Safety and productivity are sometimes at war with each other: the fastest way to make something often isn’t the safest. In many cases the ‘unsafe’ option carries more consequences than to the health of your workers (of paramount importance, obviously) – it can also carry hefty fines. Finding that middle ground where you’re producing well and keeping safe can be a difficult venture. There’s almost never a simple solution, so you’re always making the right decision when you consult someone with expertise and experience… someone like ErieTec!
Industry – Metal and Steel
Region – Southwestern PA
Cost Savings – $123,153.22
The customer was dealing with a complex problem balancing safety (and fine avoidance) with production. The coke plant has a fan they must run at all times during production, but that fan was failing every three months, causing extended production downtime. The secondary issue was that if they were down for more than ~6 hours, they risked plant explosion in addition to the already lost profits from downtime.
ErieTec and a vendor representative consulted with the customer and determined that the speed rating on the spherical bearings they were using was not sufficient for the fan, causing the forced shutdown four times yearly. We suggested split cylindrical bearings instead, specifically the Revolvo. Those are designed for higher speeds, will reduce the operating temperature (thus increasing life), and with the Swivel Fit Option, are made to handle higher vibration applications.
This solution is not a simple, inexpensive one. But the cost savings are immense.
Coke production loss per hour $10,000 x 3 hours per bearing change = $30,000
Labor cost with entire plant down per hour: $5,000 x 3 hours per bearing change = $15,000
Cost of Each spherical bearing $2,500 x 2 = $5,000
Net Total per bearing change = $50,000 x 4 bearing changes per year = $200,000
Complete Revolvo bearing assembly: $4,673.39 x 2 = $9,346.78
Coke Production loss per down hour = $10,000 x 4.5 hrs = $45,000
Labor Cost with entire plant down per hour = $5,000 x 4.5 hrs = $22,500
Total investment per bearing change only once per year = $76,846.78
Total savings for the first year would be $123,153.22. After initial replacement, the customer will most likely not need to change the housings again until the third bearing insert change, reducing the down hours significantly during those years and saving them even more money.