Motion Engineering, leading provider of industrial engineering solutions, recently came to the aid of a recycling plant in Geelong, Victoria, that was grappling with a major production setback. The plant was facing challenges with its woodchipper, which could halt production. Sales Representative, Brian Couch, part of the Motion Engineering Team, explained how they were able to provide an effective solution to the issue at hand. 

The recycling plant relied on bark to produce compost and fertilisers, making their woodchipper an indispensable part of their operation. Woodchippers function by reducing wood or other organic material into small pieces, making it easier to handle and process. Due to this piece of machinery being so important to their plant, this issue had to be remedied quickly. 

The engineering team conducted a thorough assessment of the machinery to identify the root cause of the problem. However, health and safety issues needed to be considered due to the nature of the machine. 

“There’s a large amount of wood chips that fly around during operation, and the chipper weighs 8 tonnes, therefore it wasn’t safe for workers to be near the machine,” Chandra Rajackal, Engineering Service Manager, described.  

He emphasised woodchippers typically operate at incredibly high speeds, ranging from 300 to 500 revolutions per minute. To take readings and conduct maintenance, workers need to enter the unsafe zone, leading to the machinery needing to be switched off each time. 

As a result, the engineers installed sensors on the housing of the chipper that allowed them to collect vibration readings remotely, without needing to access the machine or put anyone in harm’s way. Chandra highlighted “by utilising condition monitoring, safety was not compromised.” 

It was discovered that the woodchipper was suffering from misalignment, causing excessive vibrations that were adversely affecting its performance.  

Chandra emphasised the critical nature of such downtime, which not only disrupts production but can also lead to a substantial loss of revenue for plants. In this case, the loss of revenue could have been in the thousands.  

To address this issue, Motion Engineering made the necessary adjustments to restore the proper functioning of the woodchipper based on their careful monitoring of the machine.  

According to Chandra, condition monitoring allows for the early detection of potential issues with machinery, enabling prompt repairs before they turn into major problems. This approach is known as “predictive maintenance,” which is highly recommended for businesses looking to prevent such issues from occurring.  

This work was completed in under a week, which was a great result for the client, highlighting Motion Engineering’s expertise and ability to offer a time-efficient and comprehensive package of services, ranging from supply and installation to monitoring and maintenance. The team emphasised that this makes them the ideal partner for clients seeking to optimise their machinery’s performance and ensure a safe working environment. 

For any industrial plant looking to reduce downtime, boost their machinery’s performance and ensure a safe working environment, Motion Engineering is the ideal solution.