Keeping an Eye on Your Equipment

August through to October is known as the windy months in South Africa. We have all born witness to the windstorms currently blowing through the country, bringing with it the much-anticipated rain and summer months.

When the weather acts up, companies in the engineering, agriculture, and mining sectors need to be more vigilant about their equipment.

Encountering a breakdown or potential injury on duty is a large concern to all involved. All equipment must be checked to ensure no potential dangers are looming.

Incidents tend to occur when we turn a blind eye to the operational aspects of a plant. This is a dangerous error to make.

It is critical to the success of any plant and the safety of its employees to run routine safety checks, ensuring that everything is running smoothly.

Mining equipment is put under duress with the workload it produces, resulting in wear and tear to all the bits and pieces keeping the plant going.

A strict maintenance schedule should be implemented to ensure that there is no downtime due to equipment failure.

Strong winds bringing dust and sand into a plant can cause damage to intricate parts of the operation that are not always visible to the naked eye.

To guide you along the safety process, we will provide you with a few tips on successfully maintaining your industrial equipment.

 

Five Tips to Successfully Maintain Your Mining Equipment

 

  • Keep machinery lubricated at all times

Any machine is destined to fail without proper lubrication. Lubrication is as important as what the moving parts of the machine are. Lubricating a machine regularly and correctly will alleviate excess friction.

The lifespan and deterioration of a machine are expedited when the correct precautions are not taken seriously and performed regularly.

 

Too much lubrication will cause errors such as energy loss, damage to seals, and an excess in the accumulation of grease.

 

Ensure that the correct type of lubrication is applied to each machine so that there are no breakdowns further down the road.

  • Clean heavy machinery well

Heavy machinery is fitted with special seals to protect the intricate parts. If dirt and grime find their way in there, the untrained eye will not detect it. This will lead to catastrophic damage and loss.

Broken or torn seals need to be changed immediately, and the breathers must be kept clean from debris. Filters need to be changed when they are dirty or clogged.

With heavy winds or rain comes dirt and grime. Keeping your machinery covered or indoors will help alleviate the trouble that this can cause.

 

  • Keep up with regular maintenance.

Conducting an inspection or repair when something goes wrong is not enough for heavy machinery to stay in top condition.

 

Set up a regular inspection plan with notations taken on any inspection performed previously.

Conduct regular checks on gaskets and seals. Belts and pulleys must also maintain their alignment.

 

Moving parts, such as gears, should be checked continually to ensure no wear and tear or damage. Proper lubrication needs to be applied to the parts to keep them functioning at optimal levels.

 

  • Take note of wear and tear.

During normal operations, you may notice some wear and tear occurring to parts or machines. It is imperative to take note of this as it may be a signal of more severe problems, especially on braking systems.

Common signs of wear and tear include heat, vibration, and belt shape.

 

Overheating can be caused by the incorrect use of lubrication to moving parts. When vibration occurs, there may be some gears or belts that are misaligned.

  • Keep the operators well trained.

One of the most effective ways to ensure your heavy machinery stays operational is to train all staff.

New employees need to go through an intense training process to ensure they know how everything works and what to look for in case of a problem.

 

Current employees should go through refresher courses and new inductions on any new and improved machines or parts that they may acquire.

 

Without the proper induction and training, any business runs the risk of downtime or even accidents that can be costly.

 

Training courses should be scheduled at regular intervals to ensure that all the operators know what they are doing and what to look for when a machine is misbehaving.

 

 

If you want to ensure the longevity of your heavy machinery, the tips above will guide you in the right direction.

 

When you need new equipment, parts, or assistance, Huebner Speed Monitoring is the partner you need. Backed with years of knowledge within the mining and agricultural industries, Huebner will ensure the safety of your workforce, and equipment is their top priority.

 

They provide each customer with a tailor-made solution. Contact one of their friendly staff today to get the ball rolling on a long and successful business partnership.

 

Storm Brakes for Safety and Efficiency: Protect your Vehicles

Being a highly technical product, many of us don’t know the first thing about industrial braking systems besides the fact that brakes stop moving objects like cars. They are a safety mechanism that could potentially be the difference between life and death – whether it be the life of a human or the operating lifespan of a machine.

Bolstering Machinery Resilience with Storm-Proof Brakes

Aside from cars, braking systems are employed in many manufacturing, mining, marine, and engineering businesses powered by heavy machinery. Continue reading as we explore industrial braking systems in further detail.

 

Back to Basics

Brakes have the sole purpose of absorbing kinetic energy when two surfaces press together to bring an object to a halt.

Functioning at high speeds with large amounts of energy coursing through them, brakes are exposed to significant wear and tear while fulfilling their purpose. They also generate a lot of heat energy as they impose stopping power.

History Lesson

Until half a century ago, braking systems were predominantly drum brakes. Drums resulted in a heat build-up inside the drum during heavy braking sessions.

As a result of the braking system being a drum, there was only one surface from which energy and heat could dissipate.

With the need for a different approach, the automotive industry decided to adopt a disc braking system in the 1970s. Disc brakes meant that the rotor was exposed to outside air when in and out of use, allowing for a more efficient cooling system.

A faster cooling system meant that the brakes were less exposed to fading and overheating challenges. Heat and energy are also dispersed over two rotors as opposed to one drum making them more effective.

In a manufacturing setting, the use of this new braking system has drastically reduced downtime with machine failures.

There has also been a marked improvement in maintenance requirements and efficiency. They have allowed operations to continue smoothly in inhospitable environments.

Now that we are all caught up on the history and the basics of braking systems let’s look at the various types of brakes you are likely to encounter.

 

Different Types of Braking Systems

 

  • Hydraulic Brakes

Most commonly used in industrial applications like mining equipment, cranes, and winches, hydraulic brakes use braking fluids to transfer pressure from the control to the brake mechanism.

 

  • Fail-safe Brakes

Power losses are a common occurrence in South Africa, making this system invaluable to manufacturing plants. Fail-safe brakes are designed to kick into effect when a power interruption happens.

 

The best example here is an elevator. A great example is the movie Speed, where the elevator cables are severed, but the Fail-safe brakes keep everyone alive by preventing a catastrophic fall.

 

  • Pneumatic Brakes

Also known as an air brake, pneumatic brakes make use of compressed air stored in a reservoir. A valve will allow compressed air to flow through and engage the brake when the lever or pedal is actuated.

 

Think about those times you are stopped at a robot, and the truck next to you gives out a loud whoosh of air. That is the brake system decompressing.

 

  • Electromagnetic Brakes

Using electromagnetic force to create friction that will employ the stopping action, these brakes are a little more advanced than most.

 

Trains, trams, and aerospace programs often make use of this technology.

 

  • Spring-Applied Brakes

Also known as power-off brakes, they work similarly to the fail-safe brakes. Spring-applied brakes will stop or hold a load if power gets cut off.

 

Hoists are an example of a product that employs this braking system.

 

  • Storm Brakes

In the event of seismic activity or massive windstorms, storm brakes ensure that cranes are not set in motion accidentally, endangering lives or causing damage.

 

Brakes are an essential part of machinery today. We often overlook their importance and the value they add to production plants worldwide.

 

They are like the unsung heroes when it comes to keeping a plant going. The breakdown of a machine can often cause lengthy production delays, costing time and money.

 

The Makeup of Brakes

Different types of brakes get made for various machines and purposes. Hence the fact that brakes are manufactured from different materials. Depending on their use, the makeup of a braking system will differ.

 

Some brakes are made out of materials that sustain moisture better and live longer, while others don’t last as long but give a smooth, gentle performance on the rotor. Some synthetic brakes are made from high-boiling point materials and do not fade as quickly.

 

The industrial market falls to ceramic brakes or semi-metallic brakes. Metallic brakes are more aggressive, cost-effective, and used for heavy-duty applications. Ceramic brakes deal better with heat and will not wear down as quickly. Ceramic brakes are also easier on the rotor.

 

Where to go for Your Industrial Brakes

When you are looking for an industrial brake supplier, Heubner Speed Monitoring has a range of brakes and solutions that ensure you have minimal downtime in machine operation.

They supply their clients with the best quality braking supplies and services, making them the ideal partner for any machine-driven enterprise.

Heubner Speed Monitoring stock braking systems such as:

  • Wheel and Gantry Brakes
  • Drum and Band Brakes
  • Disc Brakes
  • Motor Mounted Brakes

Their goal is not to become your local brake stockist but instead to couple with you as your partner in business, providing solutions and products that you can rely on.