Reddit AMA Recap – Industry Q&A On Machine Reliability

We use our social media and blog as a way to educate and directly connect with our trainees and customers. Most recently, we took to Reddit as a way to engage with industry professionals.

To get started, our trainer Stan Riddle hosted an AMA back in October. If you’re new to Reddit, an AMA is a Q&A where you can ask the host anything. Stan tackled a number of excellent questions from millwrights and reliability professionals. He also got to have fun with a few questions! In case you missed it, check out some of the highlights below.

Q: How do you feel about using lock washers on equipment to hold down bolts?

Stan: I’m not a big fan of using lock washers on the hold down bolts. As you begin the tightening process, lock washers tend to move the machine in unpredictable ways. A lock washer is in essence a spring. If you use them on machines that use a nut, make sure the lock washer is on the bottom (nut side), and not on top (bolt side).

Q: I’m just starting out as an apprentice after completing the pre-employment program. What is the best route for getting into vibrational analysis?

Stan: Does your company perform vibration analysis? Volunteer to collect data. View some online content. We have lots of video and blog content. Vibration Institute, Mobius, and others have online materials as well. Make yourself an expert. That’s how I started out-just wanting to know more about it. Best of luck!

Q: When gathering vibration data with a portable unit, how important is it for the sensor to go in the same spot every time? I’ve seen some guys mark the bearing housing and use the same spot every time and some guys just put it anywhere on the housing. Does it matter?

Stan: It does matter. I always tried to be within 1/2″ of the same place. If you move much, you may be in a different part of the load zone. And changes in material thickness can change the response of the signal. The easiest thing to do is just mark it with a permanent marker.

Q: How do you think transient thermography / lock-in thermography techniques combined with cheap IR imaging will affect failure analysis? Can we expect to see this used as a first line any time soon?

Stan: Good question. I don’t know the answer. I started out using liquid nitrogen-cooled cameras. Then Ratheons. Then a $70 grand FLIR. Like TV’s-they seem to get better and cheaper at the same time. I think the information still requires an experienced analyst many times.

These are just a few of the great questions we received. In the midst of the industry specific questions, Stan also got to have a little fun!

Q: I know this is a cheap shot, but: do you like riddles?

Stan: They’re like family to me!

Q: Do you meditate?

Stan: Let me think deeply about that…

We’ll be hosting additional Reddit AMA’s this year. Until then, never hesitate to reach out to us with any and all industry questions! If you want to boost your on-the-job skills with the help of industry experts like Stan, check out our training page.

by Bridget Minner | February 9, 2021
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