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Blowers: learn about the most common faults and how to detect them

June 7, 2024

Blowers are used in a wide range of industries, including aeration, fermentation, pneumatic conveying and other processes. For each activity, there is an ideal model, taking into account the operation itself and the cost-benefit ratio.

Before discussing the types of blowers, it is important to differentiate them from compressors. The operating principle of both is the same, the difference lies in the pressure and air flow produced. In other words, the aim of the blower is to generate a relatively large flow of air at a relatively low pressure. The compressor, on the other hand, produces a small flow of air at a fairly high pressure.

Read also: Industrial compressors: learn about the main faults  (dynamox.net) 

industrial blower

Types of blowers

Flow blowers: They convert kinetic energy into pressure energy. Some examples are the screw type and the centrifugal type.

  • Screw or helical screw: It has two types of rotors – a male with three convex lobes, and a female with five concave flutes, which rotate in opposite directions. The movement pulls in air, which is then expelled. 
  • Centrifugal: Works on the principle of centrifugation. In other words, it accelerates the fluid that enters parallel to the centerline of the shaft and is launched perpendicular to it, performing a centrifugal movement when its rotor rotates. 

Volumetric blowers: Displace the fluid in defined volumes with each rotation. The most common model is the trilobular or “Roots”. 

  • Roots: The process works by displacement. Thus, it works by pumping fluids using a pair or trio of synchronized lobes.

Most common blower faults

Despite the variety of models, there are some faults that are quite common: 

ComponentFaultEffectPossible causeSolution* 
Motor  Diffuse burnoutDisarmingLack of phase and natural wear  Electrical replacement and investigation 
Faulty limit switch actuationLack of information on working conditions 
Premature bearing wear  Motor locking Inadequate lubrication Bearing replacement and lubrication
Rotor unbalance  Abnormal vibration and overheating Damaged bearings Bearing replacement
Faulty windings  Motor burnout
Problems with the electric drive Sudden stopOverheating Electrical investigation 
Inefficient ventilation system Overheating
Bearing heating   Bearing wearComponent wearReplacement
Engrenagens Assembly wear Excessive vibrationNatural wearReplacing the assembly
Gear misalignment
Sistema de refrigeração Inefficient cooling Damage to internal componentsNatural wear  Component replacement and lubrication
Oil pump failureExcessive friction 
Controles de pressão e temperatura Communication failure Inadequate temperature and pressure Natural wear  Replacement 
Faulty instruments
Válvula Valve burnout  Excessive pressure in the line Internal wear  Replacement 
Damaged bearing   
Damaged indication contacts
Demaged seat   
*This is a suggested course of action that is linked to the condition of the asset and the maintenance management strategy. However, it is always important to investigate whether the problem is a consequence of another fault.

Industrial blower maintenance

In industry, efficiency is a market differentiator. In other words, the better the use of resources and raw materials, the higher the performance tends to be. And in order to achieve this goal, it is essential that maintenance is seen as a strategic element.

This requires a schedule of inspections, action plans and, above all, tools to measure the operating condition of the asset. In this way, as well as efficiency, it is possible to increase the reliability and availability of blowers. Here are some suggestions:

  1. Periodic cleaning: the accumulation of dust, debris and other contaminants can contaminate lubricants, cause overheating and overloading, impacting operation and even reducing their useful life.
  1. Pay attention to lubrication: lubrication is essential to prevent premature and excessive wear of rotating components. It is therefore essential that it is done periodically, in the right quantity and with the recommended lubricant.

Read also: Relation between lubrication and vibration analysis (dynamox.net) 

  1. Inspect the drive belt: it is important to inspect it periodically. This component, when worn or out of its optimum condition, contributes to misalignment of the pulleys and a host of other problems that occur as a result. 
  1. Monitor vibration levels: vibration is an excellent indicator of the general health of assets. This is because it is possible to identify failure modes by noticing changes in vibration levels, helping to increase equipment availability, reduce costs, prevent premature wear, avoid unnecessary interventions and, of course, reduce the risk of accidents.

Blower fault diagnosis

Dynamox has developed an algorithm based on Artificial Intelligence that specialises in blowers. It knows how the machine operates and is able to identify failure modes with precision.

With automated detection, it is possible to increase the number of analyses. This optimises the time of the analyst, who can manage more diagnoses, since they already know what the problem is.

This feature is part of the Dynamox Solution, which aims to offer the best system for monitoring and analysing conditions using vibration and temperature data.

In the case of blowers, monitoring takes place via 2 sensors installed on the motor, at least 3 sensors on the reducer and one per bearing on the extractor hood, as shown in the illustration.

Installing sensors on blowers

Want to increase your plant’s availability? Talk to our experts and bring the Dynamox Solution to your industry!

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