Maintenance-Welding-Tips

for restarting Production

Maintenance-Welding-Tips are all important.
Because of the urgency.

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Were production operations painfully disrupted by some major breakage?

Then every one in charge, from the top down, will be anxious to solve the accident in the least possible time.

The pressing requirement is to get the equipment back into service with minimum delay.

Hurry may hurt however. Maintenance-Welding-Tips suggest that a repair plan made in a haste may overlook essential factors.

Improper actions, taken out of miscalculations, are likely to make situations even worse.

The maintenance department of every industry is an essential function trusted with the heavy responsibility of assuring the continuing and smooth operation of all the plant facilities.

Its success in performing the job adequately depends mostly on the knowledge and experience of its members but also on the backing given by a responsive management to its needs and requests.

Maintenance-Welding-Tips for Planning a Course of Action

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Maintenance-Welding-Tips point out that two different Maintenance practices are intended.

In Preventive Maintenance a systematic planning effort is put in place to schedule regular checks and minor repairs of critical equipment.

So that disturbance to production will be minimal and continuing operation will be assured for some time in the future.

In Corrective Maintenance, the actions to restore essential equipment are requested immediately as a consequence of unplanned breakdown because of sudden rupture or of excessively worn-out critical surfaces.

Given a serious disruption, involving interruption in the proper functioning of essential pieces of equipment, Maintenance-Welding-Tips would require an objective assessment of the true situation as first priority.

It should be done by an informal committee of all knowledgeable people having the relevant experience.

The real extent of the damage should be assessed, assembling all available data on the elements involved.

All information on past history should be gathered, relative to the same or similar failures.

Original drawings of parts or assemblies involved should be made available to check original materials, conditions and dimensions with relative tolerances.

Lacking these elements one should sketch at least the most important parts involved, in an attempt to check if it is possible to procure replacement spares.

While the parts are at hand, Maintenance-Welding-Tips recommend to measure their main dimensions and to test and record their hardness while caring not to affect in any way the fractured ends.

Avoid trying to match broken parts. It is most important to preserve the ruptured surfaces intact for subsequent investigation.

Before thinking of a welded repair solution one should have a clear idea of the real causes that brought about the failures.

One should  try to establish at least the order in which the parts failed: which was the first to give in, and which other elements broke thereafter as a consequence of collateral damage.

Possible causes of components failures, as suggested by Maintenance-Welding-Tips, can be usually attributed to one or more of the following:

  • Faulty design or misapplication of base metal
  • Improper processing or inadequate workmanship
  • Deterioration during service and consequent failure during operation.

For establishing the root cause of part failures, it is generally agreed that a thorough metallurgical investigation has to be conducted by knowledgeable and experienced professionals.

Unfortunately, in the heat of scrambling for a quick solution, this request has little probability of being pursued in earnest, because it would impose a delay in making decisions and in taking action.

To test the feasibility of possible solutions, a Maintenance-Welding-Tips check list can be useful to exclude the omission of important factors that should be always considered.

Among the elements to check one should consider the following:

  • Is the component a welded fabrication?
  • Is the material known?
  • If not, how can it be determined?
  • How can its mechanical properties be assessed?
  • What was its original heat treatment condition?
  • Are there weldability limitations?
  • Are there dissimilar materials involved?
  • Which investigation methods should be used to determine the failure root cause?
  • Should the component/s be repaired or replaced?
  • Could it be used temporarily under specific limitations?
  • Can a specific procedure be laid out for performing an acceptable repair?
  • How would the results of such a procedure be checked for adequacy before use?
  • Are there any safety concerns to be dealt with?
  • To which Standards or Codes should the repair be bound?

Assuming that the welding repair decision is adopted, even if for a temporary solution, a detailed operation plan should be prepared.

This can be done using preferably a decision model diagram showing a logic path including action steps and decision road forks with feedback loops highlighting the interdependence of different aspects of the process.

An example of such a diagram is available at page 570 of the Handbook introduced further down this page.

A suitable plan may involve the procurement of special filler metals or even of unusual services to be assigned to specialized providers.

Tests may need to be made on scrap metal, and special training of welders may be needed for qualification.

Determining the causes of the original failure is important to help avoiding future recurrences.

One should never attempt to weld anything without knowing beforehand the type of material, its hardness and if any surface treatments are present to modify its properties.

Useful nondestructive methods are available.
Then one should know if applying welding heat could dangerously affect the mechanical properties of the item to be repaired.

Alternative processes might be possible if welding is considered harmful in the specific case, especially if the repair is temporary, until new parts are procured or made.

Post weld testing is essential to prove the repair quality.
Additional special treatments may be necessary.

For further reading see the pages on Repair Welding, on Service Failures and on Material Identification.

See the new website page on Bridge-repair and the new Bulletin 104 with online Resources on Bridge Maintenance and Repair.

See also the Article on Maintenance and Repair Welding, published (2) in Issue 132 of Practical Welding Letter for August 2014, at PWL#132, and the Bulletin 99, with Resources on Welding Maintenance and Repair.

An Article on GMAW Gun Troubleshooting was published (3) in Issue 145 of Practical Welding Letter for September 2015.
Click on target=_new>PWL#145.

An Article on AWS D1.5, Bridge Welding Code new edition, was published (2) in Issue 152 of Practical Welding Letter for April 2016.
Click on PWL#152.

An Article on Hand Grinding was published (3) in Issue 153 of Practical Welding Letter for May 2016.
Click on PWL#153.

An Article on Resistance Welding Tips was published (3) in Issue 156 of Practical Welding Letter for August 2016.
Click on PWL#156.

An Article on Raising a half sunken ship was published (7) in Issue 160 of Practical Welding Letter for December 2016.
Click on PWL#160.

See also our recent website page on Casting-Repair and the new Resource Page on Weld Repair of Castings at Bulletin 105.

The American Welding Society (AWS) Welding Handbook, Ninth Edition, Volume 4, Materials and Applications, Part 1, dedicates a whole chapter, no. 9, from page 565, to the subject of this Maintenance-Welding-Tips page.

See details and download preview pages at WHC4.

Watch the Boehler Welding Group video on
Maintenance and Repair of Switches with UTP
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PuOHZkvJ7_4


* * *

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We used to remind to our readers titles and links to our informative pages on:

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