The Ultimate Guide To Spotting And Preventing Machine Failure

The productivity of your business depends on the well-being of your equipment. Any downtime due to machine failure can be devastating. Business operations become out of whack disrupting service, staff comfort, and customer relations. Not to mention that the safety and health of your workers are put at risk.

Equipment breakdown is very costly. You only have two options: repair or replace, and both can be expensive. When the motor needs replacement, you’ll have to pay labor costs for removal, costs for installment, and freight costs.

Recognizing problems with the important parts, such as the brake pads and rotors, is key to preventing machine failure. What are the things to look out for? Read on to find out.

Rattling and Squeaking, Clanking and Squealing

When you’re driving your car, you love the purring sound the engine makes. But when you hear an unusual sound, you know that it’s time to open the hood and see if anything’s wrong.

Your employees are also familiar with the normal sounds of the machine they’re working on. When they hear an abnormal sound, that is usually one of the signs of imminent failure.

Just like your car, an unfamiliar noise warrants an immediate inspection.

Worn out Brake Pads and Rotors

Machine failure is usually caused by parts showing their age. Using our eyes to look for signs of wear is part of preventative maintenance.

Examine the belt, bolts, and other important parts of your machine. Does your belt have cracks, abrasions, or fraying? Are the brake pads and rotors starting to warp or showing gouges? Are the bolts out of shape or loose?

Replacing aging parts is cheaper than replacing the equipment itself. Before machine failure happens, change the worn parts with new ones.

Slumps in the Efficiency

A decrease in production speed affects your bottom line. But more importantly, it signals that the machine is starting to break down. And when it eventually fails because you neglected the warning signs, you’re going to lose a great deal more.

A slowdown in production usually indicates resistance in the machine. This could be due to lubricant leakage or due to damaged parts causing friction.

Speaking of friction, another byproduct of inefficiency is unexplained heat. Of course, heat is normally created as the machine works. However, when heat is produced in areas that should be cool, that is a problem.

Another hint of impending machine doom is when the temperature shoots up higher than normal. You should also suspect electrical failures for unexplained heat.

Address these issues immediately, or the heat could lead to a fire.

Dirty Machine

A clean machine runs smoothly. Dust and debris clog up the important parts and can cause the machine to seize.

Filters keep the dirt off of your equipment but must be routinely changed. Seals, when damaged, can’t perform their protective duties. When seals are compromised, you’ll spot leaks and wetness in areas where you don’t find them under normal conditions.

You should schedule a regular inspection of the important parts. Repair or replace them when necessary.

An Ounce of Prevention

Your production equipment is critical to your business. Once you recognize these warning signs, preventing further problems from happening will save you money in the long run.

Request a quote for our equipment repair services right now.


These Servicing Tips Could Help You Avoid A Brake Replacement

The most important safety function of any piece of industrial machinery is the ability to stop. Brakes are an essential part of any crane, wind turbine or any industrial machine.

It is essential to have every component of the brake system in top working order to avoid costly replacements and repairs.

How costly is a brake replacement? Count time out of service, the time of your engineer, mechanic and other labor. Had enough?

Read ahead for servicing tips to avoid unscheduled brake replacement.

Proper Maintenance = Long Life

Even the highest quality systems need regular maintenance for longest effective life.

Some brake systems have a predefined interval of time for how often you should schedule maintenance and replacement. We recommend keeping the manufacturer’s suggestion as the maximum amount of time between servicing.

Every site has unique operating conditions. Only you can determine how frequently you use your equipment, under what load, and in what weather.

Stay vigilant to changes in performance, even gradual ones. Changes in noise or movement also indicate something is wearing.

Check Your Friction Lining

Every set of brakes has a certain safe residual lining surface. Brake pads and linings should be serviced before they become unsafe, as damage to rotors and other parts will result.

A regular check of the air gap between the plate and the brake coil is necessary for most brakes. As the friction lining starts to wear down, the air gap increases. Adjust the brakes as necessary to prevent damage.

Metal hitting metal means an expensive repair.

Contamination = Brake Replacement

Grease, oil, and debris have no place inside your brake system. Not only will they burn in the heat generated by braking, they irreparably damage the surfaces.

Contamination kills stopping power.

When your brakes are contaminated with grease or moisture, the safety of your equipment is at risk. Brakes can’t do their job of stopping motion if they can’t grab.

Contaminated brakes must be replaced. Cleaning and rebuilding is possible, but cannot be undertaken as a less than a major repair.

Inspect and Change

Any excessive vibration, hesitation, uneven load or dangerous condition is a threat to life and safety. Keep track of time, condition and use of brake systems. A basic visual inspection at every use and regular maintenance service prevents costly repairs.

Brake pads, linings, rotors and all components should be checked at manufacturer recommended intervals or sooner. Replace as necessary. Brake fluid should also be checked and changed as necessary.

Keep contaminants out of the brakes. Water, oil, grease or brake fluid can cause downtime and replacement. Never let metal hit metal.

Need to Know More?

Keep reading this blog for more information about the best equipment for your needs or contact your Kor-Pak representative today!

5 Tips For Picking The Right Custom Fabrication Company

Everything you look at only fills half your needs. You’ve got a tight budget and tighter timetable. Nothing quite fits.

Does this sound like you? While a stock piece is standardized and available almost immediately, a custom fabrication can meet 100% of your needs.

Custom fabrications have increased useful life since they can be customized to the environment and particular wear pattern. Backward compatible for machinery no longer in production, non-standard processes? No problem.

Are you sure that custom fabrication is what your business needs? Then you need to choose the right company to make what you need. Here’s the breakdown of what to look for in the right custom machine shop.

What’s Their Experience?

You want someone who can execute your ideas or reverse-engineer a worn piece. For that, you need someone with practical experience in your field, whether it is an oil-rig or hospital. There isn’t a field manual for pieces that don’t exist in catalogs.

Experienced metal fabricators know their materials and techniques. They can recommend solutions and handle customization with efficiency. More experience means fewer errors.

Check Their Work

Get to know the quality of a company’s work by checking out their portfolio. Talk to past customers and view past projects. You want to know about the durability and quality of their custom fabrication.

What is their safety record and how do they handle remanufacturing critical parts? It will also give you an idea of how they handle the specs of individual designs and their capacity for large or small size jobs.

Capacity for Work

Can your fabricator build in the material you need? What kind of machinery do they use? For high-quality steel welds that lives depend on, no one wants to see a 90 amp Home Depot special! The right tools and technique can mean lives.

Location is relevant. Consider fuel costs and control over your fabrication. Will you be able to communicate with your machine shop? How quickly can your shop turnaround? Will time and distance affect your costs?

Get to Know the People

You want a long-term relationship with your company. Each project is unique and your business is like no other. You want a metal fabricator who recognizes that!

Compare Quotes For Custom Fabrication

Of course, you have to follow procedures and get quotes from many shops. For the best possible outcome, you want a custom fabrication shop that can give you what you need, at a reasonable price, and on your timeline.

Take the time to get to know your vendor and their capabilities before deciding on price alone.

For more interesting and informative articles, keep reading our blog. If you want to know more about the most qualified and experienced metal machining and fabrication shop, contact your Kor-Pak representative today.

Top 5 Advantages Of Our Servo Motors And Drives

People realize that the common hydraulic motors today aren’t cutting it anymore. They can be expensive, cause oil problems, and occasionally leak.

But luckily there’s a better option out there.

Electric servo motors and drives have been evolving for some time now. And they seem to be great for all different industries. That’s why we’ve gathered the top 5 advantages of servo systems to show you exactly how great they really are.

Speed of Servo Motors and Drives

Many people debate the speed and acceleration of servo motors and drives compared to those of hydraulics. The truth of the matter is that hydraulics aren’t the fastest because of its compressions of oil and flexibility of its hoses and lines that expand.

If hydraulic systems were designed better, then the speed may be better and closer to that of a servo system. But for the time being servo motors and drives are more impressive in the category.


The next advantage of these systems is the versatility servo technology. They can be used for so much, and there are different kinds as well.


Servo motors are in a wide range of machines.

Inside of a servo system is a motor that toys also often come with. This motor is called a small direct current motor, and it runs on electricity from a battery.

They are also in cameras. Specifically, in it’s Auto Focus to help the camera’s lens sharpen images. Automatic door openers also use the motor to help signal it to open.

Another use of this system is the robotic arm that helps move along assembly lines. The servo motor helps make the joints of the robotic arms move.


The servo motors in the servo system come in many different forms.

  • Positional- this is the most common and can rotate in certain directions.
  • Continuous- this one is similar to positional but can rotate in all directions.
  • Linear- this one has the features of the previous ones but has additional gears.

Something that varies in the different types is how they are used as well and their availability. The positional servo motor can be found in smaller applications, while the continuous and linear motors are geared towards larger projects.

Exerts Less Heat

Hydraulic machines let out a large amount of heat. This is mainly through its work with oil and overall design of the machine.

Servo motors and drives release such a small amount of heat. So small in fact, that operators usually need to employ another system that keeps the oil at temperature.

Service of Pumps

Another large difference between hydraulic machines and servo motors and drives is maintenance.

While hydraulic machines are generally cheaper to buy the servo systems will give you your money’s worth in how much it saves, as well as cut down costs on maintenance.

Hydraulic machines will need to be serviced often as their pumps will need to be changed. And their pumps are also more expensive than those of a servo system.


Servo motors and drives are also extremely simple machines. This makes work and maintenance a lot easier to carry out.

An all-electric motor will have fewer parts than those that are hydraulic-based. As a result, an electrician will be able to work on it without needing hydraulic knowledge.

These servo systems also use technology that will make repairs easier. They use feedback devices that help catch errors and correct them to help better performance.

More Motor Tips

It’s important to choose the best parts for any project that you’re doing. Especially when it comes to motors as they can be a big part of the system you’re working with.

For more information on motors, check out this blog post.

5 Myths You Probably Believe About Brake Rotors

Brake rotors are among the most important parts of industrial machinery. Having the right rotors can mean the difference between life and death. The same can apply to anything mechanical that may require a brake rotor or a braking system.

Unfortunately, there are some common myths circulating about the use of brakes, and chances are you might believe they are true.

In this article, we will try to dispel some of the common myths related to brakes that you probably believe in, so listen up.

Wet or Damp Rotors Affect Performance

It has often been said that once a brake rotor gets wet that it will impact its performance. However, this is not necessarily the case as modern braking systems don’t suffer any loss of performance like the old-fashioned drum brakes did.

The design of modern rotors allows for constant braking performance in most conditions. Due to their effectiveness, it is something we often take for granted..

The same can also be said in the industrial market, as rotor braking systems have many uses across different industries. Wind turbines, cranes and general heavy machinery also require brake rotors that need constant braking performance.

Brake Noise is Acceptable

Rotors are designed to make noise once they need replacing, it is often thought that brake squealing is normal, but this isn’t the case. Although it might be a minor fault, the noise will be indicating some form of issue that needs inspecting.

The best advice on brake noise is to get any noise inspected rather than ignoring it.

Brakes Need Time to Warm Up

Over the years it has been suggested that brakes need to be warm to be most effective, but again this is not the case as the materials used today can operate effectively with varying temperatures.

The only exception to this is high-performance racing pads, and these are not used in industrial environments.

Warping Brake Rotors

In the past, it has been suggested that rotors can warp and cause vibration, but this is, in fact, a myth. Brake vibration has many explanations some of which can be explained by the thickness of the brake, as well as brake torque variations. These are more likely to be the cause of vibration rather than warping.

All Rotors are Similar

Not all brake rotors are the same, even if it’s the correct one for a vehicle. The quality and driver needs can affect the behavior and synergy.

Low-cost options may also offer inferior performance, so this is worth considering when making your final choice. Higher cost options are not always suited to everyone as the benefits may not always outweigh the costs.

Don’t Believe Everything You Hear

If you are ready to learn more about the true benefits of brake rotors are why they are so incredibly important, feel free to contact us today for a non-obligational talk about your needs.

The Best of SEW Eurodrive Products

There’s a reason SEW Eurodrive products are some of the best in the biz. They’ve been in the game since 1931 and show no signs of slowing down.

They started with a bang, coming up with innovation after innovation.

They were the first to produce a variable speed gear motor. They also were the first to incorporate an energy-efficient copper rotor into their motor.

With a history full of so many firsts, you know their products are top notch. But which one is best for your industry?

We’ve got a list of their top five products that stand out from all the rest. Find the part you need to have in your industry – keep reading!

Helical Gearmotor R Series

The Helical Gearmotor R series comes in different stage sizes to meet anyone’s needs. There are six single-stage sizes and 14 two- and three-stage sizes available.

This produces the ideal ratio between power and area available. Because of this, SEW Eurodrive’s range of torque and reduction ratios are among the most varied in the industry.

Helical-Worm Servo Gearmotors

Need something quiet that saves space? This is the gear unit for you.

There’s a longitudinal application of force on the input shaft which helps to keep the torque impulses quiet. No matter what kind of force you throw at this, it remains silent.

How quiet is it? It’s so soft, you can use it for a stage elevator!

M Series Industrial Gears

Here’s a high-performing gear that can take anything you throw at it. Plus, it’s available in both vertical and horizontal designs, making it extremely versatile.

Because of its high torque transfer capacity, it delivers power like no other. With its high thermal ratings, it can keep going longer and under harder conditions, too.

The best part about it? It can handle a torque range of 53,000 to 1,600,000 lb-in.

Screw Conveyor

This SEW Eurodrive product has a wide range of applications across many industries. That’s why it’s one of our top five essentials.

What makes SEW’s better than the competition? SEW ships the conveyor drive as a gear unit with a c-face motor adapter or in a gearmotor configuration.

Right out of the box, you’re saving on maintenance costs and keeping your company efficient.

DRS and DRN Motors

Here’s a modular motor and brake motor that is so efficient, it can replace a servo in some cases. It runs quietly, too, making it another perfect option for theater use.

With its high stability and high cycling capacity, you’ll want to use them everywhere.

Add SEW Eurodrive To Your Business Today

Whether you’re looking to keep a good supply of machine parts on hand or need custom options for a project, SEW has something for everyone. There are many reasons to trust them to deliver high quality and high performance.

If you’re ready to optimize your operation, we’re here to help you find the best SEW Eurodrive products to keep your business on track.

Have a rush order or a hard-to-find part? No problem! We can handle that too. Contact us today to kick your company into high gear with high-quality, high-performance parts!


Scan-Pac Friction Products: What You Should Know

With a variety of friction product manufacturers on the market, it can be tough to find out how to get the best materials at the best cost.

The quality of friction material in your equipment has a huge impact on safety, stability, and longevity.

Below is a quick overview of what you should know about Scan-Pac, an excellent friction products manufacturer.

1. History

The company was founded in 1973 in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin. Scan Pac was the original fabricator of Johns Manville calendared friction materials.

During its 44 years in business, the company has gone through multiple expansions in its facilities and product line.

2. Expansive American Manufacturing

Scan-Pac’s three manufacturing facilities, located in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin and Magnolia, Texas, make up a combined 100,000 square feet of manufacturing space.

The company uses the following equipment in its manufacturing labs:

  • CMM
  • Chase Machine
  • Universal Testing Machine
  • Impact Tester
  • Gogan Hardness Tester
  • Rockwell Hardness Tester
  • Soxhlet Apparatus
  • Furnace
  • Specific Gravity Analyzer
  • Particle Size Analyzer
  • Moisture Analyzer
  • Melting Point Analyzer
  • Viscometer
  • Cure Time & Gel Time Tester

Each manufacturing plant specializes in the production of certain materials, ensuring the efficient production time and expertise among staff.

3. Serving Various Industries

Scan-Pac provides a large number of industries with friction materials.

These markets include:

  • Agricultural
  • Oilfield
  • PT Equipment
  • Cranes
  • Material Handling
  • Paper Production
  • Railroad and Rail Parts
  • Wind Power
  • Construction
  • Winches
  • Metal and Aluminium

Each of these markets has unique needs, and with a certification of quality management excellence, the company has a great reputation with satisfied customers around the globe.

4. Diverse Product Line

On the products page of Scan Pac’s website, there is an expansive list of materials produced by the company.

From Gatke materials to flexible products and Gemini woven, molded, or extruded materials, the materials produced will fit the needs of many projects.

There are even dedicated pages set aside for oilfield related materials, truck blocks, and sintered products.

5. Worldwide Distribution

Wherever you’re located, these products will likely be available.

The company has over 20 distributors worldwide, with 19 in North America alone!

6. Scan-Pac Helps You Pick The Right Materials

One of the most popular features on the company’s website is the material recommendations tool.

By browsing to this tool, you can select from a variety of categories such as caliper brakes, wear products, band brakes, and more.

From there, Scan Pac allows you to select from a list of uses from elevator brakes to oilfield products and windmills.

When you choose the equipment you need parts for; you’ll then be presented with a recommendation of one or more materials complete with part number, the coefficient of friction, and wear rate.

This tool is extremely helpful as it allows you to quickly find the exact part you’ll need and to contact a distributor with all necessary information!

Some of the Best Organic Friction Products!

As you can now see, Scan-Pac is a company that has a history of excellence offering a robust product line.

If you need assistance sourcing friction products, we can help!

Check out the industries we serve and let us know more about your specific needs.

Demag Cranes: Why The Investment is Worth It

When it comes to buying a new crane, you understandably want top quality.

The loads these systems are expected to bear can be significant, and investing in an inferior piece of equipment could mean slower — and riskier — operations.

To that end, Demag cranes are heralded worldwide for their craftsmanship, dependability, and durability. Whether you’re looking for a universal or specialized crane solution, you can’t go wrong by selecting this brand.

Today, we’re breaking down a few reason why this brand is tops, and why the industry agrees.

Ready to learn more? Let’s go!

1. There’s a Demag Crane to Fit Every Need

Their impressive product portfolio isn’t just limited to a handful of crane designs. Rather, you’ll have your pick from single-grinder overhead traveling cranes, double-grinders, suspension cranes, wall-mounted options and much more.

After browsing the wares, if you still aren’t seeing the exact tool you need, the company’s more than willing to help you customize a crane to fit your requirements and processes.

This means you’re not stuck improvising with an ill-fitted tool. Instead, you’re sure to get a valuable piece of equipment that can transform the way your company works.

2. You’re Investing in More Than Equipment

Sure, you can go out and buy a crane and use it within your facility. There’s no guarantee it will work in your environment or facilitate your workflow. Moreover, there’s also a major safety risk to installing or using it without proper support or training.

When you buy a Demag crane, you’re also receiving top-of-the-line end-to-end professional support. You will have access to a team of specialized experts who can walk you through every step to make sure you and your employees understand the total solution.

From initial design and preplanning to installation and maintenance, the staff takes the guesswork and the risk out of any DIY endeavor you’re considering. There’s also a spare parts inventory and on-call, around-the-clock customer service. That way, if your crane breaks down in the middle of the night, you could be back up and running before the sun comes up.

3. It’s a Forward-Facing Brand

Are you working with a worn and outdated crane? Simply replacing it with another one might not be in your budget at the moment. If this is the case, Demag offers refurbishment and modernization services that can help you update and outfit your existing crane to handle current and future load requirements.

In addition, the brand is consistently delivering new and innovative product launches that take its product line to a different level. If you’re looking for a crane solution that’s capable of supporting you well into the future, you can’t beat this brand.

We’ll Help You Invest in a New Crane Today

As an authorized Demag dealer, we know the brand inside and outside. We’re qualified to consult you on the best crane for your business needs and can help you narrow your selection down based on price point, usage requirement, size standards, and more.

Contact us. We’ll help you take this important first step toward securing the crane of your dreams.

Overhead Crane Maintenance Checklist

About 72 fatal crane accidents happen each year.

It’s no secret that working with big machinery can be dangerous. That’s why safety is always a priority.

Preventive methods should be taken to ensure safety while using an overhead. Here’s an overhead crane maintenance checklist to follow.

When To Perform Overhead Crane Maintenance

While designated personnel should perform required maintenance and repairs, the crane operator should conduct daily inspections before and after each use.

According to OSHA, a safety check should be done at the beginning of each shift.

A well-trained and qualified crane operator should ensure all equipment is ready for use.

A daily inspection chart should be signed off each day by the operator to ensure the safety inspection is complete.

What The Checklist Includes

An overhead crane maintenance checklist includes three different checkouts:

1. Area Check

This check is to ensure the area around the crane is clear. Some of these activities include:

  • Know the location of the crane disconnect switch.
  • Make sure there are no warning signs present
  • Check to make sure workers are not working near the area
  • Look ahead to verify there is nothing around the area where the load will be moved.
  • Check to make sure the below-the-hook devices are designed for the crane in use and will safely be able to lift the load.
  • Make sure that the load capacity is equal to or less than the capacity of the crane.

2. Preliminary Check

Once the area check has been performed, the operator can begin the preliminary check of the equipment. This should be done before he or she touches any controls.

  • Check the electric systems, bridge, runway, trolley, and hoist to make sure there are no loose, broken, or damaged parts.
  • Make sure the wire rope is seated in the drums grooves properly.
  • Ensure that the open power source is secure and there is nothing close.
  • Check the strain reliefs or brushings to make sure that no wires are pulled.
  • Make sure there is no damage to the pushbutton pendant.

3. Equipment Safety Check

After the preliminary check is complete, the crane operator must perform a safety check of the crane itself to make sure it is in working order. This is to ensure there is no potential for malfunction.

Several different categories need to be signed off when checking the equipment.

  • Check all powered systems. Including, making sure the power button is not sticky, the hoist hook rises, and the upper limit switch is functioning properly.
  • Make sure all hooks are in working condition. There should be no more than 10% wear on any part of the hook.
  • Ensure there is no damage or cracks on the bottom block assembly. The sheaves should be able to rotate freely and smoothly.
  • Make sure there are no broken wires on the wire rope and load chain. There should be no kinks, cuts, or thermal damage to any ropes or chains.

Safety Comes First

Taking the time to make sure the crane is in safe operating status will prevent accidents on the job site.

Remember, this is not a comprehensive safety checklist. For any questions or needs, you may have, feel free to contact us.

We’re here to make sure any project you have will be successful.

AC and DC Motors: What You Need to Know

Do you know the difference between AC and DC motors?

If you’re shopping for motors, it’s helpful to know how each one works so you can decide what’s best to meet your needs. That’s why we’ve put together this essential guide to help you learn the difference between AC and DC.

Read on to find out what you need to know!

AC and DC Motors: A Short Guide

Most motors are either direct-current (DC) or alternating-current (AC). Let’s take a look at the basic difference between the two types of motors.

The essential difference between the two motors is right there in the name. AC motors use an alternating current to change electrical energy into mechanical energy. DC motors use direct current to achieve the same goal.

However, there are more detailed differences in the way each type of machine operates depending on its power source. Let’s take a closer look at what those are.

DC Motors: The Details

DC motors usually use a system of carbon brushes plus a commutation ring to change the current’s direction using a rotating armature. Fixed magnets inside the motor interact with an internal rotor to get the motor to turn.

Because of the carbon brushes, DC motors tend to have more limited lifespans. Most can last for about 1,000 to 1,500 hours, but if under a heavy load they may last for as little as 100 hours or less.

In ideal conditions, DC motors can operate much longer, though. These motors are very efficient, and lose efficiency only in a few specific areas. The winding and friction of the brushes are two places where these motors lose efficiency.

AC Motors: The Details

The AC induction motor, a common type of AC motor, uses a system of coils that get their power from the AC input voltage. This input voltage creates a stator field, which in turn induces the rotor field.

Another kind of AC motor, the synchronous motor, works using precision supply frequency. This kind of motor uses a current from either permanent magnets or slip rings to create a magnetic field.

AC synchronous motors are faster than AC induction motors because the induction motor’s speed is slowed down by the lack of synchronization.

AC motors are designed to operate according to a performance curve that aligns with the motor’s greatest efficiency. If the motor operates at a different point on the performance curve, efficiency will be lost.

Because AC motors need to use extra energy to create a magnetic field, they operate less efficiently than DC motors.

AC and DC Motors: What’s Best for You?

Both of these motor types operate differently and have a different performance. Depending on the task at hand, one kind of motor may be right for the job.

When you need to have external control of the motor speed, DC motors are usually best. However, AC motors are ideal when you want a strong performance for a longer period.

You should also consider wear and tear, and the cost of replacement parts. An electric DC motor will usually have more moving parts that are more costly to replace. For cheaper repairs, you’ll want an AC electric motor.

Need to buy the perfect motor for the job? We’ve got what you need! Check out our selection here.