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Weetabix saves £1000s by eliminating motor failures

27 February 2017

Elimination of motor failures has saved £1000s in maintenance engineering costs for Weetabix. These savings have accrued following the installation of ‘Marlin’ stainless steel AC motors from Lafert as replacements for conventional motors on breakfast cereal extruders at a production facility in Corby. 

Two different sizes of Marlin stainless steel motors (2.2 and 3kW) have been installed on extruders on different production lines as part of reliability proving programme set up to reduce engineering costs. They replace modified normal-style finned motors equipped with special shaft-mounted water deflector discs and double-lipped bearing seals which had been installed earlier to replace failing standard motors.

The application is particularly demanding. The motors, which drive a rotating knife, operate in a hot and steamy environment where they can gather product material calling for high pressure hose wash-down.

The original, standard motors had a survival expectation of between 30 to 40 days before failure. This resulted in an hour’s extruder downtime and two hours’ motor maintenance involving motor removal, installation of a new unit and seal and bearing replacements. Sometimes motors would also fail due to water ingress into the multi-component terminal boxes.

Weetabix reliability engineers then tried the modified motors which had special water deflecting discs to protect the improved bearing seals and bearings. They succeeded to the extent of extending expected life to 114 days.

However, both the standard motor types had the inherent problem of cooling fins which acted as product dust catchment zones and a paint finish. High pressure wash-downs cleaned the motors but foreshortened their work cycles and promoted paint flaking.

The two Marlin stainless motors have been working continuously for more than 700 days without failure since February 6, 2015 resulting in savings of many thousands of pounds in maintenance costs alone. These savings relate exclusively to engineering maintenance costs and do not include savings resulting from uninterrupted production.

“The Lafert Marlin stainless motors are proving extremely reliable and hygienic with their smooth, easy-to-clean bodies,” said the on-site Reliability Engineer. “Having experienced no failures so far giving us significant savings we are planning to progressively replace all the currently installed motors installed on our extruders.”
Email: salesuk@lafert.com
www.marlinstainless.com
www.lafert.com


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