Posted at 30-Sep-2018

Why You're the Manchester United of Your Plant Room

Paul Skade
By Gareth Lenton
General Manager, Power Transmission

I joined WYKO in January of 2000, the dawn of a new millennium and a completely new start for me after spending 2 years backpacking through South East Asia and Au...

Read full bio

Man Utd. claimed to have over 650 million at the last count. You won’t have quite so many. But just like Man Utd., you’ll want them to go on supporting you, day in and day out. And though you’re not looking to make money out of them with replica shirts, you certainly don’t want them to cost you money. 

football

 

We’re talking about the fans. Not the football variety but the fans in your Plant Room. How can you keep them on your side? 

Like many mechanical assets in the Plant Room, fans are often forgotten until they start to fail. By which time, lack of regular maintenance can turn a drama into a crisis, with a knock-on effect on processes or production, right through your site.

Ignore your fans and one day they’ll get their own back. Take proper care of them, and they’ll never let you down. 

Here we go, here we go, here we go

At least fans provide an early warning if they’re going to go wrong. Tell-tale signs of potential premature failure can help you to take preventative action and avoid lengthy downtime or catastrophic failure. 

Although any fan will make some noise, will vibrate and will heat up, too much of any of those is a sign of a problem. 

Excessive noise can result from poor alignment, which also places strain on other components such as bearings. Or it can be caused by excessive vibration, which is a symptom of a deeper issue. For example, a fan will vibrate excessively if the impeller is out of balance, or if the coupling is unsuitable and is failing to absorb shock loads as effectively as it should. 

The third indicator of trouble ahead is a fan producing excessive heat. This is usually a sign of inefficient performance, and a symptom of a root cause such as a cross-located fan bearing. 

It needs the experienced eye – and ear – of an expert fan engineer to identify the exact cause from these warning signs, and then to suggest a solution: from rebalancing to a more suitable coupling choice. 

However, there’s no reason to stop at crisis management repairs. That’s like Man. Utd. settling for a 0-0 draw instead of a 3-0 win. The expertise on offer from ERIKS Fan Services can help you go further to make your fans more efficient, more reliable, and easier to maintain: reducing your energy costs and increasing your uptime. 

G-o-o-o-o-o-oals!

The goals for any asset are reliability and efficiency, and fans are no exception. 

A more reliable fan system will need less unscheduled downtime for repairs, and with longer maintenance intervals will need less scheduled downtime too. A more reliable fan can also work harder, providing a higher throughput of air for your application. Lastly, reliability means longevity, and a longer-lasting fan will play a valuable part in reducing your Total Cost of Ownership.  

Great saves

The more efficient your fan, the less energy it uses. And with energy costs massively outweighing the fan’s initial purchase cost, an energy-efficient fan can help you reap real savings. 

Regular maintenance is one way of ensuring efficiency – helping you to avoid the noise, vibration and heat losses already mentioned. But upgrading to the latest high-efficiency fans will reduce losses even further, as well as providing the throughput you need, with a lower operating speed: which in turn means lower energy use and more savings. 

Fan-tastic

Getting the best out of your fans means getting the best advice and support – from fan drive selection to care and repair. ERIKS offer Total Fan Solutions, including an online calculator to help you choose the most efficient drive motor for your fan application. 

To find out more, download the Total Fan Solutions brochure or contact your usual ERIKS Service Centre.  

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