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Troubleshooting / Vibration Issues

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  • Most Common Causes

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Most Common Causes

Trouble-Shooting Vibration Problems

Although thin-film evaporators (TFEs) are not complicated, there may be many causes for vibration problems.

Because this is rotating equipment, there will always be some perceptible level of vibration during normal operation. However, operating a thin-film unit while experiencing significant levels of vibration will lead to extensive damage to the equipment.

Listed below are just a few of the reasons a thin-film evaporator may experience vibration. Fully diagnosing vibration may require an LCI Service Engineer and vibration analysis instrumentation. These are the most common causes and many of these issues are easily corrected.

  • Vacuum leaks downstream of the thin-film evaporator may cause flash condensation in the TFE or interfere with discharge of concentrate
  • Overconcentration of process stream (insufficient feed rate?)
  • A bent rotor shaft or warped rotor body (thermally induced)
  • Process material in the rotor core; imbalance (vibration occurs at 1X turning speed). Indicates possible damage to rotor
  • Failure to discharge material from TFE or building a level inside TFE (most common)
  • Inadequate control of vacuum level
  • Inadequate lubrication to bottom journal bearing

Most vibration issues are process related (over-concentration, system control issues, unable to discharge concentrate from TFE, vacuum leaks, etc). However, there are occasions when the problem is purely mechanical in nature. An easy way to verify this is to run the TFE without any process load (empty and cold). If significant levels of vibration are noticeable, the problem is most likely mechanical in nature (imbalance, bent or damaged rotor, worn bearing, inadequate lubrication to journal bearing).

Contact us if you would like advice from one of our technical experts.

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