Leaking Profits: Five Ways MRO Plants Lose Money
It’s typically the top priority for maintenance engineers: boost plant reliability and efficiency. One way to achieve this is to prevent equipment failure before it can happen.
Of course it isn’t always possible, but there are areas where failure is more likely to happen. Scheduled maintenance activities based on these predictions can reduce production costs by as much as 8-12 percent.
Here are five of the most common equipment and facility failures, and how they can be managed.
1. Vibrational Loosening
Threadlocking or machinery adhesives are the most reliable and inexpensive way to ensure that a threaded assembly will remain locked and leak-proof, especially when compared to mechanical locking systems. Loctite® single-component anaerobic adhesives, applied to blot threads as a liquid, gel or stick, cure to a hard thermoset plastic and lock threaded parts together, preventing corrosion and seizure, and allowing for easy disassembly when needed.
2. Air and Hydraulic Leaks from Threaded Fittings
One drop of hydraulic fluid dripping every 10 seconds equates to 40 gallons of lost fluid per year. A 1/16-inch air leak can add up to $1,000 to an annual maintenance budget. The solution? Loctite thread sealants, which reduce or eliminate leaks by forming a protective barrier that moisture, air, gas and oil cannot penetrate. These sealants can bring leakage costs down to practically zero with very little time or money invested by maintenance staff.
3. Spun Bearings and Keyway Wallow
Bearing replacement can range from less than $100 up to $20,000, depending on the equipment and application. Loctite retaining compounds, specifically formulated to join cylindrical, unthreaded metal parts, can solve the problems of spun bearings and keyway wallow, enabling maintenance professionals to establish joints with a robust fit. These solutions also prevent fretting corrosion.
4. Gasket Failure
Formed-in-place gasket sealants prevent failure by acting as both a sealant and a gasket adhesive between mating flanges. Once cured, these Loctite adhesives resist displacement better than conventional gaskets and will not shrink, crack or relax. By using formed-in-place liquid sealants instead of conventional pre-cut compression gaskets, no proactive maintenance is required once the flanges are mated.
5. Equipment Wear
Physical damage to equipment can be caused by mechanical attack, chemical attack or corrosion, all of which can result in critical, costly failure. Too often, reactive maintenance procedures result in “quick fix” solutions that do not protect against recurrent damage, often resulting in another unscheduled breakdown. Loctite’s epoxy-based, wear-resistant coatings deliver long-term protection to minimize planned and unplanned downtime. They can be applied to worn equipment for restoration or to new equipment before it is placed into service.
For manufacturers interested in reducing costs, improving efficiency and enhancing quality, the Henkel Corporation has developed the Loctite Best Practices Process, which includes a complimentary audit of customer in-plant operations.