Boiler and Auxiliary Technical Services

Industrial fan repairs, replacement, reconditioning and balancing

PO Box 689, Pinetown,

3600, South Africa

+27 31 700 2731

+27 31 700 6684 fax

Our Latest Newsletter - OCTOBER, 2011

During this past year we acquired a shaper and another Dean Smith & Grace lathe, the shaper being a necessary aquisition and the lathe being an opportunity to add an inexpensive Grade A machining facility.

We have had some "close shaves" with outside companies slotting our larger fan hubs' keyways (from 32 to 50 wide x 180 to 250 long) and finding them skewed and not concentric to the bore. When this happened for the third time in the space of 6 months we bought this shaper, rebuilt it, modified it solely to hob keyways - and have successfully commisioned it by cutting a 45 x 10 deep keyway x 270 long for a sugar industry fan assembly.

The pic. of the lathe shows that we "really lost it" by pushing the tail stock with the tool carriage - and the boring bar in the chuck. With the tailstock re-sleeved exactly on-centre the lathe now cuts with 0.00 run-out over 1500 length. We're greatly "chuffed" that our "in situ" engineering was so successful.

The previous news item about the imported Arcoplate has a sequel (not concluded yet - by a long way). The client who took the 2 test liners of the Arcoplate was so impressed with the erosion resistance (in his chrome dust application) that he has since purchased a rotor with all 12 blades made of this composite. The pic. shows a localised need for hardfacing towards the blade tips, but the previous life expectation of 3 to 4 months (using Rio Carb/VRN600/Integra 200 or similar) has now (pic. dated 2011/10/05) been running since March, 2011, and is still serviceable with local repair schedules for hardfacing).

However, utilising the same Arcoplate for another client's installation, with high sand content in gas exhaust system, has less prolific success due, in part, to the non-performance of the grit interceptors in the gas stream. They, and we, are not, yet, writing-off the use of this material as it hasn't really had a representative operational life by which to judge the efficacy of the Arcoplate as fan blades (not sand pumps). Further follow-up on this matter in the next year, after the gas cleaning facility has been re-commisioned.

We have been "sneaking" sample strip liners (we call them finger liners) on to clients' dirty application fan blades ( e.g. 2 opposite blades on a 12 bladed fan). This has been as a result of conservatism by clients pre-supposing that these additions will not help.

Please look at this fan pic. with 1 of the 2 "finger" liners in focus - and compare the rate of erosion of the adjacent blades' liners. (All liners from VRN500 plate). This fan is regularly "murdered" with zircon sand and we think an extra cost of (say) 10% is more than justified by the 30 to 40% increase in working life. What do you think?

Hoping that the next pic. highlights the constant need for inspection on a planned basis - as this is how the rotor arrived in our workshop. Thoughts of rebuilding it disappeared in a matter of nano-seconds. Thankfully, when the sh*t hit the fan, it was sent to us.

Our previous pic. of the "strongest man in Africa" is now supplemented with the same man masquerading as the "smartest man in Africa" as he was painting the external burglar guards of our premises - and invented his own "jig and fixture" to enable him to cope with the task-at-hand sitting down on-the-job, with the left pedal (clutch) and right pedal (brake). I am so pleased that he is showing such initiative. (You know how I can whinge at stupidity). This man is developing into everybody's idea of a "good" employee, having taught himself, during his lunchtimes, how to TIG weld aluminium and stainless steel. If SA productivity was underwritten by people like this, we wouldn't know what the word "recession" means. Well done, Lennon.

Business is, now, entering a phase of mayhem, thanks to The Almighty having sent rain hereabouts, meaning that sugar off-crop will probably be shorter, workload more hectic - and I've still got to find time for the "practice range" and weekend golf. Wow, how some of us suffer. I'll be looking for some more golf partners, next year - as an excuse to visit Swaziland, Zululand, Wild Coast, Lowveld and any strategically located clients.

Meanwhile, we wish you and your beloved ones blessings from On High, good health, success (and wide fairways).


Dick Fabby


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