Description of Problem
A major North American-based candy manufacturer was experiencing numerous problems with their critical mixing equipment since installation. They were experiencing shaft failure on a recurring basis, leading to damage. Downtime cost approximately 12 hours and $18,000 per hour, or $216,000 per breakdown. The equipment had already failed three times and cost them $648,000. The manufacturer reached out to several companies for help, but none could provide a lasting solution. Then, the company called in the Regal® Perceptiv™ Diagnostics Services team for assistance.
Description of Solution
The Perceptiv services team performed microscopic examinations of the shaft and a chemical analysis of the steel which revealed a fracture caused by torsional fatigue.
To determine the source of the fatigue, the team performed a motor current signature analysis, vibration analysis, and infrared thermography. The tests revealed several problems contributing to poor mixer performance--movement in the mounting base, torsional resonance, and inadequate process monitoring. High vibrations were preventing the mixer drivetrain from reaching the as-designed speed and throughput values. The Perceptiv team developed a plan to mitigate the issues, including changes to the shaft to eliminate stress points; re-orienting the arrangement of the mixing paddles; better equipment anchoring; and improved monitoring practices. After implementing the recommendations, the manufacturer soon reported that the mixer was performing better than it ever had.
Benefits Seen by the Manufacturer Included:
- Saved downtime cost of $216,000 per failure
- Received detailed analysis and recommendations that provided actionable solutions
- Eliminated equipment defects to prevent recurring breakdowns and improved condition monitoring solutions for early detection
Twin Screw Mixer Drivetrain
Food & Beverage
Perceptiv Diagnostic Services