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UNIVIB recently won a contract for the condition monitoring of the motors and gearboxes in the machine houses of the unloaders at Tata Steel Strip Products UK's Port Talbot Works.

Three large cranes are used to unload ships containing raw materials such as iron ore and coal and their availability and is critical if an uninterrupted flow of materials to the iron making department is to be maintained.

The arduous duty cycles to which the unloaders are subjected, sometimes working continuously for several days at a time, means that the machinery is always likely to be prone to higher than average levels of wear and tear. This makes it even more important to keep a regular check on the condition of key components of the drives.

The project included monitoring and analysing the vibrations generated by the various gears, motors and bearings in the rack, hold and close units during normal operation of the unloaders. The objective of the exercise was to confirm that all of the key components continue to remain in good condition. Specialist instrumentation was required for the project because the constantly-changing speeds of the drives rendered it difficult to implement standard, off-the-shelf condition monitoring equipment.

UNIVIB has many years experience in offering specialist condition monitoring services, especially in applications like these in which standard condition monitoring systems are difficult to implement effectively.