Six Steps to Increasing Plant Up Time
4. Take time for a lube stop. Aggregate operations create extreme operating environments. Selection and use of the proper lubricant helps improve equipment reliability and extend its life. Make sure the lubricant used on each piece of equipment — whether stationary or mobile — meets manufacturer specifications in terms of viscosity, oxidation stability, and additives. If the oil is too thin, equipment wear increases. If it is too thick, it requires more energy to lubricate moving parts.
To avoid cross contamination, label or color code storage containers, dispensing equipment, etc. And, don’t ignore the benefits of an oil analysis program to identify small problems before they become costly ones.
5. Stock wear parts on site. To keep equipment maintenance on the fast track, eliminate the need to wait for a part to be delivered by keeping standard wear parts on site. Common items such as screen media, crusher blow bars, liners, and rotors should be available for quick change outs. Remember to follow storage guidelines to keep consumables in proper condition.
6. Educate employees. Equipment is expensive and downtime can be even more so. Invest in employee training to ensure they understand how to operate and maintain equipment. Begin with an assessment of each employee’s current knowledge. Identify gaps in education and provide specific, measurable training that will improve their skills and prolong equipment life.
These six steps provide an overview of ways that aggregate producers can extend equipment life. Maintenance personnel and manufacturer representatives can provide specific guidance on additional procedures that can benefit your site. While trying to control costs, just remember that an investment in proper equipment maintenance and staff training is far less costly than the potentially catastrophic costs of unplanned downtime.
To keep equipment up and running, implement the following maintenance guidelines.
- Turn blow bars every 20,000 to 25,000 tons;
- Replace blow bars when they are 1.25 inches from the rotor surface; and
- Watch side liners for wear near the rotor and turn them between 50,000 and 75,000 tons, depending on mineralogy.
- Learn the wear pattern for your crusher type and maintain accordingly;
- Change wear liners at proper intervals; and
- Allow manganese to “work harden” by crushing softer or less abrasive material — when possible — after installing a new liner.
- Follow manufacturer recommendations for reduction ratios;
- Check liners daily for wear and begin inspecting for cracks and failure when they reach 25 percent of their expected life; and
- Change the liner if production rates decrease by 10 percent.
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