SKF came up with a practical design and manufacturing solution that now enables the customer to purchase standard off-the-shelf replacement parts for their dated diesel generator, ensuring that the machine is ready for operation for sustainable plant uptime in the event of power outages.
As downtime is simply not an option for the leading glass manufacturing company based in Johannebsurg’s East Rand, the customer relies heavily on the 130kW diesel generator to ensure uninterrupted production during power failures. “Considered as critical equipment, the generator has been serving the company for many years and, due to old designs and dated technology, some of the machine’s replacement parts are now becoming increasingly difficult to source or are simply no longer available,” explains SKF Product Manager: Power Transmission, Frans Odendaal.
When the coupling between the generator’s flywheel and motor failed, the customer was unable to find a suitable off-the-shelf replacement. Facing an urgent lead time to prevent plant downtime and potential production losses, the customer immediately contacted SKF Authorised Distributor, Bearing Services (BSA), for assistance. BSA consulted SKF who was able to come up with a practical solution that added great long-term value for the customer.
SKF designed and manufactured a new connection for the fly-wheel that is compatible with a standard off-the-shelf coupling. Using a sample of the old coupling to ensure alignment of bolts, etc., a draughtsman from SKF produced the final CAD drawings of the new connection which is a flanged shaft manufactured as one solid piece. “Also known as a stub shaft adaptor, the new connection suits a standard SKF Tyre coupling,” elucidates Odendaal. “In addition to easy replacement of the Tyre element, the new maintenance free connection offers additional advantages including the ability to absorb vibration as well as some misalignment.”
Now armed with short lead times on standard items, facilitated replacement procedures and maintenance planning going forward, the customer has minimised the generator’s downtime in the event of a breakdown. Furthermore, the risk of the machine being inoperable during a power failure with consequent loss of production, is also reduced.
The customer installed the new connection taking advice from SKF on installation dimensions such as correct spacing between flanges, etc.
According to Odendaal, the customer has since contacted BSA regarding a chain solution on a different section of the plant which SKF is currently investigating.
SKF’s mission is to be the undisputed leader in the bearing business. SKF offers solutions around the rotating shaft, including bearings, seals, lubrication, condition monitoring and maintenance services. SKF is represented in more than 130 countries and has around 17,000 distributor locations worldwide. Annual sales in 2019 were SEK 86 013 million and the number of employees was 43,360. www.skf.com
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