BOWMAN DELIVERS 50% REDUCTION IN DOWNTIME FOR SINTER PLANT BEARING CHANGES
A leading steel processing facility in Mainland Europe was struggling to keep downtime minimal during bearing inspection and replacement on its sinter plant ventilation duct.
The bearings were accessed via a small inspection platform located approximately 20 meters off the ground. To reach this platform, engineers transported equipment using a cherry picker and a narrow gantry walkway suspended below the ducting. Access was so restricted, only one engineer could inspect or replace the bearings, making the process slower than normal.
To make any bearing maintenance or replacement possible, the contractor erected a large-scale health and safety perimeter that could remain in place for up to three days – a significant inconvenience to a such a high-output steel processing facility.
The primary driver for this client was reducing downtime. Knowing a split bearing could potentially achieve that, the onsite team had contacted a number of vendors, but none had been able to accommodate their request due to inventory shortages.
With considerable stock holdings at strategic locations globally, Bowman did not hesitate to take on the challenge.
KEY PROJECT STATISTICS
- Sinter plant ventilation duct in the steel processing industry
- Sinter plant ducting located at height making
- access difficult
- Space for just one person during bearing inspection or replacement
- Onsite assistance provided to guide and educate contractors in assembling the bearings
BEARING TECHNICAL DETAILS
- Two fixed and two floating 80mm Advanced Split Roller Bearings with triple labyrinth seals
- All four bearings interchangeable with SNL plummer blocks
- Modified pedestal arrangement thanks to Bowman’s in-house design service
Confident that its Advanced Split Roller Bearing could be installed considerably faster than the current three day timeframe, Bowman set about designing a modified pedestal arrangement to accompany two fixed and two floating 80mm diameter bearings. This bespoke approach would prevent the need for retrofitting in such a challenging environment, further reducing overall downtime.
The bespoke pedestal was designed quickly, with detailed drawings provided just 48 hours after the customer’s initial enquiry. To further assist the onsite contractor, Bowman sent Technical Manager, Matt Simmons to the facility in Mainland Europe to assist and educate the engineers during the installation.
Bowman’s split roller bearings assemble radially around the shaft using the cagerollers to lock the two halves in place, eliminating the use of small and easy to lose clips and other locking components – keeping downtime minimal for time-sensitive facilities.
Bowman’s solution reduced the total bearing replacement downtime by 50%, from 3 days to 1.5 days, far exceeding the customer’s expectations.
“This customer, a steel processing site in Mainland Europe, needed four easy to install, high-capacity split roller bearing capable of reducing downtime during maintenance and changeouts. The access area was restricted and hard to reach, meaning a large health and safety perimeter was required for any bearing inspection or replacement.
Bowman combined its in-house bespoke bearing design service, with its Advanced Split Bearing innovation, and onsite support solutions to reduce downtime by 50%.”
Matthew Simmons, Technical Manager, Bowman Split Bearings