Managing equipment deterioration in production and processing chains
Manufacturing businesses—whether they work in the mining, forestry or even agricultural industries—often have to contend with repeated equipment breakage in their production chains.
This can decrease yield and, eventually, cause financial losses. Abrasion, wear, shock and rust can lead to production shutdowns, repair delays, maintenance fees, replacement costs and more. They’re a real headache for managers!
What is abrasion?
Abrasion is fairly simple: it’s deterioration caused by rubbing against a rigid, semi-rigid or flexible material. For example, think of someone falling off of their bike. When the skin drags along the asphalt, it creates a skin abrasion. Roughly the same thing happens when two pieces of steel rub against each other.
Liquids with solid particles (such as pulp in the mining industry) that come into contact with certain materials can also cause a type of abrasion that wears down equipment.
What is wear?
As you might have guessed, wear is simply the result of prolonged use of a piece of equipment. Just as time wears down the human body, it also wears down mechanical parts, particularly those used in manufacturing.
The lifespan of the parts in manufacturing and processing equipment must be taken into consideration to keep the machinery running smoothly.
What is shock?
Shock is the violent collision of two or more objects. Think of two cars colliding in an accident: shock affects not only the cars’ physical appearance, but their reliability and safety as well. The same is true of equipment parts.
What is rust?
Rust, also known as iron oxide, is somewhat more complex. It occurs when iron (including the iron in alloys) corrodes due to a combination of oxygen and moisture.
Of course, other metals can also oxidize, but they may not react the same way. For example, silver tarnishes.
Rust is highly visible, as it turns equipment reddish-brown. It makes the product more fragile, affecting not only its operation, but its lifespan as well.
What are the solutions?
Before trying to find a solution, it’s important to determine the cause of the problem. You must first find the part(s) experiencing abrasion, wear, shock or rust. Next, those parts must be protected! The solutions are simple:
- Fight abrasion by protecting parts
- Shield parts subject to premature wear
- Design parts and equipment to withstand shock
- Use materials that do not corrode
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It’s an excellent solution for many businesses in many industries to improve equipment performance and increase productivity!
Wondering how to manage equipment deterioration in your production or processing chains? Our answer: polyurethane! Contact us
SOURCES: (In french only)