Modern Rotary Kiln Alignment Methods
One of the most important factors that affect the efficiency of rotary kilns is alignment.
Improperly aligned equipment tends to suffer from operational damage and often wears down too fast. Proper alignment addresses all parts of the kiln since misalignment leads to notable wear. Sometimes, improper alignment causes great troubles and leads to complete failure of equipment.
Ensuring that your equipment is aligned properly is the best equipment management technique focused on prolonging the lifespan of your machinery. Checking alignment and regularly adjusting various misaligned system components should be systematic. Problematic issues should be fixed as soon as possible.
Modern Methods of Kiln Alignment
There are various ways of aligning your equipment. The market offers a wide range of solutions. Note that all solutions are focused on correctly aligning trunnion wheels and the centerline of the vessel. At the same time, the adjustments should be made based on the slope shape and angle. Proper alignment is the key to efficient maintenance.
Throughout years, industry developed a sophisticated set of alignment methods with staple techniques involving measurements and by-hand alignment of various machinery parts. Such methods obviously involve a lot of calculations and often fail victim to human factor.
Modern technologies should be implemented in order to reach the highest level of precision and one of the most advanced techniques is using laser tracking. With precise laser tracking, alignment is easy.
Laser beams are helpful is mapping out equipment parts in a 3D environment. This is a perfect method that ensures proper alignment of all equipment components. At the same time, this method saves a lot of time.
Aligning Kiln Properly
Kilns may be skewed relatively to other components of the system. There are various reasons why it happens. For example, uneven ground and sinking foundation may easily lead to misalignment. Oftentimes, steel parts may shift or skew. Even more often, the problem may be related to the environment. Dust clouds compact and create occasional build-ups here and there causing misalignments. With so many issues that may cause misalignment and disposition of various elements, one should be aware of potential issues and conduct required maintenance at first sight of alignment problems. It is imperative to log all alignment issues and follow directions provided by the manufacturer of equipment in order to conduct proper maintenance.
Obviously, one of the first steps to make during the installation process is alignment. Take into consideration that a hot kiln operates quite differently compared to a cold kiln. This difference should be accounted for during the initial alignment. This will improve the efficiency of the equipment. Each newly installed piece of equipment should also initiate alignment measures. Whenever a trunnion wheel is replaced or resurfaced, you should immediately realign the kiln and other parts of your processing line.
Note that kiln should be realigned when major changes in the processing environment take place. Sometimes, even the slightest change in conditions should be accompanied by an immediate maintenance session involving realignment of all system components.
When to Realign a Rotary Kiln
While alignment is a crucial part of maintenance, you should not realign equipment regularly without a reason. There are various symptoms of misalignment that require you to address the issue and react accordingly. Note that only a professional can notice and appropriately address specific issues causing misalignment.
- Issues may be related to recent repairs or resurfacing of a trunnion wheel
- Equipment constantly makes uncharacteristic noises
- Wheels or tires are excessively damaged
- Girth gear, pinion gear or/and thrust roller are damaged
- Equipment vibrates and chatters