Time and money saved at a food and biochemical plant using Schaeffler’s OPTIME

50 OPTIME wireless condition monitoring sensors were installed at the plant to continuously monitor 157 pieces of equipment

  • Savings of 30,000 euros per year by preventing six days (144 hours) of unplanned machine downtime
  • OPTIME monitors a range of rotating equipment including pumps, cooling tower fans, agitator gearboxes and refrigeration compressors
  • Comprehensive monitoring solution at the plant includes OPTIME, wired SmartChecks and offline measuring systems. 

Birmingham | March 28, 2023| Schaeffler’s OPTIME wireless condition monitoring solution is saving a leading food and biochemicals plant in South East Asia 30,000 euros per year by preventing unplanned machine downtime on a variety of rotating equipment. The plant benefits from the early detection of equipment failures, as well as more precise trend data and increased reliability of the monitoring solutions.

With its diverse markets and customers, the food and biochemicals company must always ensure that its machines run smoothly, therefore the company has been using Schaeffler’s offline and online monitoring solutions for their most critical machines. However, in searching for a comprehensive condition monitoring solution, the plant’s maintenance team decided on the OPTIME wireless condition monitoring solution, which met their increasingly demanding applications.


Sustainable products such as bioplastics are becoming increasingly important. At the biochemical plant, complex fermentation processes are carried out to produce derivative acid (e.g. lactic acid) which customers use in a variety of ways such as a food additive for bakeries, breweries and confectionery products, as well as for biodegradable packaging. During the production process, the machines are subjected to extreme stress, therefore production throughput must be optimised in order to avoid unplanned machine downtime. 

The expansion of the plant in recent years presented a new challenge for maintenance – loose meshing of the machine gears. This meant tremendous stress on the gears and resulted in accelerated wear and tear and a risk of incorrect lubrication. Therefore, the maintenance management team turned to Schaeffler for a comprehensive solution.


Easily scalable, wireless solution

Working together with the customer and understanding the demanding needs of the application, Schaeffler’s experts recommended OPTIME, an easily scalable wireless condition monitoring solution consisting of wireless sensors, a gateway and digital services based on proprietary Schaeffler algorithms. The gateway receives data from the sensors and transfer it to the Schaeffler cloud. OPTIME automatically detects any problems, issues the appropriate alarms and provides information on the possible cause of the problem. Condition monitoring expertise on the part of the customer is not required as this knowledge is already fully integrated into OPTIME. 

A total of 50 OPTIME sensors were installed on a variety of pumps and gearboxes, as well as cooling tower fans and refrigeration compressors. With this solution, the majority of machines (157 pieces of equipment in total) are continuously monitored online.

Immediate benefits

Within a year of usage, OPTIME had detected a total of 17 faults, including five serious ones. The savings of 30,000 euros were calculated based on the prevention of six days (144 hours) of unplanned downtime per year. Coupled with Schaeffler’s wired condition monitoring solution, SmartCheck, and offline measuring system, a comprehensive monitoring solution has been implemented at the plant.

An application engineer at the biochemical plant commented: “We’ve been using condition monitoring solutions from Schaeffler for years. Each solution provides us with the protection we need for our machines. SmartCheck is used for individual critical units and has saved us from some unplanned downtime. OPTIME enables us to implement comprehensive monitoring in our plant.”

OPTIME is part of the Schaeffler Lifetime Solutions portfolio, which offers a comprehensive range of products, services and solutions for industrial maintenance. It is designed to support maintenance engineers over the entire lifetime of a machine.


Minimise energy bills with Tundra refrigeration air dryers

With energy bills likely to remain high for some time, users of compressed air must consider every potential energy-reducing measure. In tandem with growing demands to reduce carbon footprint as the UK transitions to a net-zero future, many companies are looking at compressed air technologies for the solution. Air dryers, which are essential to improve the quality of compressed air and protect valuable assets, are no exception. With this thought in mind, Hi-line’s latest Tundra range of refrigeration air dryers is its most energy-efficient to date, helping companies reduce costs, remain competitive and boost their green credentials.

Tundra refrigeration air dryers outperform rival technologies in energy efficiency by minimising pressure drop and lowering absorbed power. The principle of operation is direct expansion, which offers a notable advantage over thermal expansion dryers, namely a far more stable dew point of +1°C at all load levels. This stability contrasts greatly to thermal expansion dryers, where dew points can range from +3°C to +20°C. Importantly, this impressive stability in no way compromises performance: Tundra refrigeration dryers deliver continuous dry air that satisfies ISO 7183 industry standards.

One of the secrets behind the energy-efficient Tundra series is the improved and patented single-cell heat exchanger, which delivers highly efficient heat transfer at low energy costs. In essence, pre-cooled air enters the all-aluminium heat exchanger module while post-heated air departs, supporting a reduction in the energy consumed by the chiller circuit.


Another energy-saving attribute of the Hi-line’s Tundra range of refrigeration air dryers involves condensate removal. A link between the microprocessor controller and the condensate removal valve ensures minimum loss of compressed air during condensate discharge, again saving energy. This function is fully programmable in line with climatic and seasonal conditions.

A variable-speed fan is among further energy-reducing technologies that help to drive down bills. Fan speed is adjustable via the multifunction control panel, providing users of Tundra refrigeration air dryers with improved process control, increased power factor and significant energy savings.

Controlling the fan speed on the refrigerant circuit also presents the opportunity to eliminate components such as fan pressure switches which, over time, can sometimes become defective in compressed air dryers. The less moving parts, the more reliable the product.

Providing a robust and highly reliable build quality is a priority at Hi-line. For instance, following significant company investment, all Hi-line Tundra dryers now feature Scroll Freon refrigerant compressors, which offer the lowest possible power consumption and deliver cost-effective, long-life performance. The refrigerant system also takes advantage of liquid receivers, line dryers, thermostatic expansion valves and a series of safety features to protect the Freon compressor and its parts. In short, the design of Hi-line’s Tundra range centres on engineering specification, rather than budget.

As a point of note, Tundra dryers take advantage of R513a refrigerant in models up to and including Tundra 115 (115 cfm, 195 m3/hr capacity). A HFC/HFO blend, R513a refrigerant has no ODP (Ozone Depletion Potential) and a much reduced CO2 impact in comparison with the previous R134a refrigerant.

Tundra refrigeration air dryers with capacities up to 1530 cfm are available ex-stock from Hi-line’s centrally located headquarters and manufacturing facility in Burton upon Trent. The company also offers larger and higher pressure dryers (up to 40 bar) on short lead times.




Condition Based (CBM) versus Planned Periodic Maintenance (PPM)

Surprisingly, many companies still use a system of Planned Periodic Maintenance in an attempt to avoid costly downtime arising from the failure of their equipment and machinery. In other words, they replace parts that tend to wear out (e.g. motor bearings) on a routine basis whether they need replacing or not. Not only is this needlessly costly, but can make matters worse by introducing faults during the process of stripping down and rebuilding a perfectly good machine. Even more of a problem is deciding the PPM time intervals. Too frequent, means more wasted time and cost (and more potential for introducing faults) but not frequent enough, means more unexpected breakdowns.

Condition Based Maintenance relies on the fact that a machine’s condition (degree of wear) can be monitored, by measuring the vibration levels in motor bearings for example. This way, the machine only needs to be maintained when its condition deteriorates beyond an acceptable level. This decision is based on recording and tracking changes in the machine’s condition over time (trending). Put simply, CBM philosophy is if it’s not broken, don’t try to fix it!

This approach obviously saves time and money since machine parts are only changed when they need to be. However, CBM can potentially save a lot of money by spotting a machine that is about to fail prematurely before it fails and hence avoid an unexpected and costly shutdown.

Clearly, CBM is a superior technique but until now, its cost of implementation has put off some companies from using it. Traditionally, both CBM equipment and the expertise required to use it has been prohibitively expensive.

Test Products International (TPI) has however completely revolutionised this concept with the introduction of its low cost, portable vibration analysers and free to use trending software. Both the analysers and software are very easy to use, stemming from the fact that they are very intuitive and based on internationally agreed (ISO) alarm levels for rotating machinery.

TPI’s free to use VibTrend machine management and trending software stores machine condition readings and displays their trends in a clear and easily understood graphical format. In addition, various ‘expert system’ features are incorporated into the software, such as bearing quality assessment, which is achieved by analysing the frequency components of the vibration data and automatically identifying the classic ‘signatures’ associated with bearing wear. That way, it is very easy to monitor the health of a bearing simply by observing the level of bearing quality displayed on the trend plots.

A complete CBM system can cost from as little as £1,450 with the TPI 9080, which uses industry standard accelerometers and offers on-meter analysis for the detection of machine faults such as unbalance, misalignment, looseness and bearing wear. The equivalent intrinsically safe version (IEC Ex, ATEX and North American) TPI 9080Ex offers a complete Zone 1 CBM solution for £3,500. Both versions include a full VibTrend free to use unlimited software license.

For more information please contact TPI Europe’s head office on +44 1293 530196 or take a look on the website at www.tpieurope.com or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Schaeffler takes action against product piracy: ten tonnes of counterfeit rolling bearings destroyed

  • Counterfeit rolling bearings pose a danger to man and machine
  • Every case of counterfeiting will be pursued
  • Steel from destroyed counterfeits fed into recycling loop

Birmingham | March 23, 2023| The global automotive and industrial supplier Schaeffler takes regular and consistent action against counterfeit products. The company has now had around 30,000 counterfeits with a total weight of ten tonnes destroyed in Schweinfurt.

At the company premises of Riwald Recycling Franken GmbH in Schweinfurt-Sennfeld, the products were so heavily damaged in the first step of the destruction process that their further use is impossible. The scrap will now be compressed and subsequently melted down in a steelworks – in this way, the steel resource is returned to the recycling loop.

“Counterfeit products are a major safety risk for man and machine,” says Dr. Edgar Duschl, Senior Vice President Intellectual Property at Schaeffler. Rolling bearings and similar products play a decisive, safety-relevant role in a large number of applications – almost everywhere where there is motion of any kind.   Safe and smooth-running passenger transport with trains and cars depends just as much on reliable products from Schaeffler as the operation of various industrial facilities.

Safety aspects are decisive
Dr. Edgar Duschl explains: “A defective bearing can lead to requirements for premature maintenance, machine downtimes, and thus enormous costs for the operator – or even result in a sudden total failure or even worse, an accident with personal injuries.”

For Schaeffler, safety aspects are the most important motivation for combatting counterfeit products. “Our customers should always be able to rely on the highest quality standards, which Schaeffler has always stood for – today and in the future,” says Dr. Edgar Duschl. It is therefore important to follow up on any suspicions.

Every case of counterfeiting is always pursued by the Schaeffler Global Brand Protection Team. “Firstly, there is the threat of civil claims for cease and desist, damages, and the release of the counterfeits for destruction. Secondly, there is also the threat of criminal prosecution, which can lead to a fine or custodial sentence,” says Dr. Edgar Duschl.

Authorised distributors and app
Counterfeit bearings come from all over the world. If a distributor or customer is offered a suspect product, for example from the brands INA, LuK or FAG, the initial suspicion can be checked directly with the Schaeffler “OriginCheck” app. In this way, the product code can be scanned using a smartphone and compared with the corresponding Schaeffler product identification numbers. Photos of the suspect products can also be simply sent to the Brand Protection Team.

In addition, Schaeffler maintains an international network of authorised distributors. These are listed on the Schaeffler website and customers can be sure to always purchase original products there. “In our view, it is important to raise awareness of this issue among all participants along the entire value-added chain, including distributors, repair shops, and end customers,” says Martin Rügemer from the Schaeffler Global Brand Protection Team. He travels around the world to advise distributors and holds training courses.

After being discovered, the counterfeit rolling bearings are seized on site. They are kept as evidence until completion of the ongoing proceedings. In many cases, the counterfeit products are subsequently destroyed locally. The counterfeits that have now been destroyed in Schweinfurt mainly originated from investigations in Europe over the past two-and-a-half years.

The damage to German companies caused by product piracy is estimated by the VDMA (German Machinery and Equipment Manufacturers Association) at around 6.4 billion euros annually.

Security via scan: The Schaeffler “OriginCheck” app is available for iOS and Android and can be downloaded at:

BCAS launches essential industry guide to compressed air installation

The British Compressed Air Society (BCAS) has launched a new compressed air installation best practice guide (BPG 101-6).

As one of the only truly impartial guides in the UK, the guide covers ‘installation’ in terms of the collection of equipment and processes within the compressed air system.

Compressed air accounts for a considerable amount of electricity consumed by industry and compressed air systems are used extensively in virtually all industrial applications. The guide therefore provides essential information that can help readers reduce their energy consumption and ensure maximum uptime, while meeting legislative requirements to ensure health and safety is prioritised.

Providing step-by-step information for the correct specification, installation and maintenance of compressed air equipment as well as its end-of-life removal, the 272-page guide is essential reading for compressed air industry employees, plant engineers, maintenance technicians and end users.

The reliability of compressed air systems is a major consideration for operators, as any issues with supply can result in potential downtime. In addition, selecting the right equipment can be a complex task. It can affect everything from maintenance schedules and costs to ongoing air purity (quality), as well as the annual electrical energy cost of air production, which can be several times the cost of the original equipment.

The best practice guide is divided into a series of easy-to-read chapters to make specification as straightforward as possible. These cover compressed air system assessment, equipment selection and system design, including pipework. Detailed information is also provided around installation, commissioning, maintenance, system management, and finally, legislation and standards.

Vanda Jones, BCAS Executive Director added:

“Our new best practice installation guide has been developed by experts in our industry to provide a complete and comprehensive suite of information for our sector and its compressed air users.

Each chapter had its own dedicated working group made up of BCAS members and experts in the industry from both the manufacturer and distribution sectors, led by Tim Preece, BCAS’s Technical Officer to ensure the best information and product neutrality. The resulting guide is a fantastic, impartial resource for the sector.

“The components of a compressed air system must be selected and maintained with care. In many cases the system is a major consumer of energy and any decrease in efficiency will adversely affect the overall operating cost of the plant.

“Therefore, the correct choices when made early in the specification stage alongside the correct maintenance procedures, will have beneficial whole life cost and energy saving implications.

“We would like to extend our thanks to everyone who contributed to this guide, to make it the ideal companion for any users looking to improve the efficiency of their compressed air system.”

Companies can purchase the guide either as a PDF download or a hard-wearing, bound copy for £14.95 (plus VAT and postage) directly from the BCAS website https://www.bcas.org.uk/knowledge-base/best-practice.aspx. For any other queries about the guide please contact the BCAS team at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Babcock Wanson Extends Modulo+ High Performance Gas Burner Range


Industrial process heating specialist Babcock Wanson has extended its Modulo+ gas burners to encompass smaller boilers ranging from 2.5 to 3.5 t/h of steam output. Modulo+ burners are now available from 1,700kW to 22MW output, operating on natural and liquefied gas.

Modulo+ gas burners are designed with digital micro-modulation control and specially developed combustion head for high turndown and very low NOx emissions, down to 60mg/Nm³ at 3% O2. The 12:1 turndown ratio means improved efficiency and lower overall losses due to a reduction in the number of purge cycles. The design of the burners provides very accurate control of excess air over the entire operating range, resulting in an excellent combustion efficiency no matter what the process load, and the lowest practicable operating costs.

Originally designed for use with 7MW plus boilers to extend operating flexibility, improve energy savings and significantly reduce NOx emissions, the latest Modulo + burners have now been adapted for use with smaller boilers to provide the same benefits, at an appropriate price point. These latest additions to the Modulo+ range feature a single gas train with a special butterfly valve to reduce leak flow, two stages of combustion, direct ignition by electrical arc, and a BT300 Burner Management System. They join the existing range of Modulo + burners that are supplied with a specifically adapted combustion air fan, duplex gas trains (each with flow monitoring), three stages of combustion, ignition by pilot burner, and ETAMATIC Burner Management System.

Modulo+ gas burners have been developed by Babcock Wanson in partnership with ADEME, The French Agency for Ecological Transition.

Babcock Wanson offers a complete range of products and services for boiler houses and other process heating needs, from firetube steam boilers, thermal fluid heaters, rapid steam generators, water treatment equipment and services, process air heating solutions and hot water boilers to VOC and odour treatment by Thermal Oxidation. The company aims to help optimise customer’s energy production with high quality products and efficient service.

For more information, please contact Babcock Wanson on 020 8953 7111 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or go to www.babcock-wanson.com/products/industrial-burners/modulo/


This article can also be found in the issue below.




Teamwork is the key to business resilience for asset managers

If we thought that 2022 would be a year of recovery following the pandemic, we were sadly mistaken. Supply chain challenges and skills shortages continued, with new risks emerging due to a lack of growth and potential global energy shortages. So how did the asset management community respond to the challenges of 2022? Chris van den Belt, Team Leader Product Management, at IFS Ultimo, looks at the results of the Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) Trend Report 2022, which is based on an extensive survey of asset managers across sectors.

The annual EAM Trend Report is rapidly becoming an essential source of reference for asset managers. It is based on rigorous research undertaken by EAM solutions provider IFS Ultimo and provides an interesting insight into developments in the field of EAM. Participants include asset managers, maintenance managers and facilities managers across industries ranging from manufacturing and logistics to utilities and healthcare. The survey results give a clear indication of their priorities and how these are changing year on year. It also provides insights to help those involved in EAM to respond to the evolving internal and external challenges they face.

Asset management: the eye of the storm

Last year, businesses around the world found themselves in a political and economic environment that seemed more volatile and indeterminate than ever before. As if a global pandemic hadn’t been enough, a war in Europe and the impacts of climate change shook the old certainties around supply chains and energy supply. In these circumstances, being able to make reliable forecasts and manage assets effectively while controlling costs was more important than ever.

Asset managers were at the eye of this storm. It is their job to ensure that a company’s assets continue to deliver value, whatever the technical and economic pressures. For example, their role encompasses digital transformation: not only the technological aspects but the methods of communication and training requirements involved. The deployment of mobile technology, energy efficiency and lifecycle management are equally part of the role. Cyber security, the requirements of sustainability and the circular economy are also coming within the asset managers remit. How did they prioritize these diverse demands in 2022?

Key findings

According to the EAM Trend Report 2022, unplanned downtime remained a constant concern. Indeed, incidents rose 14% in 2022 with 68.6% of respondents experiencing this issue compared to 60% in 2021. Many have tried to address this trend through investment in new assets and technologies. The vast majority (82%) of respondents are now using dedicated asset management software in the cloud or on-premises.

The overwhelming majority of asset managers surveyed stated that uptime was their most important KPI, followed by efficiency (19.2%) and cost control (17.7%) - priorities that remained unchanged from 2021. For comparison, we also asked them to identify their least important KPIs, with some interesting results. Asset longevity (29.4%) emerged as the least important, yet aging assets were identified as the most significant risk to uptime by 31.7% of respondents. This may indicate that many asset managers are still focused on corrective maintenance rather than predictive techniques and lifecycle optimization.

One reason for this may be the lack of access to operational data. Such information is critical to making well-planned decisions that can improve efficiency and productivity, but nearly a third of respondents said they didn’t have the data they need to monitor asset health and performance. This not only makes strategic planning and cost optimization activities challenging, but can also reduce competitiveness.

Despite most respondents having described their approach to maintenance as being in control, only 6.8% were very happy with their approach. Many are actively working on improving the processes to move towards preventive maintenance.

Sustainability issues

Most organizations claim to hold sustainability high on the agenda, but asset managers ranked sustainability as their second lowest priority. Indeed, there were some very mixed messages around this topic throughout the survey results.

Most respondents were aware of their company’s sustainability initiatives and had an opportunity to influence initiatives relating to the topic. However, it appears that some managers are not utilizing one of the most efficient tools for improving asset efficiency. Less than half said they regularly review asset performance data to identify ways to boost

sustainability and efficiency. This means that over 50% don’t make use of the data provided by their asset management software, even though it could make it simple to identify poorly performing or faulty assets or inefficient processes.

Building resilience

Of course, sustainability is just one aspect of a much bigger picture, so we asked asset managers how they would tackle the multiple challenges facing companies today. Investment in the workforce emerged as the single most important way to futureproof operations, with improving cooperation across the organization a close second. More than 40% of respondents wanted to prioritize investing in the workforce, and 27.6% to focus on improving communication and collaboration.

Clearly, asset managers appreciate that, while investment in quality assets is important, the operation is not secure unless it is managed by skilled people who can share their knowledge easily. This theme was consistently reinforced when asset managers were asked to rate cooperation with the maintenance team and other departments. When the collaboration was rated very good or good, most attributed this success to clear and regular communication and information-sharing between the teams. For the managers who rated the cooperation as average, needing improvement, or bad, the poor performance was ascribed to a lack of interaction and siloed working practices, frequently heightened by understaffing.

The good news is that moves to address skills and understaffing are already underway. Asked what steps they had taken to improve response to unprecedented events within the last year, 26.8% were focused on improving cooperation across the organization, and 22.9% had invested in the workforce.


It’s clear that data-driven decision-making, optimal cross-team collaboration, and smart use of technology continue to be key success factors for asset managers. While sustainability is not yet on the daily agenda, it will be interesting to see if this picture changes in future, particularly given the stark messages coming out of COP-27 and warnings of potential energy black-outs.

Regardless of what the future brings, one thing that will remain central to successful asset management is data. Businesses that have access to operational data and, crucially, the ability to make the most of it will have a significant competitive advantage in the market. Solutions such as EAM are set to continue to play a crucial role in giving asset managers the insight, structure and control they need to futureproof processes and successfully navigate future challenges.

IFS Ultimo extends operations to Australia through a partnership with InfoConsulting

IFS Ultimo and leading IT services and solutions provider InfoConsulting have signed a reseller agreement to help Australian customers benefit from IFS Ultimo’s Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) platform. This partnership allows InfoConsulting to add IFS Ultimo’s EAM solution to its portfolio and offer customers a better solution for the evolving needs of businesses through rapidly improving cross-team collaboration, boosting productivity, maximising asset availability, controlling costs and securing health and safety requirements. For IFS Ultimo, this first partnership in Australia is another step in its global growth strategy.

InfoConsulting serves its customers in Australia and New Zealand in industrial and asset-intensive verticals like manufacturing, construction and mining. IFS Ultimo provides a SaaS EAM solution, focused on maintenance & safety with an unparalleled time to value. 

InfoConsulting noticed an increased demand for EAM solutions, advancements in technology and changes in the business landscape, alongside the need to meet customer requirements, such as reducing costs and improving efficiency. This partnership provides them with a comprehensive EAM solution and addresses the evolving needs of businesses. IFS Ultimo’s EAM portfolio enables customers to have the tools needed to harness real value and achieve business goals faster and with more efficiency.

Jon O’Brien, Managing Director at InfoConsulting commented: “We are excited to form this new partnership with IFS Ultimo in Australia to provide our customers with what we consider to be one of the best EAM products on the market for SME sized organisations. InfoConsulting sees massive benefits for customers looking for an asset maintenance solution to complement their existing finance or ERP systems. The IFS Ultimo support provided to its partners was also a very important factor in our decision, helping us to deliver the best experience available to our customers.”

Marcel Leeflang, Head of Channel at IFS Ultimo said: “With the years of experience that InfoConsulting has in industrial markets, this is a perfect partnership for us to explore the Australian market. I’m convinced that we can offer value for the customers of InfoConsulting, supporting them with their maintenance and safety challenges. InfoConsulting’s experience and contacts in solutions that are connected to EAM, like ERP, also offer an opportunity for us to provide solutions in a more integrated way together.” 


About IFS
IFS develops and delivers cloud enterprise software for companies around the world who manufacture and distribute goods, build and maintain assets, and manage service-focused operations. Within our single platform, our industry specific products are innately connected to a single data model and use embedded digital innovation so that our customers can be their best when it really matters to their customers—at the Moment of Service™️. The industry expertise of our people and of our growing ecosystem, together with a commitment to deliver value at every single step, has made IFS a recognized leader and the most recommended supplier in our sector. Our team of 5,900 employees every day live our values of agility, trustworthiness and collaboration in how we support our 10,000+ customers. Learn more about how our enterprise software solutions can help your business today at ifs.com.

About InfoConsulting
With over 20 years of experience, the team at InfoConsulting is proud to be known as a trusted global IT services and solutions provider, helping companies digitally transform their business processes to operate more efficiently.
As trusted advisors with industry specific IT expertise, we work closely with our clients to provide tailored solutions and help them leverage capabilities and benefits of the best technologies on the market.
Our commitment to providing the best technology and expert advice is reflected in our mantra: “The Best Experts, The Best Technology”. Our team is constantly striving to find new and innovative ways to help our clients build real value in their businesses. Whether it’s identifying new opportunities for operational optimisation, maximising the value of software investments or advisory on the most suitable software solutions and implementations, we are dedicated to helping our clients achieve their business goals. https://infoconsulting.com/

Grease sludge can’t halt powerful Borger pump

A submerged Börger rotary lobe pump has put a Midlands wastewater treatment plant back on course with what was a troublesome grease-sludge-basin application.

Previously, the WWTP was incurring unsatisfactory amounts of additional, complex maintenance and downtime, because its centrifugal pump couldn’t cope with the total solids content.  When attempting to pump sludge from a grease-sludge-basin into a storage shaft (from which a second pump fed a digestion tower), the centrifugal pump was all too regularly becoming blocked.

In addition to making significant savings on maintenance, the WWTP also no longer requires a storage shaft and a second pump. The Börger rotary lobe pump has more than sufficient power and stability to consistently convey the viscous grease sludge from the grease-sludge-basin, directly into the digestion tower.

Since its installation, the Börger rotary lobe pump has not suffered any blockages or failures, despite the challenging high total solids contents of the pumped medium.


Borger UK

01902 798 977


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Why temperature measurement is important in vibration analysis of bearings

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Nowadays it is widely recognised that modern relatively low cost vibration analysers are capable of detecting bearing faults in their early stages. They generally do this by measuring the high frequency bearing noise present in the vibration signal. Allowing the user to trend the bearing noise readings over time, typically via automatic upload to PC based software, enables the user to predict when a bearing will need to be changed.

In days gone by, judging the extent of bearing wearwould have been done by an experienced technician holding a screwdriver to their ear and listening to the tinkling sound of the bearingThe problem was this was highly qualitative, relying heavily on individual experience. Vibration analysershowever, allow thebearing noise to be quantified, giving repeatable measurements.Bearing noise, generally measured as vibration acceleration in units of Earth’s gravity (g), is typically presented in some more meaningful way. A typical example being Bearing Damage Units (BDU), where 100 BDU equates to 1g RMS high frequency vibrationThis allows the BDU reading to be considered as an approximate “percentage” of bearing wear. In other words, a reading of 200 BDU indicates the bearing is approx. 200% worn and should be replaced!

However, that is not the end of the story. Whilst we can accurately measure high frequency vibration, in some instances not all of it is due to bearing wear. For example, pump cavitation can produce vibration that looks like bearing noise. Both are of concern of course,but how do we distinguish between them and know when the bearing needs changing? This is where temperature comes in. When a bearing starts to wear out or is in need of lubrication, it usually gets hot. This allows us to be confident that if a bearing is both noisy and hot, then it really is a bearing issue and not cavitation.

Vibration sensors with built-in temperature sensing are nothing new of course, but theseneed to be left on the bearing for a long period of time (at least several minutes) for the temperature reading to stabilise. This poses no problem for permanently installed sensorsbutwould be a big issue for portable vibration analysers used as bearing checkers. With its 9085 vibration analyser, Test Products International (TPI) has overcome thislimitation by embedding a platinum resistance temperature sensor (PRT) in the sensor’s magnet mount. This allows the PRT to be in direct contact with the bearing block when the sensor is attached, capturing anearinstantaneous temperature reading while thevibration measurement is carried out.

TPI believes it has madea verysignificant contribution to affordable Condition Based Maintenance (CBM) with this low cost, easy to use, high functionalityvibration analyser/data collector. With its full colour OLED displayinstantaneous temperature and vibration measurement, the TPI 9085setsanother benchmark forCBM equipment with high-speed data capture.

The 9085with wireless battery charging,offers on-meter, easy to decipher CBM analysis for thedetection of unbalance, misalignment, looseness and bearing wearThe inclusion of instantaneous temperature capture means that worn bearings and lubrication issues can be identified beforethey become a problem. With colour-coded alarms and on screen zoom and cursorsthe TPI 9085 can store up to 10,000 separate readings,all withtemperature,vibration waveform and frequency spectrum (FFT)

The 9085includes aroute-based mode, where a list of machines can be downloaded for ease of measurementpoint identification and data collectionusingthe includedFREE, Subscription FREEC-Trend PC software.C-Trend’s basic functions such as vibration and temperature trending and alarm reporting are totally intuitive, ensuring the software can very easilybe usedby both novice andexpert users to implement an effective CBM strategy.  

For more information, please contact TPI Europeon +44 1293 530196 orwww.tpieurope.com or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

This article can also be found in the issue below.


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