Buying used industrial electronic equipment or reusing shelved or mothballed equipment can indeed save a lot of money, BUT it can also result in some costly problems.
When you buy used you can end up buying someone else’s problems and if you dig out your own mothballed machinery, you can only hope that it was put away and marked properly.
No matter what size plant you operate, you can employ Predictive Maintenance technologies to evaluate the operating condition of used or mothballed equipment. You probably already do this on some level, only you didn’t call it anything fancy. You still don’t have to call it anything fancy, but applying some fundamental tests and organization to the process can help make it more effective thus saving time and money, and isn’t that what we all want to do?
The only way to 100% determine the operating condition of used equipment is to test it under load, under normal operating conditions. However, this is often just not possible. Other useful evaluation tests you can perform include:
- Start with simple low/no cost tests such as rotating a shaft to see if the bearings and components are damaged, bent or corroded. Purge grease fittings to check the lubricant. These simple tests can quickly show serious potential problems.
- Temporarily install the unit in a test fixture such as a dynamometer with accurate diagnostics such as real time vibration analysis; a bit more costly but very useful.
- Vibration analysis can quickly detect unbalance, misalignment, bent shafts, resonance, bearing failures, gear mesh problems, motor problems and much more. Well worth the effort.
- Infrared thermography tests the temperatures in the unit to detect areas that are hotter or colder than they should be such as what you might find in switch gear, gearboxes, circuit breaker panels, and motor
- Tribology and oil analysis compares chemicals and physicals of the oil against clean virgin oil to see if the oil is still adequate
- Ultrasound analysis tests for quite a number of things including detecting electrical arching and corona discharge.
These are a sample of Predictive Maintenance technologies from the basic to the complex, and there are yet still more options. Schedule when you will test your equipment and document the results for each piece, including the cost avoidance figures which management will want to see – you will be glad you invested the time and effort when you realize long-term savings and prevention of disastrous failures.
If you are considering mothballing your industrial equipment but aren’t entirely sure how, take a look at this article I saw on Industrial Equipment News.com as well as others you can find on that site.
Consult an expert in industrial electronic repair if you want to have your equipment evaluated by a professional or you need such services as plc repairs, touch screen monitor repairs, servo motor repairs or other repairs. Using the services of a professional industrial electronic repair shop provides you with a warranty even on an older, used piece of equipment which can be invaluable.