Combining Craft Skills With Technology – APTIM Maximizes Safety and Production For Clients
The equipment monitoring landscape has seen dramatic change during the last half-century — from carrying large suitcase-size apparatuses to measure equipment vibration, all the way to small hand-held boxes under 5 pounds that can measure and record vibration at a fraction (one-fortieth) of the time it took in the 1970s. Now, throughout the industry, we record vibration data electronically so it can be recalled quickly and easily. Other advantages of the smaller equipment are portability and ergonomics for the technician.
Similar advances in the other predictive maintenance (PdM) technologies have been made over the past decade. Infrared technology use has expanded to mechanical applications as well as electrical gear, where it began. APTIM uses these advanced technologies to provide savings on production equipment repairs. Most important are safety improvements made by reducing risk exposures caused by emergency and unplanned work resulting from spontaneous failures. Equipment condition monitoring (ECM) keeps high-dollar equipment online and maximizing production while minimizing emergency repairs and greatly enhancing safety. “Electric motor management programs deliver sizable cost savings by reducing electric motor repairs and providing a more reliable and safe plant for APTIM clients,” said Charles Ray, APTIM reliability manager. When discovering defects, APTIM reliability technicians and engineers follow up by working together to find and permanently eliminate the root cause, consequently providing dividends in profits and safety year after year.
“Recent technological developments allow the use of wireless sensors that permit continuous recording of data instead of every two weeks or more,” said Scott Yenchik, APTIM director of reliability. Continuous data recording enables discovery of problems very early on and provides substantial savings by reducing the amount
of parts needed in a repair exercise. For example, early discovery of a bearing failure allows for a simple bearing replacement in lieu of replacing the worn bearing housing, shaft or both. Early discovery provides big savings by allowing repairs for as little as one-tenth of what costs could be with the failure discovered later. In addition, remote sensors reduce exposure of personnel to safety risks by allowing them to collect data without going to the field.
While the development of instrumentation technology has taken great strides, the development of craft skills has not kept pace and in some cases stagnated. APTIM recognized this fact and implemented numerous programs to become a leader in craft skills training, realizing that a trained workforce is a safe workforce.
The APTIM shop in Prairieville, Louisiana, is dedicated to basic skills training in: rigging (load planning to eliminate serious safety hazards), piping flange makeup (keeping the chemicals in the pipe) and equipment alignment (keeping equipment running safely and efficiently). Training also includes a complete curriculum of maintenance skills such as precision measurement for bearing installation and the ability to recognize and correct equipment deficiencies such as soft foot and imbalance. The entire APTIM training curriculum has a direct effect on safety enhancement. Recently, maintenance- trained millwrights and technicians at a major client facility helped reduce emergency work by more than 50 percent.
APTIM maintenance trainers bring a minimum of 20 years of experience in their field. Powered simulators allow trainees to see results of their work by measuring of temperature, vibration and ultrasound. Props like out-of-round bearing housings and out-of-tolerance shafts allow trainees to practice precision measurement. The use of props and powered simulators provides real-life situations in the classroom.
APTIM leverages experienced trainers and technology to advance craft skills and drive maximum results for clients. Reliability services provide clients with cutting-edge technology and trained technicians to provide maximum uptime and safe operations — synergy in action.
For more information, visit www.aptim.com or call (833) 86-APTIM [862-7846].
APTIM. Expect the Extraordinary.