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Minimising ‘Loss of Usefulness’ in Industrial Machinery


Industrial machinery of any kind is usually hard-wearing but it is still prone to failure for several reasons. There are many malfunctions and complete breakdowns that can happen, of course, but there is also the threat of a simple loss of usefulness. Such a loss of usefulness may come in the form of Sirem pumps no longer pumping the full amount of gallons that the device was originally intended to, or a slight reduction in the range of variable speed belts.


There are a couple of main malfunction categories which can cause machine failure or a loss of usefulness. The main culprit is surface degradation and corrosion, with mechanical wear and tear being the other category.


Surface Degradation of Industrial Machinery


This problem includes general mechanical wear and tear as well as corrosion of the machinery parts themselves. Corrosion is very common with heavy industrial machinery due to the increased workloads that they contend with compared to other forms of machinery. One of the main causes of corrosion is water contamination which will rust any surface made of iron. Another cause is when water increases a machine’s oil oxidation rate.


An increased oxidation rate then creates an acidic environment within the machine and its components, which encourages more rust which in turn will cause a loss of usefulness in the short term and possibly complete failure in the long term. Additionally, an extreme pressure additive that comes into direct contact with metals such as brass, copper and bronze can also expedite corrosion of those yellow metal components within an industrial appliance by creating a caustic atmosphere within the machine.


Avoiding water contamination should be pretty easy if you know where exactly the water passes through and can constantly monitor the pipes and pumps. Safe maintenance work is also important, so be sure that any problem-solving fixes do not cause additional problems.


Minimising Mechanical Wear and Tear


When mechanical parts come into contact with each other, they will eventually wear each other down to the point where you will get a noticeable loss of usefulness. If ignored, such mechanical wear and tear of machine parts such as worm gearboxes and geared-motor units will inevitably result in failure. Taking the earlier example of Sirem pumps, if the mechanical wear and tear is not monitored then the pump might leak before complete failure occurs, which in turn can cause additional corrosive damage to parts of the machine that would otherwise have not suffered any mechanical wear and tear.


To minimise wear and tear, it’s crucial to keep the appliance as clean as possible. Dirt particles and debris will exacerbate the problem by creating small scratches and dents which will cause further mechanical wear and tear. Such abrasions are the main cause of machine failure due to wear and tear, so ensure the operational parts are clean and lubricated at all times.


Keeping a watchful eye on the water sources and minimising the wear of tear of your machine parts should help keep the likes of your geared-motor units and worm gearboxes fully functional for as long as possible.


If you do ever need to replace any components due to machine failure or a loss of usefulness, then simply contact YB Components who are specialist suppliers of industrial machine parts.