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Prevent Facility Downtime With Centrifuge and Separator Service Checks

centrifuge service

Posted by: Quenton Lind on June 21, 2022 at 7:00 AM

Any problems with your centrifuge, no matter how minor, can halt your operations at a moment’s notice. And every minute your equipment isn’t working, you're losing time and money.

So what is the most efficient way to prevent facility downtime?

It all comes back to fundamentals. Centrifuge service checks, calibration, and preventative maintenance are as important as regular dentist visits. And the cost of downtime, repair, or replacement for poorly maintained centrifuge equipment is just as unpleasant (and even more expensive) than an unexpected root canal.

Centrifuges do their job extraordinarily well, but only if you take the proper care to keep them running smoothly. Here are a few critical steps you can take to avoid facility downtime with the help of service checks.

Prioritize routine inspections.

separators employee doing maintenance on a centrifuge

First things first: every centrifuge comes with a manual that includes important details regarding upkeep and maintenance, including what cleaners and disinfectants are safe to use on it, and which ones aren’t. (Trust us — you’ll want to read the fine print on this one.)

Routine inspections refer to daily, weekly, and monthly inspections that keep your equipment running smoothly. When completing your routine cleanings, remember to check all of these boxes:

  • Levelness of the centrifuge
  • Clean the exterior and interior with warm water, a sponge, and mild detergent
  • Avoid plastic scrub brushes and caustic detergents
  • Use centrifuge lubricants to lubricate rubber seals
  • Ensure all users know how to operate the centrifuge properly

As you move forward, it’s important to keep a record of what days you complete service checks and cleanings. Be sure to stick to a schedule; checklists and calendars are your friend.

As you do your routine maintenance, keep an eye and ear out for vibrations or abnormal noises that may be coming from the equipment. These can be red flags indicating that a full inspection is needed.

If you or your team notice anything out of the ordinary, we always recommend you consult a skilled technician to identify and address the issue. As with most complex equipment, it’s not always easy to spot.

centrifuge part being inspected for maintenance

Schedule minor services for your centrifuge.

Minor services refer to maintenance of the top end of your centrifuge or separator. These types of services should be done at least every six months. If your equipment is being used 24/7, then minor services should be performed more frequently.

Minor servicing begins with disassembling the bowl and inspecting the pumps and disc stack. Each disc should be cleaned manually and checked for cracks or defects.  While inspecting the bowl, check for corrosion on the pistons, and look for any galling in the bowl.

Once the full disc stack has been torn down and removed from the distributor, the bowl can be fitted with new gaskets. This kind of work requires a professional, so be sure to hire out. 

It’s important that you are properly cleaning your centrifuge daily, or minor services can take much longer  (including a lengthened pre-soak and caustic wash cycle).

Centrifuges 101: Everything you need to know

Don’t delay major services for your centrifuge.

No matter how well you take care of your centrifuge, general wear and tear is expected, and major services will still be required. But how will major services affect your facility?

Major servicing includes everything that minor servicing includes, plus some more involved checks and adjustments. It generally includes:

  • All minor service maintenance on the top portion of the centrifuge
    • Bowl disassembly/cleaning
    • Inspection/replacement of the pumps and disc stack
    • Inspection/replacement of pistons and gaskets
  • Inspection and maintenance of the bottom/base, including:
    • Inspection/replacement of gears
    • Inspection/replacement of seals
    • Inspection/replacement of belts

The most important final step of a major service is calibration. Calibration entails flushing water through the centrifuge, looking for leaks, and checking for any discharge that may occur. Improper calibration can lead to some unpleasant problems, so we’d leave this one to the pros.

Not sure how to prepare for your maintenance check-up? Check out our pre-maintenance checklist.

bolt being tightened on a centrifuge

Prevent facility downtime by staying current on your service checks.

You may see servicing as a necessary evil, but it’s better than a complete breakdown of your centrifuge or separator, which can lead to days of downtime. By taking simple preventive steps, you can avoid costly halts in operation — and decrease the frequency of costly repairs. 

Keep your equipment clean, follow a maintenance schedule, and perform annual preventative maintenance to get the maximum productivity and longevity out of your centrifuge. 

To schedule centrifuge maintenance performed by experienced, reliable technicians, contact Separators today.

Contact A Separators Rep