Equipment failure and unexpected down time can have huge repercussions on your production schedule and ultimately your bottom line.  But, they can also present a dangerous situation for your employees if that failure is catastrophic in nature.  Verantis understands this pressing issue and has developed monitoring equipment that can assist you in controlling your environment and keeping your facility on track.


What causes equipment failure?

Eventually all equipment fails just through the normal life cycle deterioration.  In general, all moving component devices inherently have a specified life cycle expectancy in accordance with their design criteria, components of construction and just their basic service life.  Some examples of these moving components include:

  • Drive Belts
  • Couplings
  • Motors
  • Input Shafts
  • Bearings

However, this deterioration can be hastened by process conditions that can occur during normal operation such as debris on the impeller, blades and/or housings.  Loose fasteners, improper maintenance and deterioration due to normal outdoor climate conditions including rain, snow, sun, and salt are also factors to consider.

Another area that can cause deterioration or equipment failure is specific event items that are not an element of normal operation or fall outside of prescribed operating processes or procedures. Examples of this include improper damper positioning and flow profile changes that can affect the force vectors on the rotating components.

How do I control my unplanned downtime?

The good news is that many times pending failures can be identified in advance by monitoring certain identifiable characteristics. If these characteristics are identified early enough, corrective measures can be put in place to delay or eliminate the failure.

Examples of these identifiable characteristics can be summarized as follows:

Heat

There are two areas where heat build up outside of normal operating parameters can become a concern and the relationship between the two areas is not sympathetic.

  • The first area generally is found in mechanical rotating parts concentrated around the bearings and related assemblies. Many times the coefficient of friction changes within rotating assemblies affecting seals, shafts and bearing retaining devices. Some of the most common causes include life cycle aging, maintenance practices, and misalignment or out of balance rotating parts.  The increasing heat rises above normal and exacerbates the root problem cause and, if not detected, accelerates failure.
  • The second area is found within the fan body itself, generally when the flow media is restricted by blockages within in the flow stream causing the media to overheat. This contributes to the internal temperatures exceeding the working temperature of materials of construction and resulting in damage to the fan surfaces inclusive of the fan blades. This can lead to catastrophic destruction of not only the blades but often the case and surrounding areas.

Vibration

Vibration is another identifiable characteristic of pending failure.  Vibration can be caused by:

  • misalignment of components
  • deterioration via wear of rotating components or an initial imbalance of rotating components
  • flow profiles disruption from initial ducting design and instillation or subsequent disruption to flow profiles caused by external factors
  • Material build up on impeller blades during normal operation

Vibration can cause significant higher than normal wear to components and/or failure or disruption.

Loss of flow

Loss of flow can be caused by component failures in the drive system, fan air handling system, disruption of flow through damper alignment in the inlet or outlet ducting or, other event changes affecting the flow path.  Improper usage of the damper (i.e. improper closure) is a common reason for loss of flow.

Pressure

Pressure is the instrumental force allowing velocity to be achieved in the flow media. Pressure disruption can be caused by:

  • dirty fan blades
  • reduction in drive component speed
  • changes in the flow profile causing the force vectors applied to fan blades to change
  • deterioration of inlet static pressure
  • leaks to the atmosphere within the system

Speed of fan rotation

Change in speed of operation can be caused by deterioration of the prime mover and associated drive components or source power deterioration or disruption. 

Life cycle of components

While many blades and housing can have life cycles of 25 years or more, assuming controlled operating conditions with in design limits and periodic maintenance and cleaning, it is still normal for some components to deteriorate even while receiving continuous maintenance. The downtime related to failure of the parts in most cases causes a cessation of operation that is many times the value of the parts and labor to install them.  Being aware of normal operating life cycles and how improper maintenance or unexpected occurrences can affect the fan can assist you in keeping downtime to a minimum.

Early Detection is the Key

The early detection of common issues that can cause disruption or total failure of the fan and potential personnel hazards can be controlled by identifying early warning signs of the failure and quickly communicating the information to the appropriate personnel.   Quick and simple delivery of this information can be easily done locally, remotely, or both by a system of diagnostic instruments that can detect and report conditions observed outside the norm set for the operating unit.  Verantis offers detection and monitoring equipment for the most common characteristics in premature failures.

  • Heat Monitoring  Kits
  • Motor kit includes bearings, heat detectors and thermocouples on the motor
  • Fan Housing kit includes temperature transmitter on the housing
  • Vibration Kit
  • Vibration monitors on motor base and fan housing
  • Volume Monitoring Kit
  • Kit includes volumetric indicators, averaging pitot tube and delta-p with manometer or transmitter down stream of fan housing
  • Pressure Kit
  • Pressure kit includes transmitter of 3 pipe diameters downstream of fan blades
  • Speed Kit
  • Kit Includes fan tachometer and motor running sensor
  • Life Cycle Kit
  • Spare parts kit includes bearings, shaft, drive sheaves, grease zerks, zerk extensions, belts, brushes, motor starters, switches, fan entry nuts, bolts and washers. 

All kits can be customized to your application or specific needs.