ATEK Metal Technologies Predicts Motor Maintenance Needs

ATEK Metals Technologies delivers superior aluminum castings that meet the specifications of the world’s most demanding industries, from motorsports and recreation to transportation and industrial markets.

The Challenge

The Iowa based foundry did not have a staff vibration analyst and was following a preventative maintenance schedule for the pumps, motors, and fans in the plant. Plant maintenance, challenged to decrease unplanned maintenance costs, employed an AssetScan bearing fault monitor to perform an ad-hoc spot check on critical equipment. High vibration readings were found on the main plant air supply compressor motor. A vibration analyst was brought in to do a deeper dive, resulting in confirmation of a bearing fault present in the inboard bearing of the 300 Hp compressor motor. As this was the main air supply, shutting it off to repair would make the processes dependent on the backup air supply only. The next planned outage was weeks away.

The Results

The AssetScan ASB monitor was left on the motor housing to watch the progression of the fault condition while the planned outage neared. With the outage two weeks away, the decision was made to switch over to the back-up system to avoid catastrophic failure which may necessitate a motor replacement, or worse. The motor was removed, rebuilt and placed back into service when the plant returned to operation after the planned outage. The AssetScan monitor confirmed the smooth running condition of the bearing, but also indicated a high overall vibration level. The contractor was called back to remedy the alignment condition causing the low frequency vibration.