Maintenance Tip of the Month – December
Daily Operator-Performed Checks Of Safety Equipment, Fluids and Filter Cloth Are A Key Component of Filter Press Success. Don’t Skip Them!
Preventative Maintenance including regular daily checks and routine attention to components will prevent later headaches. Daily Operator-performed checks make excellent operational and financial sense!
Dan Murphy, Micronics’ Service & Parts Manager, recommends that the following be checked DAILY:
1. Safety Light Curtain – Operator safety is critically important and safety light curtains provide a non-contact, invisible safety wall. Take care to ensure that the safety light curtain is not damaged and that the transmitter & receiver are functioning as expected. Clean the lenses with a soft lint-free rag. Brackets should be correctly secured. With a properly operating safety light curtain, an opaque object (e.g. a person) will break the light beam, causing all filter press activities to stop. If you find a defective safety device during your inspection, lockout the press and perform service on the unit immediately.
2. Mechanical Safety Guards – Take care to ensure that safety guards are in place and all hardware required to secure them are present and tight.
3. Fluid Level in the Hydraulic Power Unit – An improper oil level may lead to HPU inefficiency. It is a good practice to check the fluid level in the HPU daily.
4. Cleanliness of Hydraulic Oil – Ensuring that the hydraulic oil is clean is critical to filter press performance. Contaminated oil can cause damage to components and potentially lead to system failure. Again, it is a good practice to check the cleanliness of the oil daily as a preventative measure.
5. Filter Cloths – Inspect and ensure all cloths in the plate stack are clean and not ripped, torn, creased, or containing holes. If any cloths in the plate stack are damaged, carefully replace.
6. Absence of Hydraulic Fluid leaks – leaks can signal that there is a damaged cylinder or damaged/worn cylinder seals. Visually inspect fittings for leaks. Inspect all hydraulic hoses for leaks, bulging, and dry rot. Daily inspection to ensure absence of leaks is critical to your press operation.
7. No Missing or Corroded Nuts, Screws, Washers, or Bolts – Tighten anything that needs tightening and replace anything that needs replacing. When the bolts are at proper torque, add a baseline mark that can serve as an easy-to-spot indicator for ongoing checks.
8. Hydraulic Clamping Pressure – Check that the Hydraulic Clamping Pressure is correct for your press. The Hydraulic Clamping Pressure needs to be high enough to withstand the pressure created by the slurry feed pump pushing slurry into the chambers between the plates. Cycle time is, of course, affected by slurry pump feed pressure so this is an important parameter to ensure optimal press efficiencies.
Remember that a preventative maintenance program – including Daily Checks By Press Operators – is a key ingredient to a trouble-free press operation!