retire, they are not being replaced, so the workforces are smaller. This means more operators have to understand and be able to perform lubrication analysis. Having oil analysis equipment that is portable, intuitive and easy to use is imperative. It is also important that such equipment provides clear actions as a result of analysis, such as alerting personnel when alarm limits are exceeded or trending analysis indicates an impending problem.
Contamination of oil is big problem. Contamination can come in the form of debris and wear particles, but water can also be a critical contaminant. The cost of downtime is extremely high in metals processing plants. Therefore quick turnaround of test results is essential to keeping a plant up and running.