Like its industrial equipment kin, fans can, and do, fall prey to failure. And the indicators may, unfortunately, be all too familiar. Noisy bearings, fan vibrations, improper air flow, no noise at all—all of these and more can signal a fan failure. And that’s no favor to your plant’s performance. In fact, we can number at least a handful of reasons for fan failure that can leave your plant at less-than-optimal operation.
Mechanical or Electrical Malfunctions
When fan failure seems to stop the fan altogether, the culprit can fall into one of two camps: mechanical or electrical malfunctions. Malfunctions in these arenas can run the gamut, including faulty belts, loose pulleys, improper voltage, deficient wire sizing, blown fuses, and more. The good news in all this? Servicing is pretty straightforward.
A Lack of Airflow
Airflow is another reason for fan failure, or rather, the lack of it. Stymied airflow can also signal other underlying issues. For instance, improper airflow could be due to a duct system that resists or restricts airflow. Other causes can also be at the root of the issue—a wrongly set blade angle, an improperly installed impeller, a misaligned impeller not secured by inlet collars—to name but a few.
Insufficient airflow may not just affect the fan, but other components as well. Filters can also experience restricted airflow, which can result from dirty or clogged filters. A filter replacement with stronger pressure drop parameters or an all-new coil installation featuring tighter fin spacing may serve as a remedy.
Issues in Component Balance
Fan vibrations sometimes feel off—and for good reason. Something may indeed be off with the fan’s components. Vibrations can warn of unbalanced impellers, sheaves, or an unbalanced motor. Bearings may also be at fault. A motor’s bearings need to match specifications, and need to be able to bear load. Vibrations may also point to faults in fan foundation; isolators, shims, and anchor bolts on the fan’s foundation should reflect appropriate sizing and installation.
Damaged or Misaligned Fan Components
Industrial fan failure may also be ascribed to damaged or misaligned components. For instance, if an impeller contacts an inlet or housing, it may not be properly aligned. Put another way, the impeller may be off center. And that’s not the sole role an impeller can play in disrupting a fan. A misshapen or damaged impeller could contribute to the noisiness of a fan, fan disruption, and failure.
Loose bearings and shafts may also lie at the root of incessant fan noisiness. Noise could also arise from a bowed shaft, shaft and bearing misalignment, or belt defect.
Component Wear and Failure
Fan failure is almost imminent once components falter and fail themselves. A broken belt drive or coupling, bearing ring failure, or shaft or impeller breakdown all lend to total industrial fan failure. They say a thing is greater than the sum of its parts. For industrial fans, this may ring especially true—certainly where performance is concerned.
The Fix Is In
Industrial fans, along with its equipment brethren, can be brought to a halt through breakdown. But the right expertise keeps it up and running. For products, parts, and professionals able to get your industrial fan back into gear, turn to ProcessBarron. We build custom-made solutions to fit your business—and budget to boot. Connect with a local representative, request a quote, and continue learning about what else we can do on our blog.