Blow away faulty fan problems with a reliability assessment

1st April 2013

Faulty fans can be a costly problem in food factories. The temptation might be to go for a quick fix but only expert assistance can get to, and solve, the root cause of the problem.

Five fans of similar design were used in a food plant. Four of them were trouble-free during the five years they were in place.

The fifth (see picture) was a constant problem. There were repeated unexpected failures, each causing 1.5hours of downtime requiring that airflow was diverted.

In addition to lost production time, other production issues sometimes accompanied fan failure.

The additional maintenance increased plant operations costs. Losses were as high as US$120 000 for just one unexpected failure.

After attempting several afixes' the plant management approached SKF for assistance in solving the problem.

Again the recommendation from SKF Reliability Systems was to have a complete Machine Reliability Assessment (MRA) using the technologies and processes required to improve fan reliability.

Reduced fan vibration led to increased fan reliability. Increased productivity followed, together with lower costs, saving the plant over US$120 000 per incident.

Machine reliability and maintenance issues are frequently complex ­ and the solutions require special tools and expertise that are not always available on-site.

SKF offers service packages designed to help keep this critical element in the production process running more efficiently.

Backed by decades of experience with OEMs and machine applications in every industry, SKF Reliability Specialists are trained to use the most up to date practices and specifications whenever applicable.

The MRA process is well defined to produce results. A team of Reliability Specialists reviews the entire machine, examining both operational and engineering aspects of the system to develop a complete solution. Some of the activities include: p Operating deflection shape analysis. p Lubrication analysis and recommendations. p Advance vibration analysis. p Precision maintenance. p Bearing maintenance. p Bearing mounting and installation. p Seal application review..

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