The DATscan involves the use of optical instrumentation and specially designed software that communicates wirelessly with multiple tools to gather data. It is a cold drum engineering survey and the rotary dryer or rotary unit must be shutdown to perform this engineering service. A DATscan gives us the baseline measurements to inform our maintenance and repair team to make decisions for your rotary equipment. Whether you’re preparing for a plant shutdown or in the middle of one, a DATscan is a great tool to help guide your next steps concerning your rotary unit.
You may ask, do companies really need a DATcan? The design and operation of a rotary kiln or dryer are critical to its efficiency. If designed incorrectly or operated improperly, a rotary kiln will inadequately treat materials and drastically increase operating costs. Left untreated, horizontal and vertical misalignment issues on rotary kilns and dryers can lead to unpredictable operation, decreased reliability and cause a complete failure to the unit which could lead to reduced production and/or loss of revenue for the company. When you’re experiencing a bearing failure, seal failures, tire-to-roller face contact shifts, and other negative effects, then its an indication that the loads are not evenly distributed to all the piers. This is also an indication that the unit is misaligned or operating outside the design slope. In order to avoid these above issues, DATscan survey is needed to determine the condition of the unit for slope, skew, relationships between tire and roller contact, etc.
System slope and base slope are also included in a DATscan. Issues with support base structures or its mechanical components may cause excessive wear throughout the unit and/or misalign the unit. Using the TS 16 Leica helps us gather data from our prism location and use this data to determine the slope (position) of the unit and the base slope. This helps us to compare the measured slopes with the designed slope for proper positioning or in the case that there’s no designed slope, we can use the measured slopes as established system slopes and base slopes moving forward. A visual inspection is always included in a DATscan. During the inspection, some issues we look for are: wobbling or poor contact between tire and support rollers/trunnions, hot bearings caused by high thrust loads and abnormal wear patterns on support rollers. Checking the feed and discharge seals of the unit is also an important part of the inspection. We’re looking for any false air going into the unit, subsequently altering the process by making it less efficient. Air leakage through the seals is possibly a result of abrasion from materials, poor maintenance or product overflow.
In order to generate stable revenue and/or increase the efficiency of the unit, regular inspections and survey cannot be overlooked. Assessment and alignment services help the company to reduce financial risks, increased equipment uptime, lower operating costs and increased profits for stakeholders. It is an excellent first step for both problem solving and as a preventative maintenance tool.
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