Tool for Troubleshooting

Everyone in business struggles with personal cell phone use, wether in the field or office.  But e-MCi smart phones are a mandatory part of the tools required by our field techs.  The video below illistrates the usefullness of real time troubleshooting for a fertilizer conveyor.  The movie provides high resolution of each segment of the conveyor without the laborious task of manual progression.  The field tech can identify broken or bent segments in 30 seconds of run time and make the nessary repairs as needed.

See for yourself with this!

This video was taken with an iPhone 6 built-in camera with the slow motion setting on.


Maintenance Militia

A radical new concept of pure reactionary plant maintenance. It symbolizes that production is number one (after safety) in terms of operations and aims to forgo the many layers of management that can get in the way, and counter-intuitively save you money, time, and production losses. A firefighting guide to maintenance.

Case Example:  The operator calls and says;

The pump is down!  We don’t know what happened but its causing the plant to be down! We need this fixed now, before the tank overflows!

So we are going to make lots of assumptions and tell a fictional story of how financial losses can be mitigated by using the ‘Maintenance Militia’ system. Perhaps when you where a child (before video games) you encountered a book series where a decision was needed after reading each page and based on your decision it would take you to different page somewhere else in the book.  You flip back and forth in the book reading and making decisions and of course with multiple endings sometimes you died in the story and you would start again with different decisions trying to save the day.  Remember Choose Your Own Adventure!   This example will follow a similar theme, a blog version of a video game.

Lets start:

You answer the phone, listen to the issue and say

  1. Sorry I need a work order in the system before I can send a guy.
  2. I’ll dispatch a millwright RIGHT NOW!
  3. It’ll have to wait as everyone’s in a meeting right now.

Condition Monitoring

“You can persumptiously predict the failure of an asset 50% of the time, however 100% of the time it will fail randomly.” RCM2

Condition monitoring over the years has become a field of excellence, there are those know and those that understand.  Generally speaking a skilled technician may spend 5 years just to grasp the concepts of condition monitoring.  Often, equipment is shut down or rebuilt based on a technician that feels there’s an issue, take heed and ensure the proper troubleshooting is performed on the asset prior to any unplanned outages.

Condition monitoring has taken many forms over the years, traditionally Vibration analysis has been the primary area of focus.  However as technology evolves, new forms of monitoring have emerged that are user friendly, yet still require a skilled analyst to decipher.  Ultrasound, thermography and oil analysis have been around for years, but new software and smaller handheld units have made collecting information in the field easier and safer.

Stay tuned as we touch base on each form of condition monitoring and discuss the fundamentals as well the pros and cons with each technique.

Chris Lamarche, Rotating Equipment Specialist

Belt Guide Repairs

The image above illustrated the types of problems we need to address on a daily basis, as in this specific case the conveyor belt had ripped due to the softeners completely wearing through and caused a razor edge.  Of course it caught and we had to rebuild the slides to prevent a reoccurrence.