Arlanxeo Performance Elastomers, Belgium, win a BEMAS Asset Performance Award; from all at RMS Reliability, many congratulations on this well-deserved achievement.

In the category ‘Best Improvement in Maintenance & Asset Management’, Christophe Van de Maele and Kristof Van Den Berghe of Arlanxeo were allowed to take the trophy home. The four case examples in which they used their new motion amplification camera received great acclaim.

Best Improvement in Maintenance & Asset Management
Arlanxeo received the award for improving reliability in the 16 extruders in the finishing department. When an extruder comes to a standstill, the repair often takes 7 days. This results in a loss of € 1 million. There were 4 failures per year to the extruders, the cause of which was unknown in half of the cases. By means of vibration measurements, it is not always possible to find the correct cause. In addition to the standard solutions available. Improving the alignment, reinforcing structures, adapting the material of the anchor bolts, there were still problems. Thanks to a combination of further root cause analysis and the motion amplification camera, which magnifies minimal vibrations, the malfunctions could be tackled more successfully. Christophe Van de Maele and Kristof Van Den Berghe received the award for Arlanxeo.

Arlanxeo have a well developed Condition Monitoring and Reliability Team at their plant in Belgium. They invested in an IRIS M Motion Amplification System from RMS Ltd late 2018 with certified training carried out onsite early 2019.

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Motion Amplification is a fantastic tool for visualizing many machinery problems, from structural issues to resonance problems. But what about a vibration problem at 100Hz which is electrically related. Can motion amplification help find the root cause?

One of our engineers recently picked up a Motor problem. It was showing high vibration levels of 10mm/sec RMS at a frequency of 100Hz. The motor runs close to 50Hz so he collected a high resolution spectrum to confirm the problem was electrical related and not 2xRPM. He confirmed it was electrical at 100Hz (2XLF) so decided to visualize with MA Camera. The MA video below clearly shows the motor dipping down to the right side. This has all the hallmarks of a soft foot problem and probably the root cause of the high 100Hz vibration due to the motor frame twisting. The motor is now planned in for the next shutdown to rectify this problem.

Soft foot is a common term used for machine frame distortion. The distortion is caused when one or more feet of a machine differ in height from the others. This in turn may be due to differences when the machine was manufactured, a squishy footage with oil film etc. between foot and base, a bent foot, or it may be induced by a pipe to which the machine is attached (e.g. a pipe on top of a pump), which prevents the machine from touching all its feet to its base.  – Wikipedia

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