The first of what I hope is many weekly summaries.
The Week That Was
On Monday, we asked, Is your industrial computer network working correctly?
More Than 25% of Terminals are Not at the Proper Torque
The Pareto Principle or 80:20 rule, which in its simplest form states 80% of the problems come from 20% of the population (or less), applies to industrial networks. Experience has shown that 80% of the network problems relate to the physical layer—the wires, fiber, frequency, connectors, power supplies, etc., on which the signals are transmitted.
The good news is that once you get the physical problems resolved, typically during commissioning and start-up, the system should run with minimal disruption until something is changed.
As with any installation, the potential for problems can begin with the design itself, so follow good engineering practices such as proper tray and cable spacing as described in IEC 61000-5-2:1997, Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC), Part 5: Installation and Mitigation Guidelines. Section 2, Earthing (Grounding in North America) and Cabling, provides guidance by assigning classes to different types of cables based on the energy levels they contain, and recommending spacing to prevent noise in one system affecting others.
Examined the three types of maintenance, “Reactive, Preventive and Predictive Maintenance in Industrial Automation“
This reactive approach to maintenance consists of asset replacement when it fails and can no longer perform the desired work. This type of maintenance is carried out on assets that are not expensive to replace and who’s sudden outage does not cause serious issues.
For assets that are more expensive or who are critical to the plant operations, preventive maintenance is carried out which involves periodic ‘care’ operations such as lubrication, adjustments, replacement of parts, etc.
Predictive maintenance aims at improving on reactive and preventive maintenance by predicting when the asset should be maintained in order to ensure maximum utilization and longer life. The prediction is based on monitored data related to the health and performance of the asset.
On Tuesday, we approached the inefficiency of some Wastewater Treatment Plants
Wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) account for 3 percent of all energy consumed in the United States and require significant budgetary resources to operate. An endless flow of wastewater requiring treatment means blower and pumping systems are in use and consuming energy 24 hours a day. To reduce energy expenses, achieve greater energy independence and lower operating costs for customers, WWTP managers should be seeking ways to increase efficiency.
Reducing energy costs at WWTPs can be daunting. However, there are simple steps WWTP managers can take to begin identifying efficiency opportunities that will cut utility bills and streamline operations.
Endbridge Energy potentially adding over 100 jobs in Duluth:
Some good economic news for a change. Enbridge Energy is expanding their facility in downtown Duluth, resulting in perhaps an additional 100 jobs.
The Calgary, Alberta-based petroleum pipeline company, with an operations and major projects hub in Superior, has leased 41,000 square feet in the Wieland Block. That’s most of the office space in the three-building complex at 26-34 E. Superior St.
That amount of space is substantial in downtown Duluth. It’s enough to lower the downtown Duluth office vacancy rate from its current 16 percent to 14 percent, said Steve LaFlamme, president of Oneida Realty, which keeps track of vacancy levels.
The first, of many Dan Ambre posts, “Examining the Time Waveform“
The Shape of the Time Waveform (TWF) dictates the Frequency Content in the FFT
The shape of a time waveform can indicate thee harmonic content that will be produced in the Fast Fourier Transform (FFT).
A review of OSHA’s industrial safety, “Safety Standards For Industrial Equipment“
OSHA (the Occupational Security and Health Administration) requires all employers to make sure employees have and use protected instruments and tools, and that all tools is properly maintained. The use of energy transmission tools and mechanical energy transmission products in industrial manufacturing is no exception. This text lists widespread safety issues for those working around gearboxes and different industrial machinery. It additionally presents a number of methods to minimize and prevent employee accidents.
On Wednesday, we examined a goal of raising motor efficiency:
To paraphrase the Duchess of Windsor, a motor can never be too efficient. However, striving for more efficiency can entail examining everything from motors to entire systems.
For instance, the key to greater motor efficiency is focus, says Alan Crapo, vice president of engineering at NovaTorque. The company’s motors feature a conical air gap that focuses magnetic flux in three dimensions and a design optimized to minimize losses. That configuration allows less-expensive materials to perform like more costly ones.
One of our field services, dry ice cleaning, was the subject on an episode of “Modern Marvels”
We also explored the effect of water in your gearbox lubrication, “How water in your gearbox lubrication ruins bearings:”
Have you ever given thought to the severe operating environment of an industrial gearbox? Even if you have correctly lubricated the bearing, elevated temperatures, airflow and loads as often have dust and water that enter through breathers and failing seals often take their toll! Water in the gearbox lubricant is perhaps the most common cause of bearing failure, so today we’re going to examine how water in Gearbox lubricant causes bearing failure.
We all know that water is harmful to machinery in general, and bearings in particular. As little as 500 ppm of water in gearbox oil can damage machine surfaces directly, through event sequence and often with a variety of helpers. In many cases, the most severe damage is as a result of secondary causes. For instance, water may initially lead to premature oxidation of the base oil. When the oxides combine with more water, a corrosive acidic fluid environment exists.