Food industry: Monitoring a fan imbalance

food fan

Condition monitoring technology has been used in the industry for a long time to improve maintenance and production, by reducing unplanned shutdowns. One of the parameters followed in current programs is vibration according to its direct relevance to the condition of rotating machinery. The Wi-care wireless system allows your vibration data to be analyzed at distance and at any time. Beyond the measurement system, the use of remoteanalysis allows the establishment of a strong condition based maintenance partnership. The availability of an expert in vibration diagnosis without additional travel costs efficiently reduces the predictive maintenance budget. Decreasing very expensive diagnostic expertise allows the redistribution of budget within the condition based program on a broader set of machines. We generally consider that 1/3 of the final invoice is made up of travel expenses. Using the Wi-care wireless system coupled with the I-CARE condition monitoring remote diagnosis team, offers a chance to cut these travel costs. At a time when many maintenance budgets are being decreased, via the use of Wi-care, we allow expenses to be redirected to where they are most justified.

 The following case study represents a typical remote analysis application of a fan in the food industry. The monitoring was performed in a very effective way for the customer and analyst in order to detect and protect the fan from an excessive imbalance.

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 Equipment, Context:  

The Plant is located in Northern Europe, producing amino acids amongst other products. The site is operating 24/7 all year long. The fan (impeller) is supplying drying process with hot air. Fan is unique and doesn’t receive a deep prediction system or strategy. Fan bearing housing is equipped with a vibration sensor only working as an alarm trigger. Production team knows that the fan gets clogged powder from time to time creating a severe imbalance generating a vibration trigger and an unplanned shutdown of the system. I-Care is called to install Wi-care wireless vibration and temperature system in order to have a better understanding on how and when the fan is loaded by powder. Wi-care allows also a perfect trending of the vibration at 1XRM linked to the unbalance. With permanent monitoring and early detection Wi-care allows to plan a shutdown for fan cleaning before an emergency stop occur spontaneously.


           Food trend

Analyst diagnosis and spectrum justification: Imbalance increase

We observe a vibration amplitude peak at the rotation frequency of the equipment mainly visible on the fan bearings. This peak is linked to the wheel imbalance. The vibrations amplitudes variates during the monitoring period (RPM almost constant 55-53 Hz). Trends show an increase of the unbalance between 05/11/2015 and 11/12/2015. The vibration increase is linked to powder attached on the wheel. This is to follow until the next stop maintenance (10 days) for cleaning.


food spectrum


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Nicolas Bleret, I-care, Belgium
Business Development director