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If you have a centrifugal blower or fan in your manufacturing business, then this device is probably a part of your dust control system. This system is likely essential to keeping debris particles out of your equipment, and it also keeps the environment in your facility healthy and clean as well. However, your centrifugal blower can fail just like any other piece of equipment in your shop. This may leave you with down time as the dust control system is repaired. You should know that a blower that vibrates is a sign that the device may fail soon. Fortunately, you can troubleshoot the issue and make the necessary repairs or contact your blower specialist to do so before a failure happens.
Consider Shaft Misalignment
If you have recently had a new centrifugal blower added to your dust control system, or if part of the rotor assembly within the fan has been replaced due to wear issues, then there may be a shaft misalignment issue plaguing your blower. There are two different shafts within the centrifugal blower housing that help the blower function. One shaft is connected to the drive motor, and the other is connected to the rotor that controls the fan. As the drive motor shaft moves, it causes the rotor shaft to spin. If these two shafts are not aligned with one another, then this can cause one or both of the shafts to shift back and forth slightly as they move. This will then create a vibration across the entire blower. Contact your blower maintenance professional to recheck the position of the shafts if repairs have recently been made.
If the internal components inside the centrifugal blower have not been repaired lately, then it is possible that the shafts have misaligned due to a bending issue or a loose shaft problem. If this is the case, then vibrations will be relatively consistent as you run the blower. Have a maintenance professional check this problem for you. It can be hard to tell if the shafts are bent slightly and causing vibrations. A laser may be needed to see if the shafts are straight and aligned. If they are not, then replacements will be required.
In some cases, a crack in a shaft can cause vibration issues as well. However, the vibrations are likely to worsen considerably as you run the fan when this happens. An inspection of the internal fan components can help you to discover this issue. Stop using the fan immediately if you see a crack in a shaft. The shaft can snap and cause substantial damage to the other parts nearby.
As the shaft causes the impeller blade to spin, some vibrations will cascade through the fan as the impeller moves. This is normal and you should hear very few sounds and see little movement when your fan is running. However, if you start to hear clangs or metal vibrating loudly, then some connections within the fan itself may have started to come loose. There also may be a problem as simple as a loose screw on the outside casing of the fan or a loose fitting that helps you to control the angle of the fan. Look for fittings on the exterior of the fan housing and use a screwdriver to tighten them. If this does not help, then remove the casing and inspect the internal components.
As you inspect the fan, try to wiggle the inlet collar, inlet, and bearing support pieces that sit close to the impeller. If these parts are loose, look for broken clips that can be replaced. Also try to gently jiggle or move parts around the motor area. While many parts like the axles, impeller, rotors, and bearings will spin, these parts and other should not seem loose. In other words, you should not be able to move them much besides spinning them. If something seems loose try to tighten fittings or contact your blower specialist to inspect the loose part as soon as possible.
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