In this live case study, we have visited a customer in South Europe who has acquired a Pneumatic Shipunloader more than ten (10) years ago and requested a tuning and tweaking visit by one of our field engineers. During its lifetime operation, the equipment has undergone normal wear and tear and lost performance in the run. The goal was to allocate the potentials on gaining back this performance, which we were able to find by following these steps increasing by 11%!
This visit has been executed in multiple stages;
- General walkaround on the unloader making sure that there are no visual leakages like oil and water, no abnormal noises/vibrations, instrumentation/electrical cables still in place
- Readout and Clear the PLC internal alarm history/list
- Manually operate each valve for making sure that the valves operate and confirm back to the PLC its current/correct position
- As the unloader is based on an operation via a vacuum and compression, the system has been pressure tested to find any internal leakages
- Commence unloading operations
- Taking data like suction pressure, filling times, pressurization times, discharge pressure and convey times per cycle over a couple of batched for gaining an average of each
- Based on the data out of step 6, determine if the filling and discharge cycles are within balance or one of them need/can be adjusted to gain overall better performance
- In this case, the filling (suction) was not ideal as the unloader was conveying 16 batches in 20 minutes, which equals 48 batches per hour
- By tuning the hardware and optimizing the unloader operator skills, it was able to increase performance into 18 batches per 20 minutes, which equals 54 batches per hour (an increase of 11%)
Image: Digital interpretation of the pressures over time
By executing this service visit, the complete turnaround of unloading the vessel was for this customer now 11% faster, equals 6 hours less of operational costs like:
- Running hours of equipment
- Maintenance intervals
- Downtime of the vessel
By regularly perform proper inspections or tuning & tweaking visits, such equipment can be maintained in good condition, have a very fast return on “investment” of such engineer and reduce overall operational costs.
An article about another case study can be found here:
Much attention is given to maintenance only, while an even higher efficiency ratio can be achieved via tuning and tweaking by a correct skilled party.
Based on more than 50 years of experience in this industry, Lion Bulk Handling can perform this acquisition for you. Book your visit here: http://www.lionbulkhandling.com/services/