Machinery Downtime As Strong As Weakest Link

By: | November 25th, 2013

Machinery downtime means money is being lost. If one machine breaks, it can affect the entire production line and all the employees working the production line. True Downtime Calculations have been developed to evaluate the true costs when a piece of machinery does down. Many times the cost of downtime far outweighs the cost of the initial machinery purchase.

RUD Chain was called on to help a commercial nursery reduce downtime on the de-ashing conveyor. RUD’s engineering team uncovered the reason for the failure–the client’s chain-driven conveyor system was comprised of low-quality chain and components. Mechanical systems in the coal de-ashing environment are subjected to the harsh stresses of heat, constant operation and the abrasive residue of the fine particulate of coal ash dust. Only the highest-quality steel parts can stand up to such a harsh environment.

The conveyor required expensive monthly maintenance to keep the conveyor running and the chain was only lasting 14 months before the plant was required to shut down and replace the failed chain and components.

The RUD team recommended the immediate installation of all-new quality chain products and conveyor system components.  The new components were installed, using RUD Advantage chain, multi-part sprockets, chain connectors, and SSRF attachments. Operations quickly resumed and the pepper plants–and the grower’s business–again flourished.

Six months later, RUD did a top-down analysis of the ongoing functionality and structural integrity of the grower’s conveyor system.  Not only had the new RUD parts endured the heat and the dust, the chain itself, the heart of the conveyor system, was pronounced fit for service for another four to five years.  The client was delighted with the improved performance and reliability of his de-asher system and its much lower maintenance costs. Downtime was reduced by over 300%.

Products used: RUD Advantage chain, multi-part sprockets, chain connectors, and SSRF attachments

The grower’s new de-asher conveyor system is comprised entirely of RUD’s improved and innovative chain products. RUD recently increased the strength and durability of its chain products to incorporate:

  • Improved surface hardness
  • Deeper case hardening
  • Reduced surface pressure
  • Optimized surface layer
  • Increased heat resistance

RUD’s extensive line of conveyor system parts feature RUD’s round link chain system, whose durable, self-cleaning design maintains its integrity in wet, abrasive, corrosive and dirty environments without link seizure.  RUD’s Design Engineers can create customized conveyor systems to meet the needs of many challenging environments.

All RUD products reflect RUD’s innovative core competencies in metal working, welding, heat treatment, surface technology, forging and machining.

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Michael Cooney

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