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New Kiln Start Up!

What to do/look for or be careful of when starting a kiln up for the first time?

One cannot comment directly with an unfamiliar installation but based on general experience with starting up new kilns some general comments can be offered. These are restrict ed to mechanical issues only and not process related considerations. 1)Inspect all points were lubricant is supposed to be, including steel flex couplings for example. Verify gear reducers, open gears and bearings. 2)Also make sure that the tire bores (assuming they are migrating tires) are properly cleaned out (compressed air) and lubricated. Otherwise new tires have a nasty tendency to throw walnut sized nuggets for a while in some cases. 3)Verify cooling systems like water-jacketed bearing housings for temperature and flow. 4)On Ferris wheel type oiling systems on support bearings make sure the buckets have not been installed backwards to rotation. 5)On Ferris wheel type oiling systems on support bearings make sure that a liter of oil is poured on each oil tray a few minutes before the first turn. 6)With commencement of continuous rotation verify that oil is delivered in sufficient quantity in each housing. 7)With first rotation watch both inlet and outlet seals for any mechanical problems. 8)Make sure the open gear lub system is functioning. 9)Make sure the pinion bearings are greased. 10)For the first 24 hours of continuous rotation put a full time watch on bearing temperatures. Record the temperatures at each bearing each hour. Make hourly rounds to check on anything that moves. Use a checklist to make sure nothing is overlooked. 11)The inspection crew must be suspicious of and report unusual noises. 12)Observe the thrust rollers for high loads. Do not expect the kiln to be properly aligned particularly in terms of roller skew. 13)Have a well prepared crew with an experienced supervisor at the ready to make some roller adjustments. 14)Organize and equip this latter team to make roller skewing adjustments to fine tune the rollers over a period of several days. A typical 4 pier kiln will take about 2 weeks to tune out. This is based on working 2 to 4 hours each day leaving the interim for observation. 15)Within the first three months of steady operation, do a full, third party, hot kiln alignment with ovality measurements. These documents should be part of the kilns formal Mechanical Certification and Acceptance for the owner. This may highlight existing minor deficiencies that are not otherwise discernable and most importantly provide a benchmark for analyzing future problems as they undoubtedly will arise. Most of the above can be further detailed as needed. This list may not be comprehensive and is only offered as a general guide.

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