An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure For Your Press Too
While TCR’s mechanics were performing preventative maintenance inspections on our customer’s presses, they discovered a problem. The total stack-up clearance was excessive on one machine.
Total stack up clearance is a total of all the running clearances of the crank bearings, main bearing, slide adjustment mechanism and the ball or wrist pin connection to the ram. Think of it as a simple test that will either reveal if the machine’s connection clearances are correct, or quickly identify that something is wrong.
They then tested the individual clearances, anticipating one or more was worn. Indicators were used at each point in the connection to measure every bearing or clearance point individually. Surprisingly, it was determined that the clearance in the connecting rod itself were well within specifications.
Instead, they discovered that the fasteners between the adjustment screw mechanism and the ram were loose. Repairs by another company had been done recently, and the bolts were not properly secured upon completion of the work. Vibration from the stamping operation caused the bolts to loosen.
TCR service technicians cleaned and inspected the area and determined no damage had yet occurred. This was a pleasant surprise; the issue could have caused major damage to the machine and even endangered the operators. Our mechanics applied an appropriate thread locking sealant, torqued the bolts to specifications, and applied the tie wires to prevent the bolts from loosening in the future.
The importance of a solid inspection press program cannot be overstated. Besides being required by OSHA (see \1910.217(e)(1) thru \1910.217(e)(3)), it is clearly a great investment for any manufacturer.
Because this customer chose to invest in preventative maintenance, we discovered the problem before the excessive clearance caused severe damage or unplanned downtime. If they were not committed to regular inspections by our mechanics, they would have had an expensive repair, who knows how much down time, and could even have injured a team member.
It is equally important to make sure you have skilled and knowledgeable technicians performing maintenance on your machinery. Are you sure your press vendor’s team are up to the task?
Contact TCR Integrated Stamping Systems for your press repairs and preventative maintenance inspections. We are here to keep your presses running in tip top shape, help prevent unplanned downtime, and lost profits.
Another repair by TCR’s press mechanics has been completed.
This press had damaged back shaft bearings causing loud grinding; audible despite the other loud press room noises around it. Inspection revealed the bearings walking out of the housings and off the shaft.
This failure was caused by someone doing previous repair incorrectly. Our mechanics dropped the back-shaft assembly and dismantled it. New bearings were installed, and the clutch/brake was rebuilt.
At start up, the customer said it sounded better than it had in years, but our team of mechanics still felt there was a suspicious noise coming from the press. They discovered the left main bearing was not getting enough lubrication. Fortunately, it was still in serviceable condition, so no replacement was required.
Our mechanics increased the lubrication flow, and soon the noise disappeared completely. Our client was shocked at how quiet the press was and extremely happy with the results of the repair.
What could have been an even more costly repair was averted, and the machine is now back in service and expected to be reliable once again for many more years.
Despite the challenges of 2020 TCR has continued to grow. Just this November we expanded by adding another service truck and upgrading our technician’s gear to improve efficiencies at the job site.
Shown here are 1 of the electrician’s 2 new, heavy-duty toolboxes added to their arsenal.
Our techs cut foam to match each tool. Like shadow boards by the press, these provide organization to save time finding tools. Every tool is in its place, and the crew always know where everything is. This not only organizes the tools, but also protects them from the vibration of riding on the road to and from our customers’ plants.
The team is always on the lookout for new tools to make us more efficient. The new boxes provided room for what they added in the last year. We invest a lot in tools, but the return is faster work in the field so we can get our clients up and running quicker.
With the growth of our mechanical repair department, we also needed to add a 3rd toolbox that was outfitted specifically for that team. This will increase our mechanical repair team’s efficiency as well. Stay tuned for more expansion news in the mechanical repair department.
We at TCR are so excited about these new additions and can’t wait to send them out on the road!