Bearing Lubrication Reimagined with Ian Conyers
It’s my pleasure to welcome Ian Conyers to the podcast, the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic US regional manager at UIE systems.
In this episode we covered:
- How important is good bearing lubrication to maintaining our assets?
- What are the current challenges that we face as an industry and why aren’t we overcoming these things?
- How does one account to get something accurate?
How important is good bearing lubrication to maintaining our assets?
We talk about extending the life of these assets, and really it comes down where you can have the most effect on the life of these assets typically has to do with lubrication.
What are the current challenges that we face as an industry and why aren’t we overcoming these things?
In my experience, what I really realized is it boils down to having the right kind of people in the right kind of places. It really comes down to time having the amount of time to properly treat these bearings to properly lubricate. You must have time to understand what we should loop, how we loop it, doing the lubrication practices properly.
How does one account to get something accurate?
I think the first thing that people tend to go to is at least affecting how much grease they’re putting in these bearings. Since ultrasound is created through friction, we simply just take the simple philosophy and theory is if we decrease the friction, we decrease the sound level inside these bearings. At least listen to these bearings through, with ultrasound to at least get a closer up a precise amount of how much these bearings need.
We have all these problems now, how do we overcome those types of things?
Being able to bring the data and the auto lubber together, I think was a critical thing that needed to happen. Tracking the health of the auto labor as well as how much grease is going out is critical. We can remotely control the auto lubber as well as get that intuitive information of how much grease is going in and when it’s going in, how often it’s going in as well. If we’ve got a broken loop line or a lube line that’s plugged, it’s going to send up a warning sign. We’re developing our technologies more and more, with how can be able to monitor and communicate with that auto lubber.
If we mount these remotely, do we have to run a remote ultrasound sensor or anything like that?
The idea is to always combine the sensor with the auto lubber. If you have an auto lubber on an asset, you do want that data coming from that bearing to kind of say when it needs grease. If there’s no data, then we’re still considering that auto lubber time-based.
How hard is it to get this whole thing operating?
I was just commissioning a system in Norwood Island and it’s really a plug and play system. Once the customer mounts the sensors on auto lubbers, that box simply just plugs into a one 20 volt plug a regular outlet. And then depending on your communication, what I love about the on-track especially is that it has cellular capability. If that OnTrack has cellular capability, it’s literally just installed the sensors, install the auto lubbers and plug the on-track in and it’s up and running. From there you can remotely log in to look at what’s going on with the bearings, the lubbers themselves, all these different things.
If we have all that data in the cloud, are we able to correlate that with other condition-based monitoring data at this point?
We’ve engineered all these things already in our OnTrack system. So not only can that data be sent to our insights, our cloud, and be accessed through our web-based platform, but had my, it has my many capabilities. You can run this data right into your historian systems, inside your facility, and mix those with all of your other reliability technologies that you use, whether you’re running into the PI Maximo, anything like that. All those capabilities are already built into the Android.
What success stories can you share that you’ve seen out there with this system in place?
A story I have with a customer in Boston is there are being able to not just see the trends of when that asset needed lubrication, but some of these rooftop units that would need to crane to change out, the planning and scheduling has gotten a lot tighter. I’ve seen my customers being able to be way more accurate on predicting when these failures are occurring. As you know, there’s still a complication that there’s nothing out there that’s going to tell you when something is going to fail. Not only were they able to remotely monitor and remotely lubricate these bearings, but they also actually extended the life of these assets by 18 months longer than they ever have in the past. They were able to decrease their labor on those assets by about 90%, because they didn’t have to send a person to physically out there. They were also able to save on time and labor, as well as improve grease consumption.
What’s the one action you want our listeners to take away from the conversation today?
The fact that we have capabilities of being able to monitor our assets like we’ve never had before. We’re able to fight the battle of time and to be able to fight the battle of not having enough staff better than we ever had. Our handheld units are great. We’ve never been able to have the ability to treat them like we have today, especially with this on-track smart loop system.
Where can people find out more about you?
Our website, UIEsystems.com. Find your local regional manager. You can find me on LinkedIn or by contacting the main office.
Do you have a go-to resource?
The best resource that I always kind of lean on is our website where there’s a lot of new things on there. Expose yourself to a lot of webinars, there’s been so many new things out there and people sharing their information.
Ian Conyers Links:
- UE Systems
- Ian Conyers Linkedin
- On-Trak Smart Lube
- UE Webinars
- Leading Reliability Conference
- Past episodes with Maureen and Adrian Messer
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