Condition Monitoring in Steel Tube Production

  Enquiry / contact me

FAG SmartCheck units for gearboxes from Schaeffler provide six-figure savings in six months for steel tube producer Welded Tube

Motors & Drives

Welded Tube of Canada: condition monitoring using FAG SmartChecks has prevented unplanned production downtime
Welded Tube of Canada: condition monitoring using FAG SmartChecks has prevented unplanned production downtime
A damaged brass worm gear from the production line in Concord, Canada
A damaged brass worm gear from the production line in Concord, Canada
FAG SmartCheck makes condition monitoring simple and reliable
FAG SmartCheck makes condition monitoring simple and reliable

Welded Tube of Canada is a leading producer of steel tube and pipe with an annual production capacity of 700,000 tonnes. Founded in 1970, the company has 700 employees and is headquartered in Concord, Ontario, Canada. Welded Tube owns and operates five manufacturing and finishing plants in Canada and the US, which serve the needs of the North American market.

Challenge for Schaeffler

Welded Tube’s metal tube forming line in Concord comprises of four sections: forming, finishing, sizing and squaring. In the first three sections, only one electric motor drives three to four gearboxes. The forming line manufactures tube on a continuous basis. Therefore, if a gear stops turning or a gearbox fails, the whole production line comes to a standstill. This is particularly true of the large, costly brass worm gears on the 13 tube forming gearboxes. If these gears are damaged or fail, the subsequent costs of unplanned downtime is extremely high.

Welded Tube therefore decided to introduce a predictive maintenance regime at Concord. This would increase gearbox availability and achieve extended lead times for gearbox spare parts. The main requirement was to introduce a cost-effective condition monitoring solution with reduced cabling effort, which could also be used on standard double output drives.

The decision to implement a system based on FAG SmartCheck units from Schaeffler paid for itself as soon as the first unplanned downtime was prevented. Furthermore, the company saved a six-figure sum (approx. 126,000 euros) after just six months.

Condition monitoring solution

The solution recommended by Schaeffler was to continuously monitor the condition of all gearbox shafts and gearbox bearings, as well as the brass worm gears. This was implemented by installing 13 FAG SmartCheck units to monitor gearbox vibrations from the 13 tube forming gearboxes.

An FAG SmartController was also installed, which acts as a bi-directional gateway between the customer’s control system and the sensors. Both the signal routing and the power supply (Power-over-Ethernet) for each FAG SmartCheck unit were implemented using a single Ethernet cable, while the production facility and monitoring office were linked wirelessly using a WiFi router.

Due to their complex gear ratio, the brass worm gears are technically very difficult to monitor. However, FAG SmartCheck units feature special frequency-selective component specifications and a “track frequency band” template, which means they are more than a match for these complex requirements and are suitable for both standard and special gearboxes.

Significant cost savings

Investing in condition monitoring solutions based on FAG SmartCheck units often pays for itself within a short period of time by helping to prevent unplanned downtimes and their subsequent costs.

Shortly after being put into service at Concord, the FAG SmartCheck devices proved their reliability by identifying high vibrations on various gearboxes. In just six months, Welded Tube’s maintenance team detected three brass worm gear failures at an early stage. This information was particularly important, as gearbox spare parts were only available on long lead times.

Welded Tube is so satisfied with the condition monitoring solution and services provided by Schaeffler that it has now also switched to sourcing bearings from Schaeffler. Furthermore, the company plans to install additional FAG SmartCheck units at two further Welded Tube plants in Welland (Canada) and Buffalo (USA).

Posted on April 4, 2018 - (167 views)
Schaeffler Technologies AG & Co. KG
Georg-Schäfer-Straße 30
97421 Schweinfurt - Germany
+49-9132-826563
+49-9132-822130
View full company profile
Location
More products from this supplier
Ball bearings
Savings from condition-based maintenance
Modular System Solutions in the "Heavy Duty" Sector
Condition and Torque Monitoring System
Hybrid Module
Spherical Roller Bearings
Automated Relubrication and Monitoring
Complete Solutions for Predictive Maintenance 4.0
Prolonging the life of motors and gearboxes
Condition Monitoring Services
Related articles
Light and Invisible E-Bike System
3-phase Gate Driver for EV and Hybrid Cars
Dive into the World of Allied Motion in The Netherlands
1,000s of Vinyl Caps, Plugs and More from Caplugs
Liquid filling machines increase productivity with motion control solution
Reaching IE5 Efficiency with Magnet-free Motors
Carbon-Filled PEEK Grade Offering Enhanced Performance for Braking Systems
HD Video Solution for Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS)
Allied Motion The Netherlands Has Launched its Own Microsite
Nidec ASI continues its efforts for greener and more sustainable mobility
Santest's Direct Acting High-speed Servo Valve
Lika's Smart Encoders & Actuators
Santest DA Series High-speed Servo Valves
Drives & Controls 2020: The Home of Automation
MSA Mini Slide Series
MSA Mini Slide Series
High-Speed Servo Valve
MSA Mini Slide Series
Ecological Synchronous Reluctance Motors
Top-notch Products
“We Will Get Incredibly Valuable Data”
AC Servo Drives & Motors
Magnet-assisted Synchronous Reluctance Motors
Modular Principle Enhanced with Double-cardanic Coupling Variant
Permanent Magnet Synchronous Reluctance Motor
Integrated and Compact Servo Drives
Customizable Integrated Drive System
Intelligent Drive Concept
Global Vehicle Motor and Global Vehicle Inverter
Oil Pressure & Flow Rate Control Units