Since adopting this technology, a new view of machines has emerged. The CM group used to lump all machine issues such as balance, alignment, coupling and bearings together as one issue. Now it is possible to view bearings as a separate entity. For example, at start up of a new or existing machine, that machine can be said to run smoothly from the stand point of balance, alignment and coupling issues, but may not be smooth due to noise levels in a bearing. The next step is to determine thesolution to the separate bearing issue, which many times is as simple as a few shots of grease. This was a great step toward preventing "infant mortality" at start up and continued smooth operation.
Now that its possible to measure the noise level in a bearing, a new approach to PMs can emerge. Along the lines of the old adage " If it aint broke, dont fix it", I say "If its running smoothly, dont disturb it". Most companies clean and repack split pillow block bearings on a 6-month basis. For bearings that are now determined to be running smoothly, an inspection can take place to check for the correct amount and condition of the grease. If that is good then replace the cap and run it. A few shots of grease can be added using the Ultra-Lube after the machine is running. Re-packing the bearing can introduce contaminants into the rolling elements that will shorten bearing life. High heat resulting from re-packing can also increase the potential for failure.
Following are some case studies to illustrate the value of improved greasing techniques using the Ultra-Lube:
CASE STUDY 1
3000 HP Induced Draft Fan
The non-drive end bearing of the motor was found, through vibration monitoring, to have an elevated noise floor. Dryness in the bearing was suspected so the Ultra-Lube unit was used to grease the bearing. As an experiment, envelope acceleration readings were taken before and during the greasing process. The technician, using the grease gun, was amazed at what he heard. The bearing noise dropped dramatically after adding a small amount of grease. This is demonstrated in Exhibit 1 through the arrangement of progressive signatures in a waterfall display.