Last summer, we received a call from the maintenance manager of a large sawmill. To get an idea of equipment size, this large bandsaw cuts 6’ diameter tree trunks into quarter pieces. A large carriage carries the log and feeds it into a large bandsaw with a blade that is 12” wide. The quarter pieces then go to smaller saws to cut slab boards.
The complaint was that the large DC mill motor was making noise. Our field service supervisor, Jim Delawder, investigated and found that the banding on the commutator end of the armature had fractured and was flopping against the field coils. We advised that the motor be removed for repair, but the sawmill had back orders and was operating at 100%+. They could not afford to take the motor out of service, as long as it would operate.
EASA engineering was contacted to determine if there was a field fix that we could do to keep the motor in operation. The senior engineer advised us that the motor needed to go to a service shop for a proper banding job, under tension. Otherwise, there would be a severe failure of the coils at the riser. We advised that if the customer was going to operate the motor, the banding had to be removed.
We shared this bleak reality with the customer and he decided to take the risk of operating the motor until Christmas shutdown. After this decision was made to continue operating, I advised that they remove the broken banding and say a prayer every day to keep this motor in operation. They must have followed my advice because the motor did not fail during operation.
We quoted the repair and rebuild of the DC mill motor over their Christmas shutdown. The customer then stated that the DC motor and generators had been in operation for 30 years. They asked us to expand our quote to include the large DC mill motor, a large AC motor – DC generator set and two small DC field exciter generators. Dave Howard, motor shop supervisor, and I inspected the other equipment to ensure that we were not biting off more than we could chew. We quoted rebuilding 5 large pieces of rotating equipment with a delivery of 13 days, spanning the Christmas and New Year’s Day holidays.
Our sales rep, Joseph Motz, secured the PO for this project and we received the equipment on 12/21/21. We already had 5 overtime jobs in our shop, so now we had 10 overtime jobs to deal with over the holidays! The supervisors, office staff and shop employees at the Springfield division all pulled together to complete and deliver all of the overtime jobs.
After the equipment was installed at the sawmill, our field service team assisted with installation, startup and tuning of the controls. The customer stated that he was very pleased with our company’s performance on this job, as he doubted that we could make our delivery.
I am very proud to be part of the team at Horner Industrial Group, Springfield division. A big thank you to all employees who went the extra mile for our customers.