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How to Balance Your Centrifuge (And Why It’s Important!)

Centrifuge equipment

Posted by: Richard Schildwachter on June 3, 2020 at 7:15 AM

Centrifuges are massive, powerful machines, and they operate in a very simple and consistent manner. Centrifuges are built to last. But just like any piece of equipment, they eventually reach the end of their usable life. And like most pieces of equipment, routine maintenance and service will make a centrifuge’s usable life longer. 

What Happens if a Centrifuge is Unbalanced? 

One of the most important characteristics for a centrifuge is balance. You see, centrifuges spin at extremely high speeds to separate material. And an unbalanced centrifuge will not operate at peak efficiency. In fact, diminished product quality or inconsistent product output can be an indicator of an unbalanced bowl. 

Even worse, an unbalanced centrifuge is dangerous! During operation, a centrifuge undergoes thousands of revolutions per minute. At that speed, an imbalance of just a few grams can pose serious risk. In order to keep operators safe and product quality high, centrifuges should be serviced to restore balance. 

The Basics of Centrifuge Balancing

dairy facility centrifuge

What Exactly Are We Balancing? 

When we talk about balancing a centrifuge, we’re not actually talking about the machine as a whole. We’re talking about the bowl. Over time, centrifuge bowls develop signs of wear, and as those signs of wear progress, bowl balancing will become necessary. 

Balancing a Centrifuge Bowl 

Bowl balancing requires specialized equipment. So, unlike field service where a technician visits customer facilities, bowl balancing means shipping your bowl to the shop. But don’t worry, sending your bowl in for balancing doesn’t have to halt your production facility. Instead, you can take advantage of our Bowl Rental Program while your bowl is receiving service.

Once your bowl has been cleaned, inspected, and repaired, setting the disc stack pressure is the last step prior to balancing. 

During balancing, the bowl is inserted into the balancing unit, we detect how many grams of runout are on the bowl. Then, we add weights to correct it. The precise measurement and location of these weights will tell us where the bowl needs to be milled. 

After milling, we perform a dry balance to see if the milling achieved balance. Then, we fill the bowl with water to test the wet balance. Once a bowl achieves wet balance, it is ready. 

Next, all there is to do is prep documentation of the service, clean the bowl, ship it to its facility, and reposition it on the centrifuge. 

Operating a Newly Balanced Centrifuge

With balance restored, your centrifuge will operate more efficiently. Not only does bowl balancing improve production, it helps your separation equipment meet the safety requirements of your facility.

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