Category

Materials

Caution! This Unit is Shipped Dry

By | Materials

Why your newly rebuilt rotating equipment is shipped without lubrication

Shipped Dry warningFor years, one of our biggest debates internally was whether or not we should ship our customers’ rebuilt rotating equipment (think gearboxes, reducers, bearings, etc.) dry or with lubrication.  After years of research on both options, we decided to enforce dry shipping, unless lubrication is provided by the customer.  You may be asking yourself, how did we come to this conclusion?  Knowing that failing to lubricate a newly rebuilt rotating part can be detrimental to a customers’ process.  Well, we are here to tell you why we believe it is in our customers best interest to have units shipped dry.

Grease Variables

To start, grease can have many different components depending on the specific application and needs.   Typically, grease and lubricants are made by combining oil, thickeners and additives to create a specific lubrication property for the unique process at hand.  A lubricants overall function is to prevent metal to metal contact which is critical in maintaining machinery uptime.  With all the unique combinations of lubricants and greases out there it is always best practice to never mix greases.  So, this brings us to our first reason, because of all the variables that go into grease and lubrication blending we do not want to take the chance of putting the wrong lubricant in the wrong application.   Our only exception is if you have a preferred lubrication, send it our way and we will happily apply it before shipping.

Results of an Incorrect Blend

You are going to start seeing a trend here – all these variables bring us to our second point.  If additives and compounds are not blended together correctly for the type of machinery being used this can result in an unstable product.  Eventually the newly created lubricant will separate under the speed or load of the machinery.  Once the separation process begins the thickener will start to accumulate in the wrong places leading to improper lubrication in the required areas.  This will cause premature bearing or equipment failure, ultimately resulting in machinery downtime and another major reason for why we ship all our rebuilds dry.

Innovations in the Industry

The final piece to this puzzle is the advancements that have occurred in both equipment innovations and lubrication additives.  With all these advancements, it is impossible for our facility to maintain a lubrication inventory that fits all of our customers different needs.  Using an incompatible lubricant will result in downtime and unexpected machinery repair costs for you.  So, what does this mean for our customers?  How do we ensure the transition goes smoothly from shipping to installation?

Our Process

Prior to sending off your newly repaired rotating equipment we take a number of steps on our end.  First, we secure the equipment with instructions on our shipping methods in order to avoid re-installation mishaps.  We follow industry best practice and flush the grease or oil out of the equipment prior to your team introducing a new lubricant.  For any bearings that require an initial “grease pack” we recommend your team to send grease with the unit to be used in the rebuilding process.  If you are not comfortable reinstalling the bearing or gearbox, we also have a team of field technicians that can assist in this process.  In the end, we are here to help your facility minimize downtime, increase productivity and improve your machinery’s efficiency.  Therefore, unless instructed otherwise, we will always be shipping our repairs and rebuilds without lubrication.

 

The Age-Old Debate: Carbon Steel vs. Stainless Steel

By | Materials

Picture This

When a customer calls us for a bid on a job one of the first questions we ask is what type of material do you want to use?  This seems like a pretty straightforward question, but typically is one of the toughest decisions to make and can be quite costly.  Often times, when the customer is unsure they’ll say stainless steel, assuming that stainless is the best choice from a strength and overall performance perspective.   We are here to tell you, this is not true.  All steel is not created equally and each variation has very different use cases.

Basics

Let’s start with the basics.  What is this stuff made up of?  Well, the different variations of steel all include a percentage of carbon and iron – which makes it an alloy.  The steel alloy family includes hundreds of applications and different grades, however the two major variations are carbon steel and stainless steel.  Carbon steel is composed of iron and a percentage of carbon, typically between .12 – 2.00 percent.  Stainless steel is composed of iron and at least 10.5% chromium.

stainless steel

What Now?

You’re probably saying, why the heck should I care about the composition of the different variations?  This is boring, lets move on!  Well, we’re getting there.  The different compositions will impact your decision greatly depending on your end goal.  The chromium in stainless steel is what makes it resistant to corrosion (one of the major differentiators to carbon vs. stainless).  The less chromium the cheaper the stainless steel but also the less durable which can lead to ongoing maintenance costs and lower lifespan.  Carbon steel on the other hand is influenced by the higher carbon content which ultimately changes the characteristics of steel to become stronger and harder.

Our Advice

So, what is our final decision?  If your project is concerned with corrosion, rust implications, or needs to be aesthetically appealing then stainless is going to be your best bet.  However, if you’re focused on durability, heat distribution and malleability our recommendation is carbon steel.  Your pocket book will thank you too since typically stainless steel is more expensive than carbon.  If you’re still not sure where to begin, just ask one of our managers or supervisors!  With over 45 years of experience and real use cases, we are prepared to recommend the best material and approach for your project.