Case Study – Troubleshooting in a high technology engineering company

Sector: Industrial Sector

Project: Troubleshooting in a high technology engineering company

Background

 

A company that manufactures complex torque wrenches was continually having a CNC machine failing on them. The service engineer had serviced the machine a number of times but the issue reoccurred.

As the problem could not be identified using traditional means a capital replacement programme was thought to be the only solution.

 

Solutions

 

During the installation of energy monitoring equipment across the shop, a thermal camera is used to help identify potential installation issues such as broken cables or overloaded phases.

Another use of thermal scanning technology is to visualise the health of the capital assets being monitored. On reviewing the problematic CNC machine, a number of areas were quickly identified to where the issue may be arising from.

The first issue that was identified was that one of the fluid motors was running hot. The second issue was highlighted when the camera was pointed at the transformer within the CNC machine. The transformer was running at 106oC which is roughly 40oC above its normal operating temperature.

 

Outcomes

 

The service engineer was recalled to review and fix the hot running motor. This turned out to be caused by a blockage in the system.

The hot transformer was replaced with a K-rated transformer being installed in its place. The K-rating was used as the amount of harmonics in the overall system was deemed to be higher than average. The CNC machine is now working correctly.

Energy monitoring equipment can be expensive. Not all SMEs have the budget or the resources to purchase this equipment. Therefore, by providing access to not only energy sensors and meters but also thermographic cameras and power quality analysers, allows the SMEs to review their energy systems.

These reviews could potentially save large amounts of capital investment such as in this case the deferred investment was around £300,000.