Excessive heat in a manufacturing or warehouse environment has negative effects on workers, production levels and even the quality of produced or stored goods. This is a growing concern because today’s North American industries are being pressed hard to match offshore production options. Fortunately there are plant cooling solutions that can solve this problem.
Research currently being carried out by the Center for Risk and Reliability, University of Maryland 1, and funded by the U.S. Navy is aimed at quantifying reliability in scientific terms. The present study “relies on a science-based explanation of damage as the source of material failure and develops an alternative approach to reliability assessment based on the second law of thermodynamics.” Current reliability calculations are predisposed to a single failure mode or mechanism and assume a constant failure rate, while this research implies that reliability is a function of the level of damage a system can sustain, with the operational environment, operating conditions and operational envelope determining the rate of damage growth.
Monitoring the condition of large industrial machinery provides long term benefits in terms of lower production cost, reduced equipment down time, improved reliability, and increased safety. Industrial manufacturers face a constant battle in keeping production equipment operational. Ensuring that all of the key elements of the process are in good working order allows them to standardize costs, ensure consistent output of the end product, and reduce the risk of delivery delay to their customers.
Machine and equipment manufacturers today are feeling more pressure than ever to reduce costs without sacrificing machine performance — a balancing act difficult to achieve. OEMs often overlook a simple solution that can have a positive, long-term impact on profitability for themselves and their customers, i.e. — the elimination of bearing lubricant. By eliminating lubrication systems where possible, OEMs can reduce production costs while at the same time make their equipment more marketable and less expensive to operate for end users. What are the issues with bearing lubricant? According to a major ball bearing company, 54 percent of bearing failures are lubrication-related (Fig. 1).
In a great step forward from management, an experienced reliability engineer was hired to help improve plant reliability. The first task for this engineer was to determine the equipment that causing the biggest losses for the business. Having had a CMMS in use for a number of years, this was the obvious place to start. The first place to look was the breakdown data, and this was easy to locate, as all breakdown work requests had been tagged in the CMMS. The breakdown crew had been trained well in the use of the CMMS, and each breakdown had been coded appropriately, which made it easy work to identify chronic losses. Continue reading
by Tor Idhammar
Bentley Systems CEO Greg Bentley recently announced the acquisition of Acute 3D while at the ARC Advisory Group’s Industry Forum. Bentley shared his insights on how this software can dramatically enhance productivity, turning a simple series of digital photos taken with a smart camera mounted on a drone into a 3D reality mesh model. The result is a compact, intelligent representation of the asset in its current operating context. He confidently predicted there will be a drone in every major infrastructure maintenance organization by 2016. Using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and normal digital photography, inspectors can observe existing conditions, then track and trend the condition over time with the ability to compare to the design basis or any point in its life. In fact, there are a growing number of uses of drones in industrial maintenance, reliability and integrity inspections.
In the current economic climate, only the strongest businesses are likely to survive. That means companies who perform reliably with a healthy cost level and, therefore, are able to build a competitive advantage over weaker performers. This also allows them to maintain a positive margin even in a depressed market, while others fall into red figures.
The most known concept to define reliability is: “Probability that an asset or system operates without failing during a given period of time under some operation conditions previously established.”
Sometimes, this concept is wrongly used due to the particular use given to the word failure. For many, failure only means shutdowns, so they construct complex mathematical formulas to calculate shutdown probability without taking into account that a failure also occurs when being inefficient, insecure and costly, having a high rejection level, or contributing to a bad image. Continue reading
Research into bearing failures1 shows that just over half of them are a result of contamination of the bearing oil (Figure 1). Clearly, it is essential to ensure that this is minimized and, if possible, eliminated to achieve the optimum bearing life necessary to improve equipment reliability. Continue reading