Maximising production efficiencies in food and beverage processing plants

By selecting, maintaining and monitoring critical components and inside rotating plant and machines such as gearboxes, electric motors, pumps and fans, food and beverage processing companies can improve their plant efficiencies, eliminate production downtime and increase the operating life and reliability of plant equipment, says Dr Steve Lacey, Engineering Manager at Schaeffler UK. In food and beverage processing, production is typically based on highly automated, fast moving processes and systems, where every second of production counts. In these operating environments, the cost of production downtime can equate to hundreds of thousands of pounds per day. Total maintenance costs for a typical food or beverage manufacturer are around 15-20% of total costs. Although maintenance departments are set up to deal with problems like these, often, because of time and resource constraints, maintenance becomes reactive, with problems around the plant dealt with as they occur rather than in a proactive, planned manner. Condition monitoring (CM) prevents the unnecessary replacement of components and the subsequent introduction of possible new and unrelated problems. Maintenance teams can benefit from the use of CM technology to predict when failures are likely to occur and plan replacement during production shutdowns. In too many companies, components are replaced on a time basis rather than on a condition basis because this is considered to be the safest option. However, there are numerous technology safeguards available which, when compared to the cost of lost production, are relatively inexpensive. These safeguards use the latest CM technologies and predictive maintenance systems, including vibration monitoring, wear monitoring and automatic lubrication to protect plant and machines. Intelligent monitoring FAG SmartCheck is an extremely...

All you need to know about the lubrication of rolling bearings

A new publication is now available from precision bearing manufacturer Schaeffler UK. ‘Lubrication of Rolling Bearings’ contains a wealth of useful information for engineers who want to learn more about the principles, methods, selection and testing of lubricants for rolling bearings. The comprehensive 200-page publication begins by looking at the main principles and theories of rolling bearing lubrication, as well as the key design considerations such as viscosity ratio, fatigue theory, lubricant film thickness, load carrying capacity, calculation of the rating life, and the effects of friction, speed and operating temperature on lubricant performance The chapter on ‘Lubrication Methods’ includes grease and oil lubrication, as well as advice and guidance on the selection of the most suitable method. This chapter concludes by providing examples of both individual (single bearing) and centralised lubrication methods (multiple bearings) ‘Lubricant Selection’ provides in-depth information on how to select the most suitable grease (or lubricating oil) for rolling bearings. This includes information on the influencing factors such as speed, temperature, load, water and moisture, shock and vibration, vacuum conditions, mounting position, bearing type, as well as legal and environmental regulations that may also need to be considered. Other chapters include ‘The Supply of Lubricant to the Bearings’ including the miscibility of lubricants and the various types of lubrication supply systems and condition monitoring methods for lubricants. The section on ‘Contaminants’ deals with solid foreign matter, liquid contaminants, gaseous contaminants and the cleaning of contaminated rolling bearings. Other sections include lubricant testing; the storage and handling of rolling bearings; dry running and media lubrication; and coatings for rolling bearings, including protection against wear, friction and...

‘See Inside Manufacturing’, opens doors for Liam Smith

After attending a See Inside Manufacturing open day at Schaeffler UK in 2012, 18-year old Liam Smith is now enjoying life as an engineering apprentice toolmaker at the company’s Llanelli plant in South Wales. “The See Inside Manufacturing [SIM] open day at Schaeffler UK in 2012 was a real eye-opener for me. I particularly enjoyed the engineering challenges we were set on the day, as these tested our problem solving and team working skills. These challenges, as well as the guided tour of the factory, gave me a taste of what it is like to work in an engineering environment,” enthuses Liam Smith, engineering apprentice toolmaker at Schaeffler UK’s Llanelli plant. “The guided tour was fantastic. For the first time, I got the chance to see the variety of machines used in a high speed, high volume production environment. I saw a CNC machine tool for the first time and couldn’t believe the fine tolerances that the Schaeffler plant works to. Seeing all this made up my mind that I wanted to work in a practical, hands-on engineering role,” he continues. Early inspiration Prior to attending the SIM open day, Liam was unsure about his future career plans. In his early years, Liam attended Cross Hands primary school in Llanelli, where, he says, he had no thoughts whatsoever about working in engineering. It wasn’t until Maes yr Yrfa secondary school that Liam first started to consider a career in engineering. As he puts it: “My grandfather had a workshop in his garden, where he was always making things. I was lucky enough to be allowed to use his lathe,...

All you need to know about the lubrication of rolling bearings

A new publication is now available from precision bearing manufacturer Schaeffler UK. ‘Lubrication of Rolling Bearings’ contains a wealth of useful information for engineers who want to learn more about the principles, methods, selection and testing of lubricants for rolling bearings. The comprehensive 200-page publication begins by looking at the main principles and theories of rolling bearing lubrication, as well as the key design considerations such as viscosity ratio, fatigue theory, lubricant film thickness, load carrying capacity, calculation of the rating life, and the effects of friction, speed and operating temperature on lubricant performance. The chapter on ‘Lubrication Methods’ includes grease and oil lubrication, as well as advice and guidance on the selection of the most suitable method. This chapter concludes by providing examples of both individual (single bearing) and centralised lubrication methods (multiple bearings). ‘Lubricant Selection’ provides in-depth information on how to select the most suitable grease (or lubricating oil) for rolling bearings. This includes information on the influencing factors such as speed, temperature, load, water and moisture, shock and vibration, vacuum conditions, mounting position, bearing type, as well as legal and environmental regulations that may also need to be considered. Other chapters include ‘The Supply of Lubricant to the Bearings’ including the miscibility of lubricants and the various types of lubrication supply systems and condition monitoring methods for lubricants. The section on ‘Contaminants’ deals with solid foreign matter, liquid contaminants, gaseous contaminants and the cleaning of contaminated rolling bearings. Other sections include lubricant testing; the storage and handling of rolling bearings; dry running and media lubrication; and coatings for rolling bearings, including protection against wear, friction and...

Grease: How to avoid economic meltdown

A tub of grease costs next to nothing. A seized motor can bring a production line to a standstill, resulting in enormous accumulating losses. Magda Bartosova, Technical Advisor of Wellingborough-based motor specialist Rotor UK, says that remembering to lubricate electric motors will probably get the company accountant whining about trickle-spending, but… Electric motors are wonderful. They are highly efficient and so robust that they run and run and run. But they often drive critical processes, so a motor breakdown can be a very big issue. A good plant engineer will therefore want to make sure his motors get enough TLC to ensure a long, trouble-free working life. Modern motors are almost exclusively lubricated with grease, which is what this discussion will focus on. However, some older motors use oil-bearing felt and their maintenance programmes will need to be adapted accordingly. Grease can look messy and even harbour particles of dirt and debris, so the layman can be tempted to ‘clear it out and clean it up’. But, in fact, grease serves several functions including trapping dirt and debris so that it does not make its way into the interior of the motor and cause damage. Grease also reduces friction between moving parts, typically the components within the ball or roller bearings supporting the motor shaft. Perhaps less obviously, grease also serves the key purposes of transferring heat away from hot spots to help the motor run cool, and to reduce/eliminate corrosion of the metal surfaces. Many different formulations of grease and choosing the right one With all these functions to perform, it is not surprising that there are many...
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The one leading voice for the Fluid & Power Transmission Industry - Saturday, December 16th 2017
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