Regal Introduces Mill-Drive Condition Monitoring Program

A restored coupling.

A restored coupling.

June 1, 2015—
Regal Power Transmission Solutions recently introduced its new mill-drive condition monitoring program at AISTech with technology that monitors drive dynamics, presents mill operators with a real-time snapshot of system health, and alerts them when vibration and torque values exceed threshold limits. 

Utilizing new technology, the system has already produced documented savings of millions of dollars in unplanned downtime for a major U.S. steel producer. The program – detailed in the AIST exhibit – includes development and installation of custom turnkey monitoring systems for long-term users, as well as short-term troubleshooting and diagnostics. Regal supports users with design, retrofit/rebuilding and installation of solutions that increase drivetrain reliability, utilizing Kop-Flex and Jaure mill couplings, Milwaukee custom gearing, Leeson and Marathon motors and bearings from Rollway and Sealmaster.

“This technology allows mills to move from emergency maintenance to planned downtime, which is a major competitive advantage in an industry that traditionally operates with a 'run-to-failure' model and endures up to $2,000 per minute for unplanned downtime," said Dennis Craig, senior metals marketing specialist for Regal Power Transmission Solutions. “We offer affordable long-term monitoring or diagnostic services, and can provide the customer a turnkey system that is tailored to their equipment. We can also access a customer's system remotely if there's a need for joint review of a data related to a particular event.”

Craig said the new monitoring technology compares real-time torque and vibration values with known limits of drive components so that process conditions, machinery health and maintenance planning can all be optimized for maximum performance. 

“What makes our technology so effective is the speed of data sampling and analysis,” he said. “Our turnkey systems utilize high-sampling-rate data acquisition and advanced engineering algorithms to perform analyses in seconds that used to take weeks. This is the only way to capture short-term torsional oscillation, chatter and torque overloads caused by cold-end slabs, cobble and other conditions. These overloads can be masked by the high inertia in these drivetrains, which makes motor current/speed unreliable measurement parameters. We obtain fault limit values from the drive's component manufacturers and use those values in our software to compare against real-time conditions. We can detect spalls on bearings at the microscopic level and plot them. A trained person can look at the graphic displays and tell if an issue is urgent or not.”
For short term situations where mill personnel have failures with a particular component but cannot diagnose the cause, Regal can analyze the drivetrain and produce empirical data to suggest what the problem is, then design solutions to improve the dynamics and show the customer how the solutions will work before installation.

Craig stressed that Regal is unique in its ability to develop mitigation strategies and prove them out analytically, then manufacture, install or rebuild drive components that reduce torque stresses and vibration. Regal's Kop-Flex and Jaure couplings are widely used in the metals and turbomachinery industries and supported globally. The two companies manufacture flexible gear couplings, flexible disc couplings, gear spindles, flexible grid couplings, resilient couplings, coupling torque limiters and many other specialized designs. Kop-Flex's Max C resilient coupling is one of several proven solutions already used to mitigate torque spikes and vibration in mill drives.

“As part of Regal, we can provide custom gear design and manufacture through Milwaukee Gear, he said. “Milwaukee specializes in highly engineered custom, high-precision gears, gearboxes, drives and pinions for demanding service. Milwaukee also has its own in-house heat treating facility, unusual in this industry.”
Regal also provides bearings through its Rollway and Sealmaster businesses. Rollway Bearing produces highly-engineered cylindrical radial, cylindrical thrust, tapered thrust and steel cage journal roller bearings in standard and custom designs. These include models for high-temperature, tandem thrust designs, double-acting designs and others. 
To power various mill drives, Regal's Leeson and Marathon motors units can provide AC, DC variable-speed and other motors rated up to 1250 hp, as well as a wide variety of accessories.

Regal Beloit Corporation
200 State Street
Beloit, WI 53511 
(608) 364-8800