Social media channels, public awareness and media attention mean all aspects of public utilities are open for analysis and opinion by both the informed and uninformed. Recent events such as heavy rain affecting Auckland’s drinking water supply, Havelock water supply contamination and the on-going Manawatu river water quality, have demonstrated these services in action with the public quick to respond, pushing operators to react.
While emergency response plans and standard operating procedure are the normal solution to events similar to these, operations at council water treatment and waste water treatment plants are also facing the ubiquitous drive for cost reduction both from the public and from the operating organisations themselves.
To meet the challenges these organisations face, SKF offers a number of solutions.
Combining specialist knowledge of bearings and lubrication, SKF launched a biodegradable grease to address concerns of environmental contamination resulting from re-lubrication needs of equipment.
Developed and tested to meet a range of bearing applications such as steel-on-steel spherical plain bearings, ball and roller bearings, this green grease, LGGB 2, meets the strict criteria that SKF places on bearing greases. This is part of SKF group’s continued commitment to the environment and the adoption of sound environmental practices within the bearing industry.
SKF LGGB 2 grease is suitable for use in applications where grease contamination to the environment is of concern such as agricultural, forestry, mining, and construction and water treatment.
Reducing maintenance costs
Maintenance budgets are increasingly being reduced to lower operating costs, however equipment still requires maintenance to perform reliably. Focusing on the right tasks for the right equipment, while integrating cost efficient solutions is foundational in safely reducing operating costs without reducing production output.
Single and multi-point automatic lubricators from SKF such as LAGD, TLSD and the new TLMR units are able to provide grease at more frequent intervals than manual lubrication. These units purge contamination and reduce Health & Safety concerns with difficult to access applications such as aerators on treatment ponds.
Applications such as clarifiers that have open gear drives, need frequent greasing. These applications can be a hazard when operating, require regular greasing and this can be time consuming. SKF can offer a lubricating pinion gear that meshes with the tooth profile of the application to apply a thin layer of grease across the gear teeth and allows for safe lubrication during operation when combined with a single point lubricator.
In many cases, lubrication of a chain results in the majority of the lubricant being applied to numerous surfaces. This provides no benefit as the moving parts of the chain are the most important to keep lubricated. With a properly configured chain lubrication system, chain service life can be improved over unlubricated chain by factors of 3-5 times. SKF systems are simple, easy to install and once set up require minimal operator input.
Extending meantime between failures if not part of the operational lexicon should be a focus of any improvements for water treatment operators. Considering lubrication automation is a firm start to meeting both the external and internal expectations placed on station operators.