Reliability Improvement and Maintenance Cost Reduction on Furnace Pump

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Reliability Improvement and Maintenance Cost Reduction on Furnace Pump through better procedures and training

Situation

A sintered carbon pump used to circulate aluminium at the bottom of the furnace used in an Aluminium Recycling plant. The pump was suffering from a low MTBF resulting in reduced output and high maintenance costs.

What We Did

Carried out an RCM study to review reasonably likely causes of pump failure. This was done using a team which included operations and maintenance personnel.

Results

All the major causes of failure were related to design, training, competence and procedures (ie none of the major solutions were cyclic maintenance recommendations). These included:

  • Pumps damaged by operators during cleaning;
  • No assembly instructions for pumps;
  • No procedure for baking components (to eliminate moisture in the components)prior to assembly;
  • No oven temperature indicator;
  • No oven timer;
  • Brittle pump components damaged in transit; and
  • Brittle pump components damaged in stores.

Dealing with these issues resulted in Pump MTBF increasing by a factor of seven, with a similar reduction in corrective maintenance costs.