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38

1:12 am
January 18, 2017
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IDCON Grows Latin American Footprint with New Alliance Partner

Christer Idhammar, founder of IDCON INC., discusses his company's approach to maintenance maintenance productivity.

Christer Idhammar, founder of IDCON Inc., presents on his company’s approach to enhancing maintenance productivity.

IDCON Inc. (Raleigh, NC) has entered into a Latin American Alliance with the Cumbria Management and Projects group (Santiago, Chile). Terms of the agreement call for the two organizations to use IDCON’s philosophy, methodology, and documentation in providing professional services and training in the areas of reliability, maintenance, and asset management, for industrial clients across South America.

The newly established Latin American Alliance between IDCON and Cumbria will include Chile, Peru, Brazil, Argentina, Bolivia, Paraguay, Uruguay, Ecuador, Colombia, Guyana, Venezuela, Suriname, and French Guyana.

Screen Shot 2017-01-17 at 6.35.03 PMIDCON, which already has strategic alliances in Canada, Europe, Russia, Asia, and Australia to service its clients, provides management consulting in all sectors of the processing and manufacturing industries to reduce the overall cost of production through improved maintenance work management. All of these services are based on IDCON’s “Results Oriented Reliability and Maintenance (RORM)” approach that the company has developed over the years, through extensive project experience.

Screen Shot 2017-01-17 at 6.26.21 PMCumbria is in the business of providing professional services in Business Management, Project Management, Change Management, Organizational Development and Continuous Improvement Processes. Cumbria’s IDCON Alliance Brand names include “Cumbria an IDCON Alliance Partner” and/or “Cumbria e IDCON Avocados.”

24

10:54 pm
January 17, 2017
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National Instruments Continues IIoT Partnership Strategy in 2017

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Back in October 2016, National Instruments announced a partnership with Spark Cognition that provides a more holistic solution to asset management in the industrial machinery space. Now, National Instruments (NI) announces the opening of the new NI Industrial IoT Lab at its Austin headquarters.

According to NI, the IoT Lab will focus on intelligent systems that connect operational technology, information technology and the companies working on these systems. Examples cited include microgrid control and communication, advanced control for manufacturing, and asset monitoring for heavy equipment.

>> Related Content | National Instruments Partners with SparkCognition as IIoT Transformation Matures

Plus, interoperability is on NI’s mind as it moves forward in collaborating with protocol associations and technology leaders.

From the press release:

In this space, companies with expertise in communications protocols, controller hardware, I/O components, processing elements and software platforms come together to validate end-to-end solutions that can dramatically change the way businesses operate. Companies sponsoring the NI Industrial IoT Lab include: Analog Devices Inc, Avnu Alliance, Cisco Systems, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Industrial Internet Consortium, Intel, Kalypso, OPC Foundation, OSIsoft, PTC, Real-Time Innovations, SparkCognition, Semikron, Viewpoint Systems and Xilinx.

“We are excited to strengthen partnerships with other world-class technology companies. A working showcase for new technologies can help all companies involved drive breakthrough innovations for utility grids, manufacturing, asset health monitoring and several other industries,” said Jamie Smith, business and technology director at NI.

To learn more about the new NI Industrial IoT Lab, please visit www.ni.com/iiot-lab.

1601Iot_logoFor more IIoT coverage in maintenance and operations, click here! 

63

9:54 pm
January 10, 2017
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HYTORC Adds Battery-Powered ‘LION GUN’ to Bolting-System Lineup

screen-shot-2017-01-10-at-2-28-00-pmHYTORC (Mahwah, NJ) has announced the addition of the LION-.25 lithium-ion battery-powered torque gun to its lineup of industrial-bolting solutions. Also referred to as the “LION Gun,” the newly released tool is said to be first-ever consumer product from the company. Lightweight (7 lbs. with battery) and portable (with no attachments to hoses, cords, or compressors), it incorporates technology that keeps the unit free of loud noise and high vibrations that can lead to long-term health issues for users.

How It Works
Characterized by the manufacturer as ”the world’s first affordable precision-bolting system with built-in data recording.” the 18-volt, 4.1 ampere-hour  LION Gun is designed for applications with bolt diameters of 3/8 in. to 3/4 in. and the need for 25 to 250 foot/pounds (ft/lbs) of torque.

  • The user simply sets the desired torque output on the tool’s display and pulls the trigger to obtain fast, precise, repeatable torque without excessive noise or vibration.
  • The rotation angle can also be programmed for simple torque and angle bolting.
  • After tightening, the tool automatically releases for fast movement from nut to nut.

Once a bolting application is complete, the LION Gun can be connected to a PC or tablet to export the recorded data into an Excel-friendly format for reporting, storage, or additional analysis.

HYTORC notes that its LION Gun, for which there are hundreds of available accessories, is well suited for use in the aerospace, agriculture, aviation, marine, military, railroad, transportation maintenance, turbine, and utilities sectors.

For more information on the LION-.25 lithium-battery-powered torque gun (AKA “LION Gun”), CLICK HERE.

46

4:34 pm
January 10, 2017
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Fluke Introduces Online Motor and Drive Troubleshooting Course

screen-shot-2017-01-10-at-10-16-13-amFluke Corp. (Everett, WA) has announced the availability of an online Motor and Drive Troubleshooting Course. Developed, like other Fluke training offerings, by the company’s subject matter experts, this learning option is designed for maintenance professionals who have a working understanding of motor-drive systems. The goal is to help participants gain practical diagnostic skills needed to better understand motor/drive system health and improve equipment reliability, including, specifically:

  • How to improve motor/drive inspection and diagnostic skills for quick repairs
  • How to evaluate component failure, installation issues, and deeper system-level issues
  • How to identify the root cause of failures

The Fluke Motor and Drive Troubleshooting Course is divided into three modules that can be taken separately or as a package. They include:

  • Module 1: How to assess erratic problems in motor-drive systems
  • Module 2: How to assess repeat problems in motor-drive systems
  • Module 3: How to prevent motor-drive problems from recurring

According to Fluke, while the three modules work best when taken together in sequence, participants are welcome to select only those that interest them.

Individual 1 ½-hr. modules are priced at $110 each. The full 4-hr. course is offered for $300. Participants who complete the full course (all three modules) and pass the final test will receive a certificate of completion.

For more information, CLICK HERE.

144

5:46 pm
January 4, 2017
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Emerson AMS 6500 Machinery Health Monitor Earns SIL 2 Rating

screen-shot-2017-01-04-at-11-25-25-amEmerson (Knoxville, TN) has announced that its AMS 6500 Machinery Health Monitor is now certified for Safety Integrity Level (SIL) 2. The AMS 6500 provides predictive intelligence and protection capabilities that help sites achieve Operational Certainty through improved reliability and safety.

Whether operations need SIL- certified equipment to meet company guidelines or to comply with legal requirements, SIL ratings help evaluate whether a specific technology meets the selected risk tolerance for industrial applications.

Common examples of process applications where SIL 2 advanced safety integrities are needed are steam and gas turbines in power plants and critical refinery and nuclear industry assets.

For more information on the AMS 6500, CLICK HERE.

 

437

3:23 pm
January 4, 2017
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Understand Motor and Gearbox Lubrication

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Over-lubricated bearings will produce excess heat through internal fluid friction that can easily be detected with an infrared camera. Photo: Fluke Corp.

Among other factors, motor and gearbox lubrication programs require understanding and a controlled lubrication approach.

By Ken Bannister, MEch Eng (UK)CMRP, MLE, Contributing Editor

When a driven component is required to operate at a speed different than that of the attached motor (driver), a designer can choose from two basic power-takeoff speed-reduction/increaser methods. The first uses pulleys or sprockets of different diameters mounted to the motor and driven shaft, with power transmitted by a connective belt or chain. The second design connects the motor to the driven component through a gearbox, with the motor connected to the gearbox input shaft and the driven device connected to its output shaft.

When viewed in a maintenance-management-system database for lubrication purposes, belt/chain-drive motors and motor/gearbox units are rarely handled with separate PM work orders. Rather, the lubrication requirements are integrated as line items on a much broader machine PM work order. This is fine for sub-fractional and smaller horsepower motors. Larger, more expensive (and re-buildable), motors—usually 20 hp and more (there is no set rule to this)—require treatment as a separate entity from the parent machine, with their own asset numbers and PM/lubrication regimes, so as to compile work-history files. Furthermore, in the case of  motor/gearbox combinations there are two specific entities, one electro-mechanical (motor), the other purely mechanical (gearbox), that are best treated individually when assessing and managing lubrication needs.

Assuring motor and gearbox reliability is the result of good alignment practices and, more importantly, effective lubrication practices.

Bannister on Lubrication

Accompanying this article is the first of a new series of monthly lubrication podcasts with Ken Bannister. This month, he provides additional information about factors involved in lubricating motors and gearboxes.

Motor lubrication

Motors are electro-mechanical devices that turn electrical energy into mechanical energy. Motor magnets and windings are wound on and around a central shaft. This shaft is simply supported by two or more rolling-element bearings at each end of the motor frame and housing. These bearings are the only lubrication points on a motor, and are virtually always grease lubricated. With rare exception, fractional- and small-horsepower motors use sealed bearings and make no provision for external bearing lubrication. If the motor is balanced, aligned, and not overloaded, it should deliver a long life with no additional lubrication. This is not usually the case with larger motors, which are often subjected to heavier and often more variable loads, requiring larger bearings.

Depending on the motor design and manufacturer, external grease fittings usually are installed on motors rated at 5 hp and become much more prevalent on 20-hp units. When motors become more powerful and heavier, they place more load on the bearing points, therefore requiring grease replenishment on a more-frequent basis.

If a motor is to operate at peak efficiency, its bearing cavities (the available space between the balls, raceways, cage, and seals) need only be filled to 30% to 50% capacity, at any time. Because the bearings are hidden behind end plates, they are lubricated “blind” and are often subject to overfilling—especially with manual greasing. When this happens, the grease has nowhere to go except through the bearing cavity into the winding! Grease-filled windings lead to premature failure and a rapid decrease in motor energy efficiency, evident by the rise in motor’s amperage draw.

To alleviate this condition, larger motors are designed with a drain-plug or screw in the end cases that, once opened, will allow excess grease to flow through the bearing and out of the motor end case. If this is kept closed during the greasing process, excess grease will channel directly into the motor windings. If your motor has a grease fitting but no drain plug, use extreme caution not to over-lubricate, as the excess will make its way into the winding.

Over-lubricated bearings will produce excess heat through internal fluid friction that can easily be detected with an infrared camera. This can also be achieved by adding contaminated grease with a dirty grease nozzle or through cross contamination with a non-compatible grease.

Grease-gun inconsistency can be ironed out through use of a single-point auto lube (SPL) setup to deliver a small amount of lube on a continuous basis for as long as a year, depending on the size of bearing and lube reservoir.

SPL manufacturers have setup guidelines based on bearing size and altitude (atmospheric pressure is relational to constant-pressure grease flow) for initial setup, which can then be fine-tuned by monitoring amperage draw and/or bearing temperature. These signatures will be unique to each motor and will differ based on size and load.

Gearbox lubrication

Gearboxes are self-contained mechanical devices that allow power to be transmitted from an input shaft to an output shaft at different speeds through the meshing of different-sized gear sets held on each shaft. The gears and shafts are supported on bearings contained within a sealed “box” that also serves as a reservoir for the lubricating oil. Gearbox dimensions can range from palm-sized to room-sized. With few exceptions, all are oil lubricated.

Depending on the style and size, gearboxes employ a number of methods to move the lubricant over the gears and bearings, the most popular being:

• Splash lubrication. This is a common gearbox-lubrication method in which the reservoir is filled part way with lubricating oil to ensure partial coverage of all the lower mating gears. At speed, these gears use surface tension on their teeth to “pick up” lubricant and transfer to other gears and bearings through meshing and by “flinging and splashing” the lubricant in all directions within the sealed reservoir.

• Pressure lubrication. This method is frequently found on mid- to large-sized gearbox assemblies that use a gear-driven pump, typically located inside the gearbox, to work in conjunction with the “splash” method. Pressure-lubrication systems draw lubricant from the reservoir through a pickup-filter screen and pump oil at pressure through an internal piping system to bearings and gears that would be difficult to service with splash lubrication.

• Mist, or atomized, lubrication. This approach, reserved for the largest of gearboxes, uses a vane-style pump that picks up lubricant from the reservoir and “slings” it at a plate, causing it to atomize into a micro-drop mist. The mist saturates all of the mechanical components within the sealed gearbox.

In all three lubrication methods, choosing the correct oil viscosity and additive package is most important. Typical to all gearboxes is the need to ensure:

No cross-contamination of lubricants occurs during oil top-ups or change-outs. Label your gearbox with the correct oil specification.

No dirt or water contamination is allowed into the gearbox.

The drain, fill, and breather caps are always tightly in place.

The gearbox is regularly wiped clean of dirt and debris that will act as a thermal blanket and unnecessarily heat up the oil.

The gearbox is not over-filled creating churning (foaming) of the oil that can rapidly deplete the anti-foam additive, causing the oil to oxidize. This requires attaching low- and high-level markers to the gearbox sight gage.

If you have all of the above practices in check, make enquiries regarding the use of synthetic gear oils. These not only last longer but can cut your energy consumption as much as 4%. MT

Ken Bannister is co-author, with Heinz Bloch, of the recently released book Practical Lubrication for Industrial Facilities, 3rd Edition (The Fairmont Press, Lilburn, GA). As managing partner and principal consultant for EngTech Industries Inc. (Innerkip, Ontario), he specializes in the implementation of lubrication-effectiveness reviews to ISO 55001 standards, asset-management systems, and training. Contact him directly at kbannister@engtechindustries.com, or telephone 519-469-9173.


learnmore2“A Real-World Approach to Electric Motor Lubrication”

“The Inner Life of Bearings, Parts 1 and 2”

100

4:44 pm
January 3, 2017
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White Paper | ROI and the Connected Enterprise

170103itcwp2016 is done and internal debates with manufacturers and OEMs point to building business cases for Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) initiatives. IT and OT suppliers are partnering to provide more holistic solutions for manufacturers, but internal metrics have to be in place for these new IIoT initiatives to be successful.

A new white paper from ThingWorx, a PTC company, “Quantifying the Return on Investment (ROI),” provides starting points for manufacturers on what key metrics are needed for measuring these projects. The paper includes three case applications and a deep dive into the business entities within an enterprise, such as assets, engineering. operations, services and sales.

>> Related Content | Partnerships Emerge as Manufacturers Eye IIoT Strategies 

The paper emphasizes a holistic look at IIoT and how the above entities are connected. For example, the first customer success story reveals these metrics from disparate business units: reduced mean time to repair (MTTR), reduced travel time for calls and a look at service calls for each problem resolved remotely.

From the white paper:

ThingWorx has interviewed customers, analyzed results, and found top- and bottom-line impacts that executives need to understand. The following sections share these finding and discuss what they mean for the enterprise. You will find an overview of the business metrics for IoT and the description of a framework to quantify the return on investment.

>> Click here to download the white paper

1601Iot_logoFor more IIoT coverage in maintenance and operations, click here! 

78

6:21 pm
December 26, 2016
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Juniper Systems’ Mesa 2 Rugged Tablet Does It All, in Any Environment

screen-shot-2016-12-26-at-11-41-29-amAccording to Juniper Systems (Logan, UT), its recently introduced Mesa 2 Rugged Tablet means the days of juggling multiple devices to collect and analyze data, even in the toughest environments out there, are gone.

Containing everything a technician needs in one sleek package, the Mesa 2 offers what Juniper says is highest-rated protection against water and dust of any tablet on the market, and can go into the harshest environments imaginable. Running Windows 10, this lightweight, ergonomically designed tablet features what the manufacturer refers to as a “racing-fast processor,” a large, 7-in., extra-bright display for easily viewing maps or images, and all-day battery power lasting up to 15 hours.

screen-shot-2016-12-26-at-11-42-44-amGiven the product’s full Windows operating system and wide range of data-collection software and apps from which to choose, users can conduct an entire data- collection process from start to finish with this device. That includes taking photos, recording field notes, and capturing a GNSS location, then analyzing any data that’s been collected. Data can also be transferred to another computer or network by way of Ethernet, Wi-Fi, or Bluetooth.

Built to be ultra-tough, the Mesa 2 offers these durability ratings/capabilities:

  • IP68 waterproof and dustproof
  • Operating temperature: -4 F to 122 F (-20 C to 50 C)
  • Storage temperature: -22 F to 158 F (-30 C to 70 C)
  • Shockproof: multiple drops from 4′ (1.2–1.5 m) onto concrete
  • Designed for MIL-STD-810G test procedures: Method 500.5 Low Pressure (Altitude); Method 501.5 High Temperature; Method 502.5 Low Temperature; Method 503.5 Temperature Shock; Method 506.5 Rain; Method 507.5 Humidity; Method 510.5 Sand and Dust; Method 512.5 Immersion; Method 514.6 Vibration; Method 516.6

View a short “Mesa 2 Torture Test” video here.

The Mesa 2’s battery lasts a full 8 to 10 hours on one charge. The company notes that users who need more power can opt for an additional built-in battery that provides an extra 4 to 5 hours of runtime, plus hot-swap capability for easily changing batteries during extra-long days that result in overtime work.

For more information on Juniper Systems’ complete line of products, CLICK HERE.

 

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