After a prolonged period of shutdown, many users will be thinking about how best to restart their production lines. In reality, very few operators are going to do anything before restart other than simply pressing a button and the vast majority will not experience any issues at all. However, this is still a good opportunity to perform some common sense checks and carry out any proactive preventative maintenance of your vacuum pumps and systems before resuming. Here are six steps you should take to make the most of any downtime period to reduce risk, save time and avoid future downtime.
We can recommend that before restarting any of our products the relevant product manual is consulted to understand the requirements of any pre-start checks to be performed. Some pumps (claw, rotary vane and side channel blowers) will start ‘out of the box’ but others such as liquid ring and some water cooled screw vacuum pumps should be checked over first. This is to ensure the seal and cooling water supplies are working and that no corrosion or scale has been allowed to build up in stagnant / isolated water lines.
Look over the pump for any signs of damage or leaks. Oil spots under the machine may indicate that a seal has failed. Any knocks or damage to the machine that may be caused during shutdown may impact it operating performance. Any impact to the machine may have caused it to move or become loose, this may impact the safe operating and performance of the machine.
If you identify any problems during the visual check with a pump please contact your local Elmo Rietschle representative. We have a global network of factory trained Elmo Rietschle Maintenance Engineers who can quickly and efficiently resolve any issue with genuine spare parts.
Checking oil levels should be done weekly but this is an opportunity to change oil and filters if they are approaching the end of their operational life according the user manual. This will allow you to save time in the future and reduce unnecessary downtime by performing this task proactively in advance. Thus avoiding any future downtime to perform these tasks.
On restart the machine should be observed for the first hour checking the pump and motor temperature, the motor current drawn, any unusual noise or vibration of the pump, poor suction performance or any oil smoke in the exhaust of an oil lubricated vane pumps.
In regular production periods, operators adopt regular habits which might change a little if they are coming back to work after a prolonged period of layoff. Routine and scheduled service and maintenance processes should be restored as soon as possible.
Our machines are known for their industry leading reliability and we do not anticipate operators experiencing any issues, however, these 6 common sense steps will ensure you will enjoy trouble free operation for thousands of hours to come.