Categories: Shaft Alignment,Machinery Maintenance,Other Topics

Benefits of Machine Maintenance and Cleanliness

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By on April 6, 2016

As technical trainers, we travel all over the country visiting factories, mills, power plants and refineries.  Just to mention a few.  We see and work on equipment of every type and size. From small 10 HP electric motors and pumps moving cooling water, to house sized engines turning generators that power our cities. Out of all of the travels to these diverse job sites with different equipment, we see one common trend.  Technicians who take care of their equipment properly get much better performance and longevity from their machines.

Photos 1-5 show equipment that has been very well maintained.

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It is kept clean, lubricated and properly painted to prevent corrosion and deterioration from the elements.  I spoke to the technicians about the way they take care of their equipment and they say this type of maintenance makes their jobs much easier and makes servicing the equipment fast and clean. (Their tools and hands stay cleaner and cleanup is faster!) Preventing rust and corrosion helps prevent the hold down bolts from sticking, allows the bases to last longer and minimizes cracking and crumbling of concrete foundations.

The remaining photos show examples of equipment that has been neglected or poorly maintained.

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We see excessive rust, dirt and debris.  The elements have been allowed to deteriorate and corrode the metals to the point where they are very difficult to work on.  Services take longer due to excessive cleanup time required before performing any work.  The life span of the equipment is greatly shortened and precision shaft alignment is challenging due to rusted hold down bolts and rust build up on the bases.  Deteriorating concrete mounting pedestals also make shaft alignment very difficult as this can allow the equipment to move and flex under torque.

Taking a little time to keep the equipment clean and protected from the weather and element will show huge benefits, both in time savings and cost savings.  Properly maintained and cleaned equipment will definitely last much longer and servicing will be easier and faster.

About the Author

James Pekarek joined VibrAlign in 2013. He has 18 years of experience in machine installation, electrical systems, maintenance and service management.

James began his career in the automation industry installing and maintaining various types of machinery and performing technical training to customers in the semiconductor industry. He spent 3 years with Cummins Industrial Power Generation as Service Manager. James also spent 3 1/2 years as lead Electrical Instructor at a vocational college serving the Wind Industry. While there, he gained his NFPA 70E certification as well as NEC 1910. James is also a certified Electrical Safety Instructor.

During his technical instruction career, James was introduced to VibrAlign and many of the products. He was impressed by the company philosophy and values and decided to pursue a career as a technical instructor with us.

James and his family live in Vancouver, Washington. He enjoys the outdoors, family time and building cars.

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