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One of the factors that affect the performance of rotating equipment is shaft alignment. Misaligned shafts tend to generate excessive forces when the equipment is in operation, which stresses the rotating components. Additionally, these forces also affect the lubricant, and in severe cases, the exerted forces reduce the film thickness of the lubricant and this accelerates the rate of wear and degradation of bearings and other components. What’s more, machine shaft misalignment is the main cause of machine vibration. Therefore, it’s important that your employees understand bearing lubrication and shaft alignment.
To ensure that ball-rotating machinery within your business is productive, reliable, and efficient, it is important that your employees undergo formal training to learn how to eliminate misalignment problems. Formal training will help your employees to:
The experienced trainers will teach your employees what they should check to detect misalignment problems. Some of the symptoms they will learn to look out for include oil shimmering, broken foot bolts, higher energy consumption, higher operating temperature, cracked foundation, seal failure, intermittent leaks, high vibration, and presence of lubricant or powdered rubber directly below the drive coupling.
Your employees will also learn how to use different diagnostic methods like using a stroboscope to determine misalignment if the reference mark rotates continuously in both directions. They will also learn how to conduct vibration analysis whereby misalignment is determined if there is a 180-degree difference across the coupling.
Excessive misalignment, insufficient lubrication, excessive loads, and harsh operating conditions often cause coupling failure. After determining that the right coupling is in use, your employees will then inspect it for proper bolts, correct lubricant, loose components, eccentricity, worn teeth, elastomers, and the correct setscrew lengths.
The bearing is the heart of all machinery and one of the most precise components in your industrial equipment. When bearings are damaged, your machine will automatically stop. You can avoid the expensive cost of bearing replacements and machine failure by investing in employee training. Your employees will learn how to properly lubricate your machinery. Additionally, lubricating bearings will increase the lifespan of your equipment by three to eight times.
A bearing and lubrication seminar is a great way for your employees to learn how to maintain bearings and to analyze bearing failure. Your employees will get to learn how to properly lubricate bearings as per the manufacturer’s recommendations and how to use lubricants to minimize the effects of surface contact to avoid the generation of excessive heat.
There are numerous possibilities for lubricant formulations and each affects your equipment differently. The process gets more complicated by the application process of the lubricant and the skills level of your lubrication personnel. Through formal training, your employees will be able to determine what lubrication goes where and the best method to apply.
One of the misunderstandings in manufacturing is in the role played by lubricants. Most people believe that lubricants play a minor role and don’t warrant any special attention. However, poor lubrication is the main cause of friction and mechanical wear.
In fact, OEM’s believe that poor machine lubrication causes 43 percent of mechanical failure, 50 percent of roller bearing damage, 54 percent of bearing failures, and 70 percent of equipment failures. While the average cost of lubrication is around 1 to 3 percent of the GDP depending on your industry, repairing mechanical wear and effects of friction costs 6 percent of the GDP. 6 percent of the latest GDP is equivalent to over $1 trillion in losses.
Shaft misalignment directly affects the lifespan of your equipment. A shortened service life causes unplanned maintenance and this reduces production time.
Shaft misalignment is the main cause of vibration in your equipment. Additionally, shaft misalignment reduces bearing life. Regardless of the flexible coupling and self-aligning bearings, it’s difficult to align shafts and bearings without the forces causing vibrations. Vibration caused by misalignment comes from the axial and radial directions.
Shaft misalignment and poor lubrication causes early and unexpected machine failure. In such a situation, you will spend more money on spares and maintenance.
Take the first step and invest in formal employee training to ensure that your equipment operates at optimum efficiency. Contact NTT Training today to learn more about our Bearing Lubrication and Shaft Alignment training.
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