A solution that turns into a money saving tool

A solution that turns into a money saving tool

 

Company Type:

Power Plant

Location:

Point of Rocks, Wyoming

Challenge:

Provide a solution for pump-to-motor couplings.

Solution:

Identify the right product for the job.

Outcome:

Equipment saved.

The Jim Bridger power plant is one of the largest coal-fired electrical generation facilities in the western United States.  Millions of gallons of water, tons of coal, and a broad assortment of chemicals are moved and processed daily in this critical piece of our nation’s infrastructure.

Challenge

When moving materials using pumps and motors the plants maintainers were experiencing excessive down time when decoupling the two shafts for repair. The old couplers were a metal-on-metal type that disintegrated whenever shaft misalignment occurred due to bearing or mounting failures. Replacement of the old couplers required that either the pump or motor had to be moved and repositioned after replacement. Many of these installations were in hard to reach or difficult safety areas of the plant.

Solution

The best way to find a remedy for the maintenance personnel was to visit the plant to see first hand the issues involved. It was quickly determined that a different coupler was needed. Once we had all of the important information including torque, RPM and horsepower we were able to recommend a new type of coupler, an Atra-Flex, that presented a new and unique way of coupling and transferring power without needing to move the two mating shafts in maintenance.

Outcome

The simple changeover to the Atra-Flex and its inexpensive hub insert completely changed their maintenance. A job that would take hours to complete in the past was done in minutes. The pump and motors never had to be moved.

A few months later one of the mechanics told us that the new coupler had been nick-named the “watch-dog” coupler. It was found that when the insert started showing signs of wear that the bearings on the motors were beginning to fail. This enabled them to prevent catastrophic motor failure and save the unit before it tore itself apart. A $75 dollar solution saved an $80,000 motor.