The Praxis partnership between FAG Industrial Services (F’IS) and Corus Northern Engineering Services (CNES) is continuing to add value and prevent costly production downtime in many sectors of UK industry. The partnership provides plant engineers and maintenance managers with a comprehensive condition monitoring offering that includes hardware, software and services for vibration monitoring, acoustic emission monitoring, oil analysis, thermographic imaging, training and consultancy.
Now in its third year, Praxis is successfully delivering condition monitoring to UK industry, including pharmaceuticals, food and beverage, paper and metal processing. As Ian Taylor, Business Development Engineer for Plant Condition Monitoring at CNES, states: “Praxis is a unique offering to UK industry, combining the specialist strengths and skills of each of the two partners. We have the specialist bearing knowledge and vibration monitoring skills of F’IS coupled with the engineering know-how and toolbox of condition monitoring techniques and services of CNES. This is why Praxis is such a fruitful partnership for customers. Praxis has also opened doors for CNES and F’IS into new industry sectors in the UK, particularly the pharmaceuticals and paper manufacturing sectors. Since the partnership began, in addition to supplying vibration monitoring hardware to external customers, Praxis has also installed F’IS vibration monitoring systems throughout Corus’ steelmaking plants in the UK.”
Praxis engineers have a portfolio of hardware and software systems for a variety of different applications and can provide support for the installation, commissioning, monitoring and maintenance of complete condition monitoring systems. This often includes an initial plant survey, followed by equipment specification, supply, installation, consultancy, data interpretation and trending.
Dr Steve Lacey, Engineering Manager at Schaeffler (UK), comments: “New and existing customers can benefit from a unique service offering to all sectors of UK manufacturing. Praxis is an exciting partnership, combining the best of both companies in one tailored condition monitoring package. Whereas before, customers would have to deal with two companies for separate condition monitoring problems, they can now source everything they need – from acoustic emission to vibration monitoring and thermography – from a single source, safe in the knowledge that our engineers have many years of experience in the fields of both engineering and condition monitoring.”
Predicting maintenance requirements
Corus engineers have used condition-based monitoring to accurately predict its maintenance requirements and maximise steel making plant availability for more than 25 years. CNES has secured many condition monitoring contracts across an increasingly wide range of industries from metal processing companies to food and beverage manufacturers.
With a detection capability beyond that of other methods, CNES’ acoustic emission monitoring system, Aquilla AE Pro, is a fixed system that is particularly effective at slow rotational speeds from 80rpm down to 0.25rpm. Typical applications include large tilting vessels used in steel making, bucket wheel excavators, heavy cable reeling or pipe laying machines, and carousel machines in production and food packaging environments.
As a further development, CNES has also introduced Aquilla AE Pro IMON, a new semi-portable system for acoustic emission monitoring. The system is suitable for use on plant that does not warrant a fixed system, but still requires more than instantaneous data collection.
Whether machinery rotates, reciprocates or oscillates during its operation, it relies on bearings or sometimes two plain surfaces rubbing together. Over a period of time, metal is removed from these surfaces; in the case of rotating element bearing failure, this can be sudden, with the bearing races grabbing the bearing housings or shaft and tearing the metal, causing damage to bearing and seal locations both on shafts and in housings.
The technology available within CNES’ extensive workshops can rebuild these surfaces and other damaged areas, such as stud holes, keyways and splines. Proven welding procedures developed to match particular parent metal specifications, followed by finish machining to suit replacement bearings or to drawing dimensions can restore components up to 130 tonnes in weight.
A background in bearings
Schaeffler’s INA and FAG-branded roller bearings and linear motion products are well known within the power transmission, mechanical handling, construction, steel, quarrying, mining and paper industries. It was in support of complex bearing applications in these industries that Schaeffler developed its portfolio of maintenance products and condition monitoring equipment under the FAG Industrial Services (F’IS) company. F’IS manages all industrial services for Schaeffler brands worldwide.
The F’IS portfolio includes a range of vibration monitoring hardware, including FAG ProCheck, a new online monitoring system that detects plant or machinery faults early, preventing costly breakdowns and reducing production downtime. The system, which was developed in partnership with National Instruments, helps companies monitor vibration levels on critical rotating plant or machinery, including electric motors, drives, bearing arrangements, gearboxes, pumps, generators, ventilators, fans and excavators.
F’IS also recently launched its FAG Detector III system, a handheld vibration and temperature monitoring and balancing device that now comes with RFID technology. This enables automatic identification of measuring points on plant machinery and equipment, while eliminating operator errors and resulting in a more efficient data collection process.
For more information on Praxis, visit www.schaeffler.co.uk.