Categories: Shaft Alignment,Machinery Diagnostics,Machinery Maintenance,Other Topics

Three Major Contributors to Equipment Failure

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By on August 24, 2016

Past maintenance & production issues found in the industrial or manufacturing environment are still prevalent even in today’s equipment reliability focus. The major contributors to equipment failure remain the same, misalignment, unbalance and assembly errors. Another is lubrication, Mr. Stan Riddle addressed this in one his blogs “Machinery Vibration Problems part 3 – Lubrication”. Let’s take a quick look at the other three.

Misalignment.

There have been numerous blogs written about misalignment and the adverse effects. The following is a video produced by VibrAlign that gives a detailed description of those effects.

Unbalance.

Unbalance is an often misunderstood or overlooked issue, therefore I am attaching another video produced by VibrAlign that gives a good description of unbalance and the corrections that need to be made.

Assembly Errors.

This cause of equipment failure, unfortunately, is usually not detected until after the equipment has failed. Therefore, it is extremely important to pay close attention to the details during assembly and have a good understanding of the equipment being assembled. Sometimes the simplest thing can cause the biggest headaches. The following is a portion of a blog provided by Mr. Stan Riddle concerning bearing fits.

Proper Fits, Mounting, and Loading.  Bearing fits are often very precise, many times to tolerances of less than 0.001”.  Bearings normally should not “drop in”, nor should they be “beat in”.  The mounting surfaces should be concentric and clean, but not overly sanded, filed, or polished.  They should be MEASURED with a micrometer or gauge.  Proper bearing mounting tools should be used, not just brass bars and hammers.  Some bearings have clearances that must be set as part of the bearing installation.

bearing heater

I cannot tell you how many times over the past 39 years I have personally witnessed the lack of understanding of proper fits.

So, if you are experiencing repetitive equipment failures, could it be one of these three?

About the Author

Mac was a Journeyman Millwright at a Kimberly-Clark paper mill in Washington State before moving into a Maintenance Team Leader position. Later, he moved to Kentucky where he went to work for Wausau Paper as Maintenance Team Leader on a new mill start-up. This is where Mac was first introduced to VibrAlign. “I was so impressed with the people, passion, and products of VibrAlign. I had always hoped to one day give back some of the knowledge I have been fortunate enough to gain from others in my field. VibrAlign has given me that opportunity.”

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