Archive | October

206

10:44 pm
October 19, 2013
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Uptime: ISO 55000: Management Systems For Asset Management, Part I

bob williamson thumb thumbBy Bob Williamson, Contributing Editor

Facilities and equipment management is about to be taken to a whole new level with the release of ISO 55000 Asset Management Standard scheduled for early 2014. Or is it? The long-awaited rollout of this new global standard might not be what many are assuming it will be. Then again, maybe it will. That’s the way it is with the introduction of global standards. Remember the launch of ISO 9000 and ISO 14001?

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256

7:28 pm
October 9, 2013
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My Take: Regarding Reliability — Enlightenment Matters

newjaneresizeBy Jane Alexander, Deputy Editor

The Texas A&M Turbomachinery and Pump Symposia in Houston was full of it: the “R” word, that is. It showed up, in some shape, form or fashion, in technical sessions, networking affairs, casual conversations, printed and electronic materials, exhibitor-booth signage, you name it. Whether or not the event organizers planned it that way, “reliability” (or, more precisely, the endless quest for it) seemed to be an underlying theme among this year’s attendees and exhibiting companies—just as it is in your plants, day in and day out.

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2

7:20 pm
October 9, 2013
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Uptime: ISO 55000: Management Systems For Asset Management, Part I

bob williamson thumb thumbBy Bob Williamson, Contributing Editor

Facilities and equipment management is about to be taken to a whole new level with the release of ISO 55000 Asset Management Standard scheduled for early 2014. Or is it? The long-awaited rollout of this new global standard might not be what many are assuming it will be. Then again, maybe it will. That’s the way it is with the introduction of global standards. Remember the launch of ISO 9000 and ISO 14001?

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1137

7:18 pm
October 9, 2013
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Compressed Air Challenge: Dry Compressed Air Efficiently

04cacBy Ron Marshall, for the Compressed Air Challenge (CAC)

Air is like a sponge: It soaks up as much moisture as it can hold. When moisture-laden air is sucked into the intake of an air compressor and squeezed, like a sponge, it releases the moisture it has absorbed. If left untreated, this moisture will flow downstream with the compressed air. As it flows, it will gather the dust, rust and lubricant that exist on the compressed air piping walls and form a soupy mix that contaminates downstream equipment.

In an effort to prevent this contamination from occurring, compressed air is normally dried and filtered at various strategic points before it’s sent to plant end-uses. The type of air dryer and level of filtration varies, depending on the quality of compressed air required. (In general, the better the quality of air required, the more expensive it is to produce.)

Refrigerated air dryers and desiccant air dryers are two of the most common types.

Refrigerated air dryers…
These types of dryers cool air to near the freezing point of water using a refrigeration circuit and a heat exchanger. As the air cools, water condenses out of it and is removed via a water separator. This produces a dew point (the temperature at which the moisture within air starts to condense) of between 35 and 40 F. It is the refrigeration circuit in these dryers that consumes most of the energy; a smaller amount of energy is lost due to pressure differential. Rated specific power on these units is about 0.8 kW/100 cfm.

Desiccant dryers…
These types of dryers use a moisture-adsorbing material, such as activated alumina, to remove water molecules from the air stream. Most models incorporate two separate vessels containing desiccant: When one vessel is drying, the other is regenerating to remove adsorbed moisture. Once regeneration is finished, the dryer automatically switches sides. The regeneration process consumes most of the energy in desiccant dryers; a small amount of energy is lost due to pressure differential. These types of units typically produce compressed air with dew points of -40 F. Rated power consumed ranges from 2.0 to 3.0 kW per 100 cfm.

The key to energy efficiency of compressed air dryers is realizing that standard units consume near full power—even at light (or zero) loads. Because such dryers are usually sized for the worst-case scenario (i.e., the hottest, most humid day, when the compressor is at full load), the average loading at normal conditions is typically much less than the dryer rating. Thus, it’s desirable to select a dryer that can turn its energy down with reduced loading. A second benefit can be gained if the dryer has a low-pressure differential.

Cycling or thermal-mass refrigerated dryers reduce energy with reduced loading. For desiccant dryers, the use of dew-point controls or capacitive sensing of the desiccant moisture content will reduce wasted energy from unnecessary regeneration cycles. Often, the choice of these strategies will pay for themselves very quickly.

More information on this topic and others can be found in the Library section of the CAC Website, or in our Best Practices for Compressed Air Systems Manual. MT

The Compressed Air Challenge® is a partner of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Industrial Technology programs. To learn more about its many offerings, log on to www.compressedairchallenge.orgor email: info@compressedairchallenge.org.

 

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336

7:17 pm
October 9, 2013
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For On The Floor: Skills Shortage As Real As Ever

rick carterBy Rick Carter, Executive Editor

We’re told to embrace change because it’s coming (like it or not). But for those affected by the U.S. skills shortage, change has so far been a no-show. Consistently ranked a top challenge for industry, the shortage of skilled labor for key manufacturing positions has received a lot of coverage and well-meaning attention in the past half-decade, yet still shows little improvement. 

Our Reader Panelists confirm this disturbing fact—again. Three years have passed since they were last asked about their skills-shortage problems. With few exceptions, the new responses on the subject, below, virtually match the old ones. I regret the repetition. I also hope another three years won’t pass before the news improves.

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260

7:15 pm
October 9, 2013
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Automation Insider: Flexible, Scalable Fieldbus For Asset Performance

garymintchellBy Gary Mintchell, Editorial Director

Welcome to the fourth column in this series covering industrial networking and how these networks benefit maintenance, reliability and operations functions in a plant. I have previously covered HART Communication Protocol, Foundation Fieldbus and the FDT standard for displaying status and diagnostic information from the field. This month’s topic is “all things Profi.”

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848

7:07 pm
October 9, 2013
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Lubrication Checkup: Single-Point Lubricators

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By Ken Bannister, Contributing Editor

Symptom:  

“We’ve begun using a variety of single-point lubricators for remote plant bearings on HVAC rooftop units, cranes, conveyor drives, etc. While our bearing failure rate has decreased drastically, we still experience failures. Is that normal for this type of automated lubricator?”

Diagnosis: 

Automatic single-point lubrication (SPL) devices are relatively inexpensive, compact and easy to operate when engineered and set up correctly. They can continuously deliver full-film lubrication to single or multiple bearing points for up to two years on one lubricant charge. There are four major SPL types:

1. Mechanical: Grease-gun-filled and reusable, spring-actuated; relies on atmospheric and system backpressure to slow lubricant release.

2. Chemical: Pre-filled single-use; employs a chemical reaction to generate expandable gas acting on a flexible diaphragm to push the lubricant into the bearing; once invoked, can’t be stopped or influenced until all lubricant is discharged. 

3. Electro-Chemical: Pre-filled single-use; employs a battery-operated programmable timer that sends an electrical charge into an electrolyte to produce an inert expandable gas that acts against an expandable bellows to push out lubricant.

4.Electro-Mechanical: Battery-operated, motor-driven device attached to a small positive-displacement piston pump; fully controllable and refillable; higher discharge pressure allows coupling to “splitter” devices and lubrication of numerous points simultaneously with one pump.

Each type demands different set-up and maintenance procedures. Their success relies on the user understanding exactly how to install and operate the chosen type, compensating for ambient condition factors and performing regular preventive checks while the SPL is in operation. Lack of discipline in this area can easily lead to incorrect use and bearing failure.

A second reason for bearing failure can be attributed to use of the wrong grease. Many SPLs come pre-filled with a specified lubricant that can easily be mixed and/or mismatched when units are taken from inventory. Be careful.

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Prescription: 

Keep your approach toward SPLs simple and consistent: Choose a design that best suits the application and use only that type of lubricator. Closely read and follow the OEM’s instructions for setting up, operating and maintaining the unit. Then train all staff on its use. Good luck! MT

Lube questions? Ask Dr. Lube, aka Ken Bannister, author of the book Lubrication for Industry and the Lubrication section of the 28th edition Machinery’s Handbook. He’s also a Contributing Editor for Maintenance Technology and Lubrication Management & Technology. E-mail: doctorlube@atpnetwork.com.

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