Impeller balancing and inspection is imperative to the smooth operation of your machine. The extremely high rotational speed of an impeller means that if it is vibrating, this could be the result of misalignment and unbalance, causing critical damage to other components and bearings.
When an impeller is out of balance, the tell-tale signs to look for include:
- Elevated vibration and noise levels
- High energy use due to imbalances (additional load on bearings)
- Temperature rise on bearings
What are the benefits of impeller balancing and inspection?
A regularly maintained and balanced impeller will:
- Ensure the impeller runs with low vibration, reducing wear and damage on bearings and associated plant machinery
- Improve efficiency due to less loading on bearings
- Reduce noise
- Improve reliability, reduce unexpected breakdowns and costly downtime
- Save you money in the long-run
But won’t the impeller already be balanced by the manufacturer?
Impellers usually come ready-balanced from the manufacturer, however, they may have been balanced on a single plane (static) which may not be adequate in real-time operation.
In addition, if there is vibration on the final assembly (post-manufacture balancing), this could be due to fit tolerances between the impeller and impeller shaft. Other added rotating parts may also influence the final assembly balance. It is for this reason that the impeller may require trim balancing to reduce vibration levels.
It is good practice, therefore, to carry out vibration checks on a newly installed machine to create a baseline vibration (reference vibration levels).
How often should you carry out impeller balancing and inspection?
This all depends on how critical your machine’s operation is to your wider operations, as well as its rotational speed and size. Ideally, we would recommend impeller balancing and inspection every month, however, if there are cost constraints, every 3 months would be adequate. To learn more about industrial balancing processes, take a look at our static vs. dynamic balancing post.
What we can do
At WDB Ltd, our expert team will carry out maintenance checks on your impeller to identify:
- Foreign material build-up on impeller surfaces
- Cracks on the impeller due to stress and metal fatigue
- Bearing wear and damage
- Drive system condition i.e. wear and tear of pulleys/belts
- Shaft and drive misalignment
Do you have an impeller that is in need of maintenance or balancing? Get in touch with our team to find out how we can help.