KCF Technologies Blog

Mike on Maintenance: Structural Looseness

We can't wait to introduce you to Mike!

Michael Hoy comes to KCF Technologies from Penn State University. Mike just recently retired from PSU after 35 years of service, most of which was spent in the HVAC-R / Vibration Analysis and PdM Program. Mike was very instrumental in building the Vibration/PdM Program and also implemented a fail-safe type of lubrication identification and greasing frequency program. At KCF Technologies, he is a Maintenance and Reliability Specialist supporting SmartDiagnostics Sentry Service consulting team and KCF sales for universities, pulp and paper industries, power generation, general manufacturing and food and beverage industry.

Mike will be frequently contributing his expertise to a series of blog posts with practical advice for vibration analysts and reliability engineers. To kick off his segment on the blog, here's some quick advice from Mike on structural looseness:

When checking out vibration related issues of a belt driven fan, make sure to pay special attention to what is supporting your fan/motor. Start with machine hold-down bolts, especially on older poured concrete housekeeping pads. Check very closely for any cracks in the concrete. You probably will not see the flaking or cracks if you do not scrape the years of excess lubrication or dirt build up off of the housekeeping pad.

Also, check the pad itself by lifting it from what it is setting on. You may even want to squirt a little water around the pad perimeter if safely possible. If you see water surging or bubbles forming it could indicate looseness. 

If possible, squirt water with the machine in normal operating mode, this way you may see the cracks opening and closing or the pad lifting in real time.

A structurally sound machine starts by having firmly rooted footings/foundation. If you can rule out structural looseness then other things will have to be taken into consideration...

Stay tuned to find out what Mike suggests for other vibration related issues in our next segment!

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