The Scottish bottler operates with critical assets throughout its manufacturing plants, including blow moulders, rinsers, fillers and labellers. If one of these assets goes down, production comes to a halt. Therefore, it is key that the health and condition of these assets is continuously monitored and maintained to the highest standard.
David Simpson, site engineering manager at Highland Spring Group said: “To assist our goal in achieving a world-class engineering department, the biggest area to improve was to reduce reactive maintenance and supply our operation customers a reliable preventive maintenance schedule, ensuring machine up-time is increased to meet our growing marketplace demand.”
The project aims were to: increase productivity, extend machinery lifespan, optimise the periodic maintenance programme and reduce machinery maintenance expenditures
Following a site survey, AVT Reliability engineers advised that the best suited CM technique to increase plant reliability was vibration analysis using Machine Sentry Online (MSO-1). The data being recorded is trended in real time, which allows remedial works to be carried out during a planned outage. Readings are automatically uploaded to the cloud-based platform, Machine Sentry, and secured to ISO27001.
The MSO-1 system was installed on Highland Spring line 4 at its Blackford site. The line fills four sizes of bottle, from 0.5-1.5 litres, at rates averaging about 30,000 bottles per hour. The main drive motor and gearbox were fitted with vibration monitoring on the rinser, filler and capper carousels – one accelerometer per carousel.
In January 2020, MSO-1 generated an email alert which identified increasing vibration levels on the outfeed start wheelbearing. A few weeks earlier, the system had also indicated that the motor bearings were becoming noisy.
This email alert allowed engineers to investigate as soon as possible before the situation got out of hand. Following analysis from AVT Reliability and discussion with the client, the conclusion was reached that the vibration increase was due to a possible bearing issue. Those bearings had been in service since 2003. As the fault was found early, further damage to the asset was prevented.
The engineers at Highland Spring Group were then able to plan scheduled downtime and complete the planned work scope within three days, saving 48 hours of repair time, amounting to a total of £16,800. When the cost of the Machine Sentry system is removed, the actual saving is £10,300 after this one incident alone.
Simpson concludes: “The benefits are huge, with the early warning reports identifying potential issues and reporting recommended actions, which we add to our weekly maintenance plan and rectify. Machine Sentry Online will be my option as we roll this excellent analysis tool out to other production lines.”