Apparently, Millenial Elves are not interested in pursuing careers in toy making like their parents, and the resulting labor shortage has led Santa to invest heavily in workshop automation.
As a result, Mrs. Claus has initiated a new program of STEM (Santa Teaches Engineering and Math) to entice younger elves to pursue careers in advanced manufacturing and to provide them with the technical skills they will need to meet the world’s demand for toys.
A spokes-elf for Mrs. Claus noted, “These younger elves are finding the joy their parents knew in making toys… but with factory automation, they’re far more efficient than their parents.”
And AEGIS® Rings play a very important role in protecting the motors used in their new automated processes from VFD-induced bearing damage!
Best Wishes for the Holiday Season from
Electro Static Technology/AEGIS®
Toshiba recently displayed a number of motors equipped with AEGIS® Bearing Protection Rings in its booth at the System Control Fair 2017 in Tokyo, Japan. Held at the Tokyo Big Site from November 29 through December 1, the show drew over 53,000 visitors during the 3 day period. One of two major trade shows for the motor industry, the SCF show is a “major exhibition of cutting-edge technologies for automation and management”.
The biennial SCF show focuses on “technologies, equipment, and systems used in manufacturing” including factory automation control systems, equipment, communication systems, data-com equipment,
software, actuators, sensors, control components, safety systems, IOT systems, and M2M systems.
Obviously, motors play a huge role in many of these systems and technologies and motor reliability is a key factor in the reliability of factory automation and robotic systems. So important, in fact, that Toshiba made a point to include AEGIS® Bearing Protection Rings on several of the motors displayed at the show and devoted a large flat panel display to educating visitors on the need for and benefit of AEGIS® Rings.
Writing at Chemical Processing, Red Trail Energy’s Kent Glasser illustrated the problems the plant faced while trying to keep up failing motors. Replacing motor bearings isn’t cheap. In addition to paying a service center for parts and labor, the amount of time a motor is out of service quickly adds up to lost production and revenue.
The manager of the ethanol plant became concerned with those frequent high repair costs and called in a grounding system specialist to troubleshoot the three problematic motors.
Scott Fisher, the Chief Operating Officer at Sustainable Grounding Systems, had a working history with Red Trail when a North Dakota electrical contractor hired him to evaluate the grounding systems of the plant.
Fisher arrived at the plant in May 2017 and took initial readings from a 30 HP and 150 HP centrifuge motors and a 400 HP fan motor. He discovered that the bearings in these motors had premature damage. These damages occurred much sooner than the ordinary wear and tear normally displayed by bearings operating properly.
Sustainable Grounding Systems is a nationally recognized company providing electrical grounding design, installations and inspections throughout the United States. Contact Scott Fisher at +1 (701) 721-3306 or email at [email protected]
A Familiar Suspect
His leading suspect? Stray currents from VFD-induced voltages built up on the motor shafts and discharged through the path of least resistance: the bearings.
Fisher’s solution was installing shaft grounding rings from AEGIS®. Split AEGIS® SGR rings were installed on the centrifuge motors and an AEGIS PRO Series Ring on the 400 HP motor.
AEGIS® PRO Series Rings
The AEGIS® PRO Series Rings are especially well-suited for these environments. They are designed for large frame, low-voltage motors of 500 HP or greater, medium-voltage motors, and 300 HP or larger DC motors.
The follow-up readings from the motors showed significant improvement. Measurements as high as 19 volts dropped to less than 1.3 volts, which is too low to create premature damage to the bearings.
Reaping the Benefits
By starting a program to improve control of its production process, Red Trail Energy installed VFDs on all their motors. The company reaps several levels of a rapid payback on their investment.
First, VFDs provide several energy-saving functions that, with the money saved from using less energy, it eventually pays for itself. Playing the role of a soft starter, a VFD prevents damage to the motor caused by the sudden onrush of current during the startup procedure.
AEGIS® Rings – Prevent electrical fluting damage in bearings
Finally, AEGIS® grounding rings protect motor bearings from damaging shaft currents. By preventing shaft current from reaching and damaging the bearings, shutdowns due to constant motor repair saves the company hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost revenue.