Archive | November/December

535

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November 1, 2007
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Lube Cart Showcase

There is plenty to consider when acquiring a lube cart, including flow rate, filter type and viscosity
range, among others. Aside from their many options and customizable features, lube carts
offer the flexibility of portable—and convenient—filtration. That’s a “must have” capability in today’s fast-paced production environments. These pages highlight some of the latest, featurerich filter carts in the marketplace.

 

1107_techupdate_img1TRICO CORPORATION
Trico’s Gear and Lube Oil Filtration System eliminates the problem of filtering lubricants with viscosities greater than 500 SUS @ 100 F. Capable of filtering oils up to 10,000 SUS @ 100 F, it has a 4 gpm flow capacity. Fluid compatibility includes most petroleum-based oils, including hydraulic, gear, turbine, transformer and motor oils, among others. Ensuring that equipment receives the cleanest oil possible, as well as maintaining long element life and pump protection, four-stage filtration is provided. The Trico system also features differential pressure gauges that indicate when each of the filtration elements needs to be changed. Two sampling ports are included for safely sampling and monitoring the condition of the oil. The system is available in two models—a Hand-Held System and a Portable Cart System.

Trico Corporation 
Pewaukee, WI 
www.tricocorp.com

 

1107_techupdate_img2HY-PRO FILTRATION 
Hy-Pro offers a wide range of portable filtration systems for conditioning fluid before use, during transfer and while in the system. Designed for hydraulic and lower-viscosity lube oils, the FC series features two spin-on filters mounted in sequence for multiple combinations of particulate and water removal. The FCL (pictured) is designed around a large coreless, high-efficiency filter element and well suited for conditioning high-viscosity bearing and gear lubricants. A toploading housing provides ease of element service and minimal mess. Hy-Pro’s standard carts are available up to 22 gpm and any voltage necessary, including explosion-proof. True differential pressure gauges give an exact indication of element condition. Oil sampling ports are standard before and after the filter elements. Other options include pneumatic or hydraulic power and integrated particle monitoring.

Hy-Pro Filtration 
Fishers, IN 
www.filterelement.com

 

1107_techupdate_img3HARVARD CORPORATION 
Harvard’s filtration systems clean oils and water glycol fluids. Their unique depth-type filtration is capable of removing 0.5 micron particulates and water from oils down to 50 parts per million, and clean them to ISO 12/8/6 or better. Harvard’s filter systems can be made to order for diesel fuel, up to ISO 1000 viscosity. Also available are small handcarry systems with 1 gpm flow, wheeled carts with 20 gpm flow and optional bag filters, magnetic pre-filters, flow meters and particle counters. Customized systems can be ordered with flow rates of 200 gpm and a wide range of voltage requirements.

 

Harvard Corporation 
Evansville, WI 
www.harvardcorp.com

 

1107_techupdate_img4HYDAC TECHNOLOGY CORPORATION HYDAC Technology Corporation offers Single and Dual Stage Filter Carts to transfer and filter hydraulic fluids at rates of 7 or 14 gpm. The HYDAC OFCS and OFCD Series are compact, self-contained systems with high-efficiency, high-capacity filter elements capable of removing particulate contamination and/or water quickly, conveniently and economically. They are suitable for cleaning up existing systems and for pre-filtering new fluids. The OFCS single filtration unit can remove either water OR particulate contamination. The OFCD dual filtration unit can be used to remove both water and particulate contamination, or for staged particulate contamination removal.

HYDAC Technology Corporation Bethlehem, PA www.hydacusa.com

 

1107_techupdate_img5DES-CASE CORPORATION Des-Case offers users an economical way to customize their portable filtration needs. Two products from the FlowGuardTM line—filter carts and “drum toppers”—can be easily moved as needed/where needed to those applications that do not require constant filtration. The compact “drum topper” filtration unit allows you to take filters into tight places you couldn’t reach before. Weighing approximately 55 pounds, these drum-topper products are light enough to carry onto platforms and under equipment that cannot be reached with a traditional cart. All FlowGuard products can be custom-designed online. Customers can select from a variety of filters, flow rates, ports, connectors, adapters, hoses and colors to meet the specific needs of their application.

Des-Case Corporation White House, TN www.des-case.com

 

1107_techupdate_img6IFH GROUP, INC. IFH (Innovative Fluid Handling) Systems offers the E.S.P. mobile lube maintenance cart. Standing for “Efficient, Safe and Productive,” E.S.P. carts are available in more than 75 different variations. They feature a modular design that allows users to install different size containers on the same cart and use a different type of pump with each container. Users also can pull any cart off at any time and replace it with a different one. An E.S.P. cart can be created with any combination of containers, pumps, filters, meters, reels, storage space and more..

IFH Group, Inc. 
Rock Falls, IL 
www.ifh-group.com

 

1107_techupdate_img7KLEENOIL USA INC. 
Kleenoil’s Mobile Filtration Cart is a multi-purpose, fl uid cleaning and transfer machine for use with most hydraulic, gear, transmission and engine fl uids. The specially designed Kleenoil fi lter can achieve an ISO 4406 Cleanliness Code of 14/9, well below the original standards of the equipment’s original manufacturers and distributors. The Kleenoil cart will fi lter particles down to 1 micron, remove 99.95% of all water and minimize the amount of dirt and debris within a machine. As a result, repair and maintenance costs are reduced, greatly extending the life of engine and hydraulic equipment.

Kleenoil USA Inc. 
Plano, TX 
www.kleenoilusa.com

 

1107_techupdate_img8Y2K FLUID POWER, INC. 
Y2K Fluid Power offers several portable fi ltration systems with various functions, abilities and performance. Manufacturing in-house, Y2K always is designing new and customized lube cart models. Its new PT Series fi lter cart is an all-in-one portable oil tote and fi lter unit. It can be set up with a new oil tank or with new and used tanks with separate pumps to reduce contamination. This system can pump new or waste oils or serve as an off-line fi lter cart. A diamond-plate tool box and portable oil tray for storage of smaller containers also is available.

Y2K Fluid Power, Inc. 
Stacey, MN 
www.y2kfl uidpower.com

 

1107_techupdate_img9SCHROEDER INDUSTRIES 
Schroeder offers the Auto Flush Filter Cart (AFM) for staged particulate or water/particulate removal from hydraulic fl uid. The user-friendly AFM comes complete with the Schroeder Test- Mate Contamination Monitor® (TCM), making it easy for users to continuously monitor ISO levels in real time. A Siemens PLC provides an easy-to-use operator interface and an RS-232 port allows data to be downloaded to a PC. The AFM cart can run in either automatic or manual mode. Other options include a variable frequency drive and a water sensor that provides water saturation and temperature readings.

Schroeder Industries 
Leetsdale, PA 
www.schroederindustries.com

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237

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November 1, 2007
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From Our Perspective: Making Green By Going Green

 

ken_bannister

Ken Bannister, Contributing Editor

If you could simultaneously operate in a “greener environment,” assure increased capacity and save money, all with minimal effort, would you?

 

Who among us hasn’t seen—or heard of— one or more of the recent “scary” documentaries “An Inconvenient Truth,” “Crude Awakening” and “The Death of the Electric Car”? Who among us hasn’t formed an opinion on global warming, the Kyoto Accord on industrial emission reductions and high energy costs? Individually or collectively, these things have heightened our awareness of serious issues affecting industry’s future— and our own.

Many maintenance and reliability professionals I have spoken with over the past two years have begun developing a social conscience in regard to energy waste and pollution matters. Realizing, though, that a concerted effort is the only way to make a real difference in their operations, more than a few of these individuals have become quite frustrated by the absence of the vision and organization needed to get started down this path.

The “boon” years of the past three decades saw corporations making huge profits, in spite of themselves and their ineffective practices. These days, things are different. Global competitiveness has turned us all into savvy consumers who look for high-quality, rock-bottom-priced goods that are manufactured by “Green” suppliers. This new mindset is forcing companies to examine their production and maintenance operations and practices more closely than they once did, with an eye toward making them more effective, more energy efficient and more environmentally friendly— all at the same time.

With up to 70% of all mechanical failures directly and indirectly attributable to ineffective lube practices, implementation of a world-class lubrication management program is arguably the easiest and most effective improvement program in which a company can invest. Not only is such a program immediately effective in terms of increasing equipment availability, utilization and life cycle, when set up correctly it delivers considerable positive environmental impact through its contamination control and energy management components. Furthermore, such a program takes very little—if any—capital outlay to implement.

Environmental ROI 
From an environmental standpoint, a lubrication management program is a gold-plated change catalyst that pays off in many ways, including:

  • Reduced on-site inventories of lubricants through the lubricant consolidation process
  • Reorganized and cleaned-up lubricant storage areas with spill control management in place
  • Improved lubricant storage, handling and transfer methods, resulting in improved contamination and filtration control that significantly reduces lubrication system and equipment leakage
  • Reclamation and reuse of spilled lubricants

Energy ROI 
Energy management experts now recognize effective lubrication as a major strategy in energy reduction. Using the right lubricant in the right amount greatly reduces energy losses caused by friction. For example, a simple switch to a synthetic in a screw type compressor resulted in energy savings of 7.3%. A lubrication delivery system tune-up and change to a premium lubricant on a 500- ton straight side press resulted in 17.9% energy savings.* In each case, both equipment availability and lube change-out intervals increased.

These savings are not unusual—they’re typical. More importantly, with many corporate annual energy bills running into millions of dollars, these savings can translate into tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars annually. In fact, many lubrication program implementations now are being funded solely on energy ROI, with uptime and availability stated as a residual benefit!

Think about it. Isn’t time for you and your organization to go “Green?” Good Luck!

*Source: Energy Reduction Through Improved Maintenance Practices, Kenneth E. Bannister, Industrial Press, NY, 2006.

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162

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November 1, 2007
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LMT News

News of people and events important to the Lubrication Management community

LEBLANC ANNOUNCED AS NEW CEO OF GENERAC 
Waukesha, WI-based Generac Power Systems has announced the appointment of Edward A. LeBlanc as CEO of the company. He takes on this new position in light of former CEO William Treffert’s recent decision to retire from Generac after 31 years of service.

LeBlanc, who has more than 20 years of executive management experience in the industrial and consumer products sectors, has been serving as non-executive chairman of Generac’s board of directors for the past year. Immediately prior to joining Generac, he had been serving as president and CEO of the Residential and Commercial Division of Kidde, plc, a supplier of fi re protection equipment.

NYQUIST APPOINTED PRESIDENT EMERSON PROCESS GLOBAL SALES
Emerson Process Management has announced the appointment of Jim Nyquist as president of Global Sales. He will be directing sales operations for all company divisions (systems, software, instruments valves and services). In his 30-year career with Emerson, Nyquist has served in a number of world area roles in the Americas, Europe and Asia, including, most recently, as president of Emerson Process Management Europe.

BHATTACHARYA IS NEW PRESIDENT AT WONDERWARE 
Invensys plc has announced that Sudipta Bhattacharya is taking on a new role within the organization as president of the Wonderware business unit. Bhattacharya will report to Ulf Henriksson, CEO of Invensys. He replaces Mike Bradley, who had served as Wonderware president since November 2002. Bradley was instrumental in driving the company’s HMI and SCADA businesses, and then taking the company deeper into other manufacturing and infrastructure spaces.

JOHNSON CONTROLS BUYS CANADA’S THE CAPITAL GROUP 
Johnson Controls has announced its acquisition of The Capital Group, a mechanical services company headquartered in Ottawa, Ontario. Specifi c terms of the agreement were not disclosed. Founded in 1974, The Capital Group provides mechanical services for commercial and industrial customers throughout greater Ottawa. The company has approximately 82 employees.

FLIR ENTERS AGREEMENT TO ACQUIRE EXTECH INSTRUMENTS 
Extech Instruments has announced that the company’s president and owner, Jerry Blakeley, has entered into an agreement in which the stock of Extech will be acquired by FLIR Systems Inc. The transaction, which is subject to standard closing conditions, is expected to be completed within the fourth quarter.

According to Blakeley, the acquisition of his company creates new opportunities in distribution, product development and branding that will extend and strengthen Extech’s position in competitive markets. Known for its approach to product development, Extech has made extensive use of IR technology for both measurement and communication. The company holds fi ve patents incorporating IR into measurement instruments, and was the fi rst company to introduce a portable printer with IrDA wireless communication.

KAYDON CORPORATION ACQUIRES AVON BEARINGS 
Kaydon Corporation has announced that it has acquired Avon Bearings Corporation (“Avon”) in a cash transaction valued at $55 million. Avon is expected to add approximately $30 million to Kaydon’s fi scal 2008 sales. Headquartered in Ohio, Avon is a custom designer and manufacturer of high-precision large diameter turntable bearings. It also remanufactures bearings and sells replacement bearings. According to James O’Leary, president and CEO of Kaydon, this strategic acquisition is expected to help his organization accelerate growth in the wind energy arena, one of Kaydon’s major markets, while both strengthening existing customer relationships and adding others. In particular, he notes, the Avon addition will broaden Kaydon’s presence in important offshore crane, construction and steel markets for very large diameter bearings, while also providing access to the refurbishment market where Avon has built a leadership position over many years.

BENTLY CERTIFIED TO TEST FOR ULTRA LOW SULFUR DIESEL 
Bently Tribology Services (BTS) has announced that both of its labs (Peabody, MA and Minden, NV) are now EPAcertifi ed to test for ULSD (Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel).The EPA requires fuel marketers and all those in the supply chain to demonstrate an effective monitoring program to ensure compliance with new sulfur limits for both highway diesel, NRLM (Non-road, locomotive and marine) diesel and heating oil. BTS also offers full diesel and biodiesel fuel testing capabilities.

ATLAS COPCO LAUNCHES ITS FIRST SERVICE DIVISION Atlas Copco Compressor Technique is merging its customer service and spare parts operations into a dedicated service division. “By combining our service operations we will strengthen the cost competitiveness of the business and improve the service we give our customers,” says Ronnie Leten, president of Atlas Copco Compressor Technique. “This will serve to grow our aftermarket business and gives an increased focus also within the equipment divisions.”

The mission of the new Compressor Technique Service division is to be the global leader in customer service, providing all service of compressors needed by Atlas Copco customers, with an extended range of offerings. The gains from creating a single division include focused purchasing and the coordination of overlapping functions. The other operational divisions of Atlas Copco Compressor Technique are Industrial Air, Oil-free Air, Gas and Process, Portable Air and Specialty Rental.

According to the company, Atlas Copco has experienced increasing demand from customers to provide full packages of equipment, as well as service, training and spare parts. Atlas Copco’s business areas, Construction and Mining Technique and Industrial Technique, also have organizations in place for focusing on the service offering.

YOKOGAWA HELPS FOUND ISA SECURITY COMPLIANCE INSTITUTE Yokogawa has become a founding member the ISA Security Compliance Institute, an organization of industrial technology vendors and end users dedicated to establishing specifi cations and processes for testing and certifying control systems products.

The new organization will work to establish a set of wellengineered specifi cations and processes for the testing and certifi cation of security characteristics for critical control systems products.

Conformant products will carry the ISASecure designation, enabling suppliers to substantiate claims of compliance and provide asset owners with an independently validated identifi cation of compliant products when making procurement decisions.

Members, working with technical staff retained by the Institute, will develop a set of compliance requirements based on ISA99 security standards and other relevant standards, such as IEC or DHS recommendations. The program will be designed to cover everything from the device-level products up to gateway interfaces, to business planning and logistics systems.

FLUKE OFFERS INDUSTRIAL TEST TOOL EDUCATION GRANT 
Fluke Corporation will donate two of its high-performance Fluke 289 True-rms Industrial Logging Multimeters with TrendCapture to 10 qualifying educational institutions through a new education grant program. Designed to help ensure that educators, students and entry-level professionals have access to state-of-the-art technology, the program lets instructors in accredited programs apply for grants of the Fluke 289 for use in training students to diagnose problems in electronics, plant automation, power distribution and electromechanical equipment.

Members of the Fluke Education Partnership can apply for the grant by completing the application form available on the Partnership’s Website. The Partnership is a Webbased program offering educators in technical, university and apprenticeship programs free curriculum materials and a discount on all Fluke handheld test tools. Membership is free. Applications will be reviewed by a committee from Fluke for program elements, including breadth of course offering, degree/certifi cation qualifi cations and statistics, and plans for using the test tools within curriculum. The winners will be announced in February 2008.

FSA/HI MECHANICAL SEAL COURSE SET FOR 2008 MARTS 
The Fluid Sealing Association (FSA) (www.fl uidsealing. com) in conjunction with the Hydraulic Institute (HI) (www.pumps.org ), will conduct a pre-conference workshop entitled “Fundamentals of Mechanical Seals,” at the 2008 Maintenance & Reliability Technology Summit (MARTS), on Monday, April 14, in Rosemont, IL. Presented by instructors from FSA member companies, this comprehensive overview is crucial for those involved with the selection procurement, operation and/or maintenance of any equipment that utilizes mechanical seals—from new engineers to operators to maintenance personnel. Topics will include mechanical seal designs and arrangements; operating principles and application limits; seal chamber design and pressures; installation; environmental controls and piping plans; life cycle costing of mechanical seals and sealing systems; and troubleshooting. Attendees will receive a free copy of the authoritative HI/FSA book Mechanical Seals for Pumps: Application Guidelines (a $195 retail value) with their paid registration. For details, refer to the full MARTS brochure in this magazine or on www.MARTSconference.com. (EDITOR’S NOTE: Applied Technology Publications, parent of Maintenance Technology and Lubrication Management & Technology magazines and organizer of MARTS, is an affi liate member of the FSA.)

ASSOCIATION NEWS

SMRP CONFERENCE RECAP 
This year’s SMRP Fall Classic Conference, held October 7-10, 2007 in Louisville, KY, brought together record numbers of maintenance and reliability professionals and suppliers to the industry. According to conference organizers, more than 1000 attendees and 69 exhibitors took advantage of this year’s annual event and the professional development and networking opportunities it offered.

The Louisville gathering featured 50 technical presentations centered on the fi ve SMRP core bodies of knowledge, including business and management, manufacturing process reliability, equipment reliability, people skills and work management. A sixth track, SMRP initiatives and values, comprising an additional 12 presentations also was featured.

At the Annual Business Meeting, former vice chairman Tim Goshert was chosen to take Tom Byerley’s place as the chairman of SMRP in 2008. The SMRP Certifying Organization’s (SMRPCO) vice chair in 2007, Rich Overman, will serve as SMRPCO chairman for the 2008 term.

News that SMRPCO was approved as an ISO Accredited Certifying Organization by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) on September 9, 2007 also was confi rmed. Since its fi rst exams in 2001, almost 2000 practitioners have obtained their CMRP certifi cation, including 281 in this year alone. Beginning January 1, 2008, the accredited exam also will be available as a computer-based test at more than 500 sites in the United States and Canada.

The SMRP Fall Classic was highlighted by another very special announcement regarding the establishment of a scholarship in honor of long-time, key SMRP and SMRPCO contributors Jack and Dorothy Nicholas. Known as the “Jack and Dorothy SMRPCO Scholarship,” it will be an annual award and offered to deserving students beginning in 2008.

For those planning early, next year’s SMRP conference is set for Oct. 20-23, 2008 in Cleveland, OH. For more information, visit www.smrp.org

YOUR NEWS IS OUR NEWS! 
OUR READERS WANT TO KNOW ALL ABOUT IT. 
SEND LMT NEWS ITEMS TO: jalexander@atpnetwork.com

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358

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November 1, 2007
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Part II: Oil Cleanliness: The Key To Equipment Reliability

Cleanliness can impact equipment life in a big way. For example, in hydraulic systems, with servo valves, a typical new unfiltered hydraulic fluid usually has an ISO cleanliness code of 25/22/19. The system requires a 16/14/11 based on pressure. By filtering the oil to the proper cleanliness level of 16/14/11, the life of the valve can be increased by four times.

As noted in Part I of this series, cleanliness is crucial to all equipment components—not just hydraulic equipment. In general, the tighter the clearances, the cleaner the fluid must be. Rolling element bearings have tight clearances with thin lubricant films. Table I illustrates rolling element life extension based on fluid cleanliness. Knowing that fluid cleanliness is important in equipment longevity, the next question is how clean does my fluid need to be and what kind of filtration is needed to achieve these levels.

Cleanliness targets The most sensitive components in a hydraulic are the directional control valves that usually dictate the cleanliness standards for the whole system. If only valve type and pressure conditions are known, a generalized ISO cleanliness code, as illustrated in Table II, can be used as a reference. Bearings also require clean fluids. ISO cleanliness requirements for bearings are shown in Table III.

Mike Boyd of Fluid Solutions has developed a simplified way of being more specific, based on equipment conditions, in determining system cleanliness requirements for both hydraulic systems and gearboxes. This simplified method can be seen in Fig. 1 and Fig. 2 (see page 10).

1107_contaminant_img1

Both Pall and HY-PRO filter companies have a method for calculating hydraulic system ISO cleanliness codes based on a large number of variables. Adapted from the British Fluid Power Association, a summary of this method is illustrated in Table IV.

Filtration requirements Selecting the most optimal cleanliness program requires the following:

  • Select the ISO cleanliness code to be achieved (previously discussed)
  • Select the correct placement for the filters
  • Select the correct filter sizing to achieve the desired cleanliness code

Hydraulic systems have a number of options on filter placement, including the three illustrated in Fig. 3. A fourth filter placement option with servo valves involves a control circuit filter placed just before the valves.

Cleanliness targets can be achieved with a pressure line filter alone or with a combination of various filter locations. As provided by HY-PRO, Table V notes the filter sizing to achieve various cleanliness codes with one filter containing a Beta ratio of 1000.

It must be must be emphasized that Table V is solely for illustrative purposes—and ONLY for HY-PRO filters. Each filter manufacturer has tables for its own cleanliness guidelines. Filter ratings based on the new test dust (>4μ, 6μ, 14μ) will be coarser for the same cleanliness code than the old test dust (>2μ, 5μ, 15μ).

Filter manufacturers use the Multi-Pass Filter Test to establish filter ratings in achieving cleanliness codes. (This test was discussed in Part I of this series.)

The Multi-Pass Filter Test is run at both constant and varying flow to simulate a hydraulic system as closely as possible. It can be run under many different conditions, including viscosity of fluid, amount of test dust added, flow rate, terminal pressure drop, etc. This testing is used to develop filter media to achieve different cleanliness targets. Because high levels of test dust are constantly added in the Multi-Pass Filter Test, high beta ratios compared to what is actually measured in the system are usually obtained. The same filter rated on an actual system may show a much

1107_contaminant_img2

 1107_contaminant_img3

lower efficiency. As an example, a filter on the Multi-Pass test rated at 6μ showed a beta ratio of 3000. When analyzed in the system, the actual beta ratio was only 3, but the cleanliness targets were met with the filter because a steady state condition had been reached in particle removal. Not many new particles were entering. The point here is that the way to evaluate filters is not strictly on beta ratios, but rather on how they perform in the system.

Achieving your requirements The most effective way to achieve your cleanliness code requirements is to optimize your filter placements and their size. The Parker Hannifin handbook is a particularly helpful reference in that it lists cleanliness requirements for various components and the filter requirements. As an example, for servo valves the handbook lists three different filter placement combinations: pressure, pressure & return line and pressure & offline. Many times, using a lower priced return line and/or offline filter will be more economical with the same results because a less expensive, coarser pressure line filter may be used. The four different filter options are as follows:

Pressure line filter…

  • High cost
  • Protects sensitive components downstream of pump
  • Sees total system flow
  • Bypass options

1107_contaminant_img4

Control circuit filter…

  • Directly before sensitive valve and
    will only filter fluid to that component
  • Protects sensitive valves
  • Cost effective when used in combination
    with return and/or offline filters
  • High collapse option

1107_contaminant_img5Return line filter…

  • Typically sees total system flow at low pressure
  • Cleans ingressed and generated contaminants
  • Low cost to weight of dirt removed

Offline filter…

  • Low pressure
  • Constant flow
  • Capable of optimizing system at low cost
  • Filter changed without system interuption

The impact that various filter options can have on a system can be seen in the following example. Here, a hydraulic system was using a 3μ control circuit filter and a 10μ return line filter. By changing to a 3μ return line filter, the particles >4μ were reduced tenfold and the control circuit filter could have been changed to a coarser grade to achieve the same previous cleanliness target.

Conclusion
The key to any reliability-based program is to develop a successful cleanliness control program. This is done by minimizing contaminant ingression through a cost-effective filtration program based on the following criteria:

  • Setting of cleanliness requirements based on objectives and equipment type
  • Selection of optimum filter placements
  • Selection of filter sizing

Utilize your filter manufacturers in evaluating your systems and building the cleanliness control program(s) to meet your requirements.

Coming up next time 
The final article in the series will present case histories on the economics of effective filtration programs.

Acknowledgments:
The author thanks HY-PRO, Pall and Parker Hannifin for providing useful information for this article. Particular thanks go to Mike Boyd of Fluid Solutions for his mentoring on filtration principles and providing valuable information.

(Editor’s Note: In Part I of this series— Sept./Oct. 2007, pgs. 34-38—Fig. I and Fig. II were provided by Parker Hannifin. They were referenced incorrectly, and we regret the oversight.)

Contributing editor Ray Thibault is based in Cypress (Houston), TX. An STLE-Certified Lubrication Specialist and Oil Monitoring Analyst, he conducts extensive training in a number of industries. E-mail: rlthibault@msn.com; or telephone: (281) 257-1526.

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488

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November 1, 2007
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Bearings and lubrication for small steam turbines

If you ever have dealt with small steam turbines, chances are that issues of bearing selection and lubrication had to be addressed. Among these are issues of rolling element bearings vs. sleeve bearings, types of lubrication and application of lubricants. Even the definition of a turbine’s suitability for a certain service is often debated and using such terms as “General Purpose” and “Special Purpose” begs definition.

While a common differentiation of general purpose (GP) and special purpose (SP) steam turbines is indeed made at 1 MW, process industry users frequently have deviated from this rather arbitrary rule. Reliability professionals often have specified general purpose turbines if there were some spare capacity or if there were redundancy in the form of installed spares, or nonessential services, or moderate speed and so forth. A good example is a plant where there were several 2 or 3 MW GP steam turbines driving cooling water pump sets. Here, it would be very uneconomical—even wasteful—to insist on SP turbines.

Examples in the opposite direction exist as well. Take, for instance, a 600 kW steam turbine selected to drive a small, but essential, process gas compressor. In this situation, a special purpose steam turbine would be specified for very good reasons. It will cost more than the GP version, but it will have a lubrication system that makes it less prone to cause unscheduled outages.

Keep hybrids in mind 
Hybrids are a composite of GP practice and SP practice. Packaged systems may have to be upgraded by identifying the (potential) weak link(s) and specifying certain elements that are otherwise primarily associated with GP or, conversely, SP equipment.

Competent engineers frequently will specify hybrid support systems, such as lube oil consoles (Fig. 1), electronic governors, oil mist lubrication (Fig. 2) or oil flinger disks, instead of potentially unstable and risk-inducing slinger rings, etc. Even the rather customary carbon seal rings that have been supplied for seven or more decades with GP steam turbines are due for an upgrade. Forwardlooking users are now often replacing carbon rings with high-temperature mechanical seals and, in doing so, reduce both operating and maintenance expenditures.

Best judgment 
The best judgment of competent reliability engineers uses lots of experience and sound life-cycle cost assessments. The practices endorsed by these engineers often lead established industry practices and written standards by a decade.

Sound judgment recognizes that the life cycle of a machine is inevitably influenced by operating and maintenance practice. These practices have been the subject of thousands of written pages in books and articles. Moreover, they vary from location to location and are difficult to generalize across the board. While the practitioners may be disinclined to share this information, we nevertheless can observe what true reliability professionals do: They look at the specifics of each case and carefully weigh the alternatives. They will then submit their findings to responsible management in writing.

Lubrication frequency and oil analysis

Real-world questions… 
Questions on re-lubrication frequencies and how these are to be determined recently have been explored by some readers, as have issues relating to fitness for service or extending the life of existing oils. Of course, the major lube suppliers provide products and services—either directly or through contract distribution channels. They also offer lube oil analysis as part of the supply contract.

Some plant engineers seem to have engaged the services of major and minor suppliers without regrets, and they have pointed out reductions in both lube amounts and the number of different oil types being inventoried. One of our readers noted that his company is now using a single or a couple of oil types and maybe just one grease. “Yet,” he went on to write, “I’m not so sure this consolidation is the best way, as you could end up being held to ransom, and maybe not get the best properties of oil for expensive equipment. I would be interested to hear your opinion on this subject.”

1107_equipment_reliability_img2

The same reader had looked at oil sampling valves and wondered which was best; he also noted copper greases were not to be used at his olefins site. He found two products that enjoyed name recognition and attempted to narrow it down to the best one. In terms of oil analysis sampling points, he opined that primary and secondary locations might be justified in some cases. Likening it to his analogous experience in vibration monitoring and analysis, he determined there was no need for “overkill of data” or complexity of the sampling system. “Data overload and complexity,” he stated, “might tend to become problematic and maintenance-intensive.”

Our reader pointed out, just as is the case with vibration analysis, that there is not the same need for detailed knowledge in all foreseeable instances. There are times when identifying the defective bearing component may be less important than simply knowing that the bearing should be replaced and determining the optimum time to effect the change-out. He indicated that component identification will obviously aid in finding certain root causes, and reliability engineers should strive to have a balanced approach.

Because the reader looked forward to our supplementary comments and thought his letter (and our answer) would be of interest to others, we are pleased to share this information.

 

1107_equipment_reliability_img3

Real-world answers… 
Certainly, the bulk of this reader’s questions have been answered in many currently available books and articles. Without taking the time to go into more detail, the use of a single type of grease for all applications in a modern olefins plant will lead to two alternatives. To maintain reliability and on-stream time would defi- nitely require more frequent preventive maintenance. If this diligent maintenance effort is not expended, the plant will give up a measure of reliability. If, then, an equipment user in such a facility is willing to sacrifice equipment reliability and equipment run length, he might opt to use a single grease type. However, the one advocating a single type of grease should be asked about ultimate life-cycle cost of the machines so lubricated. If the advocate were to take the time to study life-cycle cost, he might find some surprise answers. If he does not take the time to study the matter, he’s just guessing and is thereby putting his plant at risk.

A similar statement could be made if an olefins plant had been persuaded to limit its oil types to just one or two. The probability of such a facility gaining Best-of-Class status is so close to zero that it is certainly not worth debating. Nevertheless, some consolidation of lubricants is feasible, as long as one looks at the lube requirements item-by-item and machine-by-machine. Sweeping generalizations are just that, i.e. sweeping generalizations are rarely adding value in a reliability-focused process plant environment. We are not familiar with the preferred brand of oil sampling valves. We are, however, reasonably familiar with some providers of oil analysis. Some folks advocate this predictive approach in situations where it makes absolutely no economic sense. The times and places and frequencies where sampling and analysis make sense are again discussed in many books and merit closer study. Having a preferred lubricant provider often is feasible and sometimes even beneficial. Unfortunately, there are also instances where this provider tries to sell the user too much stuff, or the provider’s representative is inexperienced or neglects a user’s account because he prefers to expend most of his energy finding new customers. There also have been instances where the lube provider does not offer the most suitable oil and then makes the user-buyer his test bed for trial-and-error solutions.

In summary, there will never be a substitute for the user educating himself/ herself on these issues. Whenever some users think training is expensive, we often ask them to calculate the expense with no training! Whenever they tell us they have no budget to purchase books, we leave them to do what they’ve become accustomed to accept as their normal routine: repair, repeat the repair, and repeat the repair again…

Contributing editor Heinz Bloch is the author of 17 comprehensive textbooks and over 340 other publications on machinery reliability and lubrication. He can be contacted directly at: hpbloch@mchsi.com

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