One of our Asset Care clients uses presses to remove waste water from slurry and then deposit a dry ‘cake’ which is removed from site for disposal. The press membranes are inflated with compressed air up to 6 bar pressure, which forces the liquid from the cake, leaving it as dry as possible.
The financial cost for the removal of wet cake is considerably higher than when it is dry and when the membranes develop leaks and are unable to perform correctly, production costs rise.
The standard Preventive Maintenance procedure previously used was to carry out a full pressure test of each of the 21 membranes in turn, until leaks were detected. This would take 2 engineers up to 4 hours to carry out, and then up to 2 hours to change any faulty membranes, resulting in significant maintenance costs and loss of production.
PEME investigated alternative maintenance strategies to determine whether a less intrusive maintenance task could be developed utilising our Condition Monitoring techniques. We experimented with our ultrasound equipment and developed a predictive maintenance technique for finding leaking membranes.
This proved to be successful and we now are able to carry out the condition monitoring task during the press cycle at the point where the membranes are inflated and this takes under 5 minutes. We are also able to pinpoint faulty membranes earlier, than previously, allowing us to plan the Corrective Maintenance and replace faulty membranes at a convenient point.
This means that we have effectively reduced the time to conduct this maintenance down from a whole shift to around 2 hours and avoid the issue of wet cake with significant availability improvement and cost reduction benefits.