With processes becoming more efficient and production expected to grow over the next decade, it is now more important than ever that standard components can withstand constant and prolonged use.
Martín Palacios, sales manager for norelem Mexico, delves into the importance of using parts that are capable of withstanding high stresses to prevent downtime.
As we already know, equipment and machines are subject to damage that causes errors and delays. All components wear, break and corrode over time, or simply reach a point where failure occurs, affecting the ability to maintain high production year-round.
However, there are simple options that engineers can choose to help combat the problem and reduce mishaps. By designing machinery with standard, high-stress components, machinery can last longer, failure rates are reduced, and durability and reliability can be improved to withstand the daily forces and demands encountered in modern manufacturing.
Common Component Failures
There are many reasons why components fail, and it is important to understand the most common component failures in order to prevent production stoppages.
Electronic components are often the first parts to fail within a system, as they not only have to be in good condition, but also perform digital functions.
Welding, packaging, and distribution all pose potential problems, and so manufacturers typically implement a test period of several hours to ensure that the component performs as expected.
However, the delicate nature of these components makes them quite susceptible to malfunction, thus requiring constant maintenance to ensure consistent performance of their programmed functions.
Failures can depend on humidity levels, temperature fluctuations and power surges, which can not only stop production, but also put high mechanical stress on the system.
That said, while proper maintenance is vital to preventing equipment failure, too little or too much maintenance can be just as damaging. The latter can cause problems that go unnoticed, and can cause damage to the affected parts. Similarly, over-maintenance can cause a lot of problems as spending more time than necessary creates a greater chance of unknowingly losing an important screw, cracking a panel, or stripping a bolt.
Obviously, human error can play a significant role in system or part failure, as production operators are critical to the successful operation of machinery. Distraction and fatigue are common human traits that have a major impact on performance and avoidable downtime. According to a study by , human error caused 23% of unplanned stoppages in the manufacturing industry, while in other sectors it was only 9%.
These human errors create component problems that result in misalignment, corrosion, and general surface degradation. Therefore, it is the job of the engineer to help prevent wear and reduce the possibility of downtime.
How to choose the right material
When selecting the correct component for the job, there are a number of factors that engineers must consider to help ensure that the part is capable of withstanding high stress.
The first, and possibly most important, consideration is the wear resistance of the component, especially within the specific application of the component. It is inevitable that all components will wear out over time, so a first choice of components that withstand high loads and frequent use can help engineers reduce the need for downtime.
That said, it is important to consider the application of the component. Copper-based alloys, for example, have superior durability, but the use of this material is prohibited in parts for the food processing sector. This is mainly because copper runs the risk of corrosion when in contact with acidic substances, putting processed food at risk of contamination.
Engineers must also consider the use of the component. Machines that need frequent cleaning with aggressive solutions must be able to withstand the environment in which they are installed and, at the same time, withstand high levels of stress.
Low-maintenance materials are also highly beneficial for companies looking to improve production efficiency, as they spend less time servicing and maintaining parts.
Leading the market
In recent years we have seen the development of strong materials that are capable of withstanding great stresses, but none stand out more than . These have excellent levels of hardness, wear resistance, temperature resistance, impact resistance, abrasion resistance and even have non-stick properties, thus allowing machine processes and operations to be safer and more oriented. towards quality.
The tooling industry has already benefited from the robust properties of this material which offers highly precise application while showing virtually no signs of wear, even after intensive use.
This material is also a good choice for applications with demanding mechanical loads thanks to its high resistance and hardness with respect to bending. The , from norelem, is specially designed based on the lifetime of the components.
Whereas where hygiene is a top priority (food processing, pharmaceutical and healthcare), high-quality alloy stainless steel remains the leader.
Not only is this metal capable of handling high-stress functions due to its inherent durability, but its smooth, non-absorbent finish offers a hygienic surface that does not harbor germs or chemicals.
The surface of norelem screws and nuts has a roughness of Ra 0.8 µm which mitigates the problem of spikes or grooves in the metal becoming fertile ground for micro-organisms. In addition, it has outstanding resistance to corrosion and withstands extreme changes in temperature, making it one of the most versatile materials on the market.
Whereas where movement is essential, nothing withstands high stress better than linear units. When combined with toothed belt drives and profile guides, the rail system is capable of absorbing maximum forces in all directions while offering excellent wear resistance.
Norelem linear guides are optimized to move large masses without the need for ongoing maintenance, making them the ideal solution for transporting heavy loads in an environment where production efficiency is essential.
Wear and abrasion present a constant challenge to the manufacturing industry, where machine parts and components must withstand a wide variety of environments, requiring engineers to consider many variables before starting production.
At norelem we are specialized in manufacturing high-quality components that are essential to prevent downtime and withstand heavy use.
The brand is the world’s leading manufacturer of standardized parts and components for mechanical engineering. The company offers more than 70,000 standardized products for machinery and operating elements, including ceramic and stainless steel, as well as components for automation.
98% of norelem parts are available in stock, with on-site technical support for the products.
It is important to mention that it is norelem’s catalog of ideas. It is the “must have” guide to engineering standard components.
The book combines product information, features, and technical information in a single source. It contains the best references, advice and guidance, and has been created using a logical sequence of item numbers based on production phases.
To find out more about norelem, visit