Returning Idle Equipment to Service
Returning Idle Equipment to Service
Returning equipment to normal operation after an extended idle period, such as following any prolonged downtime event (including the COVID-19 Pandemic), can increase the risk of equipment failure, particularly during Start-up and early phases of operations.
Extended idle periods can lead to different types of deterioration (rusting, oxidation, lubrication, etc.) which can lead to equipment failure and additional downtime.
In addition, the COVID-19 Pandemic has altered the supply chain we all used to know. With reduced component availability and extended lead times, it is best to ensure that all major components are stocked at the furnace equipment site for reduced overall downtime while returning your equipment to operation.
Restoring Equipment to Normal Service
Planning the essential steps to restore equipment to normal use after an extended period will depend on the level of use the equipment was subjected to during the shutdown. Equipment with continuous daily use and maintenance will require less service to ramp to full production compared to equipment which has been sitting idle for months.
Age-related deterioration occurs in all equipment, but it can become more prevalent when equipment is not being operated through the normal operating cycles.
For equipment that was down for an extended time, the following is recommended:
• Conduct a Pre-Startup Safety Review (PSSR) to analyze and control the risks prior to restarting hazardous processes and equipment.
• Review training and communication with operators to define safe operating limits.
• Develop a checklist for the equipment restoration process. It is recommended to follow the maintenance and inspection forms provided by the OEM.
• Replace lubricants and cooling fluids for critical equipment including bearings, chains, and motors.
• If possible, verify that moving parts of each piece of equipment are free and unobstructed prior to energizing.
• Remove and replace any stagnant or standing water or liquids in quenches, washers and other equipment
• Review major electrical connections, wire continuity, resistance and verify amperage draws on motors.
• Ensure power source is clear of any abnormalities. “Dirty Power” can consist of a surge, a sag, a spike, a transient, a fluctuation, an interruption, or noise.
• Ensure all water or coolant piping is free flowing, and that any cooling devices are free from blockage.
• Verify that any atmosphere producing equipment is working properly by sampling any gas produced.
• Consult manufacturer’s guidelines for start-up and break-in periods. It is recommended to reduce production capacity during start-up and increase incrementally.
• Increase the inspection frequency following restoration to service until normal operating conditions are established.
• Calibration of all Temperature Controllers and Thermocouples (Replace as needed)
• Complete Burner Tuning (if required) and Gas Heating Safety Checks (Valve Trains)
• Continuously monitor parameters for proper operation (fluid levels, oil pressure, temperature, etc.) during the start-up process.
Contact us today if you have any questions regarding the process to restarting your equipment. We can help you determine the necessary maintenance and inspections that should be completed prior to the start-up.
We also can help you source the parts needed for replacing those worn out parts to reduce or eliminate potential costly downtime followed by a part failure while restarting.
Contact our Spare Parts and Service Department at Service@can-eng.com.