Archive | June


6:31 pm
June 10, 2009
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Lubrication Checkup: Greasing Your Motors

“As a greaser for an auto part manufacturer, I’ve noticed an increase in the number of replaced fractional and low-horsepower motors I now have to grease. Most of the replacement ‘offshore’ motors all have grease nipples, but they don’t seem to last as long as the ones without nipples. Any suggestions for grease amount and schedule for these ‘greasable’ motors?”

This seems to be a common dilemma in light of more fractional and low-hp motors coming from offshore suppliers. The majority of these units are fitted with one or two grease nipples to lubricate the motor’s bearings, yet, due to cost and physical motor size, relatively few have any form of lubricant drain positioned opposite the nipple(s).

Normally found in motors of 25 hp and higher—depending on bearing design and set up-most larger motors have drain relief ports located 180˚ opposite the greasing point. When greasing the motor, the lubricator is required to unscrew the relief drain port dust cap prior to lubricating the bearing. If the bearing is over-lubricated—as it most often is—the grease is allowed to benignly drain through the unsealed bearing and out the drain port. The lubricator then cleans the port and screws the dust cap back in place.

If the dust cap is in place when the bearing is lubricated—or no drain relief port exists—over-lubrication causes excess grease to bypass directly into the motor’s windings. This will start to hydraulically retard the motor, causing it to overheat and fail prematurely. Meanwhile, the motor will require a huge amount of additional electrical energy to overcome the fluid friction of the surplus grease.

Lubrication delivery system manufacturers who have been applying lubricants successfully since the 1920s have always subscribed to the unwritten rule NOT to lubricate motors of 50 hp or less that have sealed bearings. Because a rolling element bearing only requires 40% of its cavity to be filled with grease, “run-to-fail” strategies have proven more effective than “kill-it-with-kindness” over-greasing. With small and fractional hp motors, a very small amount of over-greasing can quickly become problematic. A better approach would be to replace the grease nipple with a plug and run-to-fail. MT

Have lubrication questions of your own? Contact Dr. Lube, aka Ken Bannister, who specializes in helping companies throughout industry implement practical and successful lubrication management programs. The noted author of the best-selling book Lubrication for Industry and of the 28th edition Machinery’s Handbook section on Lubrication, he also is a contributing editor to Maintenance Technology and Lubrication Management & Technology magazines. E-mail:

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6:00 am
June 1, 2009
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Viewpoint: The Importance Of Human Capital In PdM


Jim Seffrin, Director, Infraspection Institute

Savvy business professionals recognize the importance of capital when undertaking any new project. Failure to properly capitalize a project can have disastrous consequences—particularly when a business does not have the key resources it needs.

Unfortunately, in the aggressive marketing of predictive maintenance (PdM) technologies, it is relatively easy to spawn and perpetuate fallacies regarding the need for certain resources. One prime example is infrared thermography—often associated with the term ‘Simply point and shoot.’ Coupled with the promise of quick and substantial paybacks, facility managers will readily invest thousands of dollars in hardware and software, only to sometimes be disappointed.

To be successful with your PdM initiatives, it must be understood that such efforts (and technologies) are reflective of both art and science. As such, they require humans equipped with proper tools, appropriate training and sufficient field experience. Ample time to conduct testing and analysis also is needed.

Undercapitalizing manpower is often the greatest threat to PdM—and what can ultimately lead to program failure. In setting up a PdM program, the most common mistakes include inadequate staff and training and not enough time for data collection and follow-up testing.

When considering implementation of any PdM program, one must first begin by honestly assessing the amount of manpower required. For maintenance teams already working at capacity, it is unrealistic to expect that existing personnel will have several hours to dedicate to data collection and analysis each month. If necessary, consider adding personnel or redistributing responsibilities to ensure that technicians will have sufficient time available. In addition to technicians, companies must be certain to allocate or hire suitable support staff as well.

Because a PdM program is only as good as its technicians, training is crucial—something to be viewed as a long-term investment rather than a one-time minimal expense. When training is under consideration, make certain that course curricula are adequate for the intended inspections and taught by experienced instructors. Independent training firms may offer a better value than technology vendors since their focus is on training rather than future equipment sales.

While it is easy to focus on the promise of reduced downtime and labor, these are downstream benefits. The early stages of a PdM program demand significant time for data collection and analysis. Although some technologies can provide instant results, others rely on trending. In such cases, it may take several inspections to obtain meaningful data. In addition to data collection in the field, time must also be allocated for analysis and report generation. Depending upon the technology, report time might call for the same amount of time as data collection.

Once corrections or repairs have been made as a result of a PdM inspection, follow-up testing should be performed to ensure those actions were effective. Facilities that fail to re-inspect run the risk of an unplanned outage. Follow-up inspections are the final step in verifying that a problem has been solved.

To ensure their PdM programs are successful, companies should always seriously consider the necessary human capital—not just the hardware and software requirements. The proper investment in PdM technicians and support personnel can pay enormous dividends and help drive program longevity. MT

Jim Seffrin is a Level III Certified Infrared Thermographer® and director of Infraspection Institute located in Burlington, NJ. Web: IRINFO.ORG

The opinions expressed in this Viewpoint section are those of the author, and don’t necessarily reflect those of the staff and management of Maintenance Technology magazine.

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6:00 am
June 1, 2009
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Capacity Assurance Marketplace

Trouble-Free Brushless Motor & Control Family

baldor-brushless-motorsBaldor’s new family of BSM25C and BSM33C brushless motors offer the benefits of high torque and power in small packages, reduced maintenance and quiet operation. The new BMC series controls are simple to operate, as no programming is necessary; they provide a tight speed regulation better than 0.5% and use the industry standard input command (+/- 10Vdc) or optional pot input for speed control. The combination of BSM motor and BMC control adjusts for a speed range up to 7000 rpm, provides adjustable acceleration time from 0.1-30 seconds and comes in a fully protected package (i.e. motor overload, short circuit and electronic inrush protection, etc.).

Baldor Electric Company
Fort Smith, AR

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Multiport Junction Blocks For Sensors


AutomationDirect now offers Zip-Port™ multiport junction blocks that provide time, cost and space savings by allowing multiple sensors to be wired to a single block with one cable connecting to the control panel. Available in field wireable or five-meter cable versions, they feature four- and five-pin M12 connectors in four, six and eight-port models, and offer a choice of one or two I/O per port. All models are available with or without power and signal LED indicators.

Automation Direct
Cumming, GA

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New Online Power Quality Store

GE Digital Energy has announced the launch of a new Power Quality storefront on the GE Digital Energy Online Store. Orders for the company’s Power Quality products now can be submitted 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. As part of the Digital Energy Online Store, the newly added Power Quality storefront joins existing storefronts for GE’s Protection & Control, Communications and Power Sensing product lines. The wall mounted TVSS are the first Power Quality products available online, with more product lines to be added throughout the year.

GE Digital Energy
Rochester, NY

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Highly Chemical-Resistant Polymer Ceramic Pump Baseplates

castinite-hcrCASTINITE now produces ceramic aggregate polymer pump baseplate castings called CASTINITE HCR. They feature a no-drip embossed top edge, threaded grout hole and cast-in-place tapped holes for easy stilting. Cast flat for easy shaft alignment, they are available in ANSI standard sizes, as well as virtually any custom design. According to the company, the third-generation Cast to Tolerance™ technology used in its manufacturing process results in finished castings with no residual stresses, improved vibration dampening qualities, excellent corrosion resistance and long-term physical and thermal stability.

Mentor, OH

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Justifying Automated Lubrication


PLI, LLC is now offering “Sound Money Decisions,” a FREE and easy-to-use software tool that helps users analyze the cost benefits of automating some or all of their lubrication process with MEMOLUB Automatic Lubrication Systems. Users simply enter a few variables that describe their situation and this financial model will provide the answer. Change the numbers to best describe different operating areas of the plant and get the answers for each.

Racine, WI

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mountz-electronic-torqueElectronic Torque Wrench Does It All

The microprocessor-controlled TorqueMate® Electronic Torque Wrench from Mountz can be used for torque calibration, joint testing, auditing or verification of torque applied. But that’s not all. It features a memory capacity that can handle more than 2000 values, detailing date, time, torque & angle and measurement values. The statistical data can be easily downloaded from the wrench, allowing operators to evaluate the torque results in ASCII or binary format, as well as store test data for ISO, SPC and QC documentation.

Mountz Inc.
San Jose, CA

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Quick, Safe, Flexible Piping System Couplings


Victaulic’s new Style 177 QuickVic® Flexible Coupling has joined the Style 107 QuickVic Rigid Coupling in the company’s patented installation-ready piping system product line. Both are well suited for utility service and industrial process piping applications. Their single-unit designs allow crews to assemble an installation-ready coupling by simply inserting it onto the grooved end of a pipe, fitting, valve or any other accessory, and tightening the nuts with standard hand tools or an impact wrench, thus reducing installation time and making the task safer. There are no flames, noxious fumes or loose parts that can be lost or dropped.

Easton, PA

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Condition Monitoring The Intelligent Way

SPM Instrument’s Intellinova® online condition monitoring system uses the True SPM® Method to measure shock pulse and SPM Spectrum™ for in-depth bearing analysis on your critical equipment. Shocks emitted by rolling element bearings are analyzed with FFT. Band alarms enable easy alarm management and improved alarm reliability. For vibration analysis, Intellinova uses EVAM® (Evaluated Vibration Measurement Analysis). EVAM combines vibration time record analysis and vibration spectrum analysis with machine specific statistical evaluations to supply easy to understand machine condition data. Two-channel simultaneous vibration measurement provides the functionality for root cause analysis. The robustly designed system is well suited for harsh environments and long-term use. It is made up of an industrial enclosure, a Commander Unit and up to four shock pulse, vibration and/or analog measuring units, in total 32 channels. Measurement results are transferred via Ethernet to the diagnostic software Condmaster® Nova. Intellinova implements OPC™ Data Access, through which process control data can be transferred seamlessly to and from any data source, such as DCS or SCADA systems, PLCs, databases, gauges, spreadsheets etc. to any OPC compliant application.

SPM Instrument Inc.
Eugene, OR

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Testing For New Electrical Products

The Cooper Bussmann® Paul P. Gubany Center now offers both AC and DC testing to help OEMs meet user demand for new electrical products and comply with global safety standards. This includes high-fault testing at 80Vdc for telecommunications overcurrent protective devices. Using custom-designed power generating equipment to replicate power systems found around the globe, the Gubany Center is accredited by UL, ASTA and CSA, and is an ANCE Designated test facility. Customers can watch technicians perform tests in real time from the center’s observation deck or view test footage via video monitors.

Cooper Bussmann
St. Louis, MO

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6:00 am
June 1, 2009
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The Green Edge

Torque Certification Program Targets Wind Professionals


To meet the needs of the growing global wind industry, Snap-on Industrial has launched a torque certification program, which explores torque theory and proper use and application of equipment.

“The understanding and proper application of torque is a mission-critical element of a viable and sustainable wind-power industry in the U.S.,” said Frederick Brookhouse, business and education partnership manager, Snap-on Industrial.

Developed in collaboration with educators, the 16-hour course is designed as a component to an existing wind-power technician training course. The Snap-on torque certification program will be integrated into wind-power technician courses currently available at Lakeshore Technical College, Cleveland, WI; Gateway Technical College, Kenosha, WI.; Texas State Technical College, Sweetwater, TX; Cerritos College, Cerritos, CA.; and the multi-campus Frances Tuttle Technology Center in Oklahoma.

The torque curriculum includes modules on theory, technique, mechanical torque wrenches, electronic torque wrenches, hydraulic torque wrenches, torque multipliers and safety. The program is designed to cover all aspects of torque, from the basics through master-level skills.

Snap-on Industrial,
a division of Snap-on Incorporated
Kenosha, WI

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Software System For Sustainability

PE Americas’ GaBi 4 is a universal tool to address the need for sustainability data administration and evaluation on an organization, facility, process or product life cycle level. This software system provides solutions for different problems regarding cost, environment, social and technical criteria, optimization of processes and managing external representation in these fields. It can assist with: Greenhouse gas accounting; life cycle assessment; life cycle engineering; design for environment; energy efficiency studies; substance flow analysis; company ecobalances; environmental reporting; sustain-ability reporting; strategic risk management; and total cost accounting. There are even more situations where GaBi 4 can support sustainability management with concise data, indicators and evaluations. The versatile functionality of GaBi 4 lets the user discover new dimensions and leads to an advanced standard in easy operation and flexibility, including: readily usable process-plan design tools; automatic calculation of complex process networks; hierarchically combinable process plans; modelling of non-linear equations; uncomplicated application of allocation methods; control of completeness and consistency; data quality indicators; display of flow names and quantities; display of user-defined process images; and browser-based process data documentation, among others.

PE Americas
Boston, MA

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bryan-steamUltra-High-Efficiency Condensing Boilers

Bryan Steam’s new Triple-FlexTM Ultra-High-Efficiency Condensing “Flexible Water Tube” Boilers have a guaranteed minimum thermal efficiency of 90% in worst case condensing boiler operating conditions and efficiencies of 99% achievable with lower return water temperatures as found in new building designs. They fire at 3000 MBH input, with sub 30 PPM NOx levels utilizing a hybrid metal fiber 5:1 turndown burner and Honeywell “SOLA” hydronic safety controls and interface systems. Other features include easily replaceable stainless steel flexible tubes and easily removed access panels, as well as a variable speed combustion air blower.

Bryan Steam, LLC
Peru, IN

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Lean And Green Online Course

BOMI’s latest online course, Energy Management and Controls, will teach managers to understand the operation and maintenance of building control applications and devices, along with computer control systems, how to evaluate current systems, and how to develop energy management strategies for heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning (HVAC), lighting, auxiliary and electrical control systems. Additionally, it will teach managers how to communicate the need for changes to their managers. The course, which is part of BOMI’s Systems Maintenance Administrator (SMA®) and Systems Maintenance Technician (SMT®) designation programs, will be conducted from June 23 to September 1, 2009.

BOMI International
Annapolis, MD

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castrol-wind-turbineNew Gear Oil Boosts Wind Turbine Performance And Reliability

Castrol’s new Optigear Synthetic X gear oil offers outstanding wear protection and an extremely low tendency to form aggressive oxidative by-products. That, the company says, is why so many wind turbine bearing manufacturers are now recommending it. (Editor’s Note: Castrol Industrial North America, Inc. is part of BP, one of the world’s largest energy companies. BP Alternative Energy is a leading wind developer in the U.S. and has portfolios in Europe, Asia and Latin America. Its U.S. wind portfolio includes the opportunity to develop almost 100 projects with 15,000 MW of total generating potential.)

Castrol Industrial North America, Inc.
Naperville, IL

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6:00 am
June 1, 2009
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Solution Spotlight: Unitized Split Seals Will Simplify Your Life

A cost-effective alernative to equipment teardown

According to Chesterton, its patent-pending 33K split seal is not only quick to install and reliable, it has proven to outperform conventional lip seals.  Its innovative split technology prevents penetration of external contaminants from entering the housing to provide excellent service in bearing and gearbox applications, among others.


The 33K is manufactured using Chesterton’s unique machining process that eliminates the need for tooling costs associated with new sizes. The seal can be installed in either direction, thus allowing the end user to locate sealer rings away from a previously damaged shaft. Based on the product’s unitized assembly, time required for installation can be reduced from hours to minutes.

Materials that outperform conventional oil lip seals
The 33K incorporates two different high-performance types of materials:

  • The unitized housing is made from abrasion-resistant thermoset polyurethane that energizes and provides easy mounting to the equipment.
  • The sealing interface is made from high-performance, filled PTFE material developed specifically for sealing applications.

Fast, easy and reliable

  • Split design eliminates the need for and associated cost of equipment disassembly.
  • No equipment modifications are necessary. All seals are made to order. MT


A.W. Chesterton Company
Groveland, MA

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6:00 am
June 1, 2009
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Uptime: Maintenance Is Not A Supplier

bob_williamsonMaintain – To sustain or preserve a desired level of facility, equipment and process performance
Maintenance Department
A group of people assigned to sustain or preserve a desired level of facility, equipment and process performance
Maintenance Mechanic
A person with sufficient skills and knowledge to sustain or preserve a desired level of facility, equipment and process mechanical performance
Maintenance Budget
A periodic financial plan to sustain or preserve a desired level of facility, equipment and process performance
Maintenance Plan
A structured approach to sustain or preserve a desired level of facility, equipment and process performance
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6:00 am
June 1, 2009
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Boosting Your Bottom Line: Your Motor Inventory: A Cost-Effective Resource

motor-decisions-matterNow more than ever, many facility managers are feeling the pressure to reduce costs. Motor management is perhaps one of the easiest ways to start—and it can even save you money and help improve productivity.

Motor management is a set of ongoing policies and practices based on life cycle costing and proactive planning. Many facilities underestimate the size of their motor fleet and fail to keep track of maintenance and repair histories. In fact, a recent survey conducted by the FiveTwelve Group research firm revealed that 42% of the industrial and commercial facility managers surveyed did not know how many motors were in their facility, and 77% did not know how much their facility spent on energy.* Without this information, it’s difficult to make cost-effective repair/replace decisions quickly and consistently, especially when motors fail unexpectedly. Knowing what you have can also prevent you from purchasing equipment that you don’t need.

Getting Started
Building a motor management plan begins with clearly identifying what needs to be managed. This process is as simple as conducting a survey to create an inventory of motors, both those that are in service and spares. It may be easier to start with a subset of motors, such as the largest, most critical or those that fail most frequently. Your local service center can assist you with developing an approach to survey and track your motors. Your local utility may offer technical or financial assistance or equipment rebates to help defray the costs of new purchases or upgrade older, less efficient equipment. The following resources provide an overview of the basics:

The Motor Planning Kit, developed by the Motor Decisions MatterSM (MDM) Campaign, is a resource of strategies, tools and resources for developing a comprehensive Motor Management Plan. MDM is sponsored by utility efficiency programs, motor manufacturers, and motor sales and service centers. These organizations have a demonstrated expertise in the products and services involved in motor management: electricity use, high efficiency motors (NEMA Premium®) and best practice motor repair. They share a common goal to improve the way industrial motor repair/replace decisions are made.

The Motor Survey How-To Guide includes step-by-step instructions for conducting a motor survey and developing a motor management plan. The guide was developed by Advanced Energy, a nonprofit technology consultant (and MDM Sponsor) that specializes in industrial process technologies, motors and drives testing and applied building.

MotorMaster, made available by the U.S. Department of Energy Industrial Technologies Program, is an interactive software used to create a detailed motor inventory, analyze energy savings and estimate motor life cycle costs. It can accommodate the motor needs of both small and large companies, and contains information for more than 20,000 motors.

An up-to-date motor inventory gives facility managers basic, but important, data about their motor fleet: what, where and how many. Knowing what motors you have lets you make cost-effective decisions that keep your facility running—and help you remain calm in a crisis. MT


The Motor Decisions Matter campaign is managed by the Consortium for Energy Efficiency, a North American nonprofit organization that promotes energy-saving products, equipment and technologies. For further information about MDM, contact Kellem Emanuele at or (617) 589-3949, x225.

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