Monthly Archives: June 2013

Magnom keeps Caterpillar trucks rolling across the USA

One of the USA’s largest and best-known dealers for Caterpillar off-road vehicles, Whayne Supply, has teamed up with a UK engineering firm, Magnom, to introduce magnetic filtration units that have been shown to increase operational efficiency and decrease downtime. The Magnom filtration units, which remove ferrous particles, are being used in conjunction with traditional barrier techniques to provide unmatched levels of filtration on the vehicles. The custom-designed units, using patented Magnom technology, are now in volume production.

Magnom engineers, led by the company’s technology director and original inventor Jobey Marlowe worked with Whayne Supply over a three year period to develop the custom units for the Caterpillar vehicles. Whayne Supply focuses on the Kentucky and southern Indiana markets and is marketing the new filters to other North American Caterpillar dealers.

Whayne Supply’s technology division general manager Edwin Downer said: “During testing, we were convinced by the results that adding Magnom units to the machine systems would reduce both operating expenses and unscheduled downtime.”

Magnom chairman Robert Spender said: “It is especially pleasing to us to be working with a partner that has the resources to introduce the benefits of Magnom technology to a wider audience. These benefits quickly translate into reduced warranty and general maintenance costs and so we are quietly confident of take up across North America.“

About Whayne Supply
Whayne Supply Company of Louisville, Kentucky opened in 191 and is one of the oldest and largest Caterpillar dealers in the United States. With 1300 employees and 12 facilities across Kentucky and southern Indiana, Whayne Supply also represents other equipment manufacturers serving the construction, mining, agriculture, forestry and power generation markets.

Magnom PumpMate wins coveted AB Standard and approval for specification from Bosch Rexroth engineers

The Magnom solution to the challenge of removing aggressive microscopic magnetic contamination from hydraulic fluid circuits continues to win favour among the engineering profession. The UK Company’s PumpMate product is now approved for specification by Bosch Rexroth design engineers.

Bosch Rexroth [www.boschrexroth.com] is an acknowledged global leader in industrial hydraulics with over 500,000 customers worldwide, to whom it supplies standard and custom engineering solutions that are used in everything from lifting bridges and wind turbines to off-road machinery and vehicles.

To maintain its position as a global leader, Bosch Rexroth places stringent requirements on component suppliers. Only when all of its performance and specification requirements are tested and met will Bosch Rexroth give a component such as Magnom’s PumpMate the respected AB Standard seal of approval.

The Magnom PumpMate solves the problem of the microscopic magnetic contaminants that are so often the root cause of catastrophic system failure when sensitive system component like pumps and valves are not protected. Before the development of Magnom technology, engineers were restricted in their choice of protective filters because traditional barrier methods restrict fluid flow. Uniquely, the Magnom PumpMate filters capture particles down to sub-micron levels and are designed to protect hydraulic pumps without any restriction of flow and so they can be fitted on the suction side of pumps with negligible risk of cavitation.

“Magnom’s patented technology is a step change for hydraulic engineering and we are delighted to have received the first orders from an organisation with the reputation for excellence that Bosch Rexroth so deservedly enjoys, “ said Magnom chairman Robert spender.

British Engineering chosen to help greening of Chinese manufacturing

Chinese machinery manufacturers are recognising the importance of green credentials and are emphasising energy efficiency in their sales and marketing activities.

One such company is Donghua Machinery Limited (www.donghua-ml.com) in Guangdong Province, which has chosen patented filtration technology from British company Magnom to boost the green credentials and the energy efficiency of its plastic injection moulding machines. Magnom filters have been fitted to over 1000 machines to date.

With world-wide patents in place and a customer base that now includes well-known OEMs and big names such as JCB, Rexroth, Mercury Marine the and Whayne Cat in the USA, Warwickshire-based Magnom is a company that is attracting increasing interest from investors. Its technology is recognised as the world leader in its field.

Donghua chose Magnom filters as the preferred option for its eco-friendly and energy-saving servo driven machines. Maintaining the high flow rate of hydraulic fluid and minimising energy loss depends on effective protection of components and thus filtration of contaminants. The filters in Donghua machines therefore feature Magnom’s patented magnetic filters, which remove damaging metallic particles of all sizes down to sub-micron size.

Magnom filters are chosen by engineers world wide working on projects ranging from Formula 1 power units to domestic heating boilers, wind turbines and heavy-duty coal crushers. The unique core design of the technology ensures fluid flow through its core is unrestricted while the unique powerful magnetic field created internally surrounds the free-flowing fluid, efficiently removing aggressive sub micron metallic contaminants.

Magnom chairman Robert Spender said: “We understand that Injection moulding machine OEM’s in China produce 25,000 machines per month. It’s a market with huge potential for a company like Magnom. Our patented technology delivers performance in a class of its own. It cannot be replicated, no matter how hard our rivals try.”

Time to demand a better way to remove contaminants in central heating systems, says Magnom

Everyone ‘knows’ that contamination in a central heating systems is a problem but, before you decide how to tackle it, you need to understand what it is and the risks of using the wrong remedy – or even no remedy at all. None of the current solutions, it seems are right for the smaller and more efficient, boilers that are more susceptible to contamination.

Jobey Marlowe, technical director of Magnom, pioneers in magnetic filtration and developers of the technology behind the well-known Boiler Buddy filters says installers should be demanding more from magnetic filters:

Part ‘L’ of the building regulations specifies that a system should be cleaned or fitted with a cleaner prior to the installation of a new boiler, yet feed-back from boiler OEM’s & installers suggests that even newly fitted boilers can still fail shortly after power flushing. So installers and boiler OEM’s alike have been looking for a way of preventing premature boiler failure and maintaining optimum system performance.

This has led to a bewildering choice between power flushing, dosing of systems and mechanical system filters or combinations of all three that suggests a lack of common belief or understanding of what the main system issues are and what the optimum solution should be.

When a system is new, the threat comes from built-in contaminant, in the form of plaster dust, balled and flake solder, brick and concrete dust, insulation fibres, timber fragments/sawdust, etc, that can find their way into the system no matter how careful installers are. This type of contamination tends to cause boiler problems within the first few months of commissioning. Common problems of built-in, non-magnetic contamination are diverter valve malfunction, pump failure, blocking of metered orifices.

As systems age, the threat generally comes from magnetite (a product of erosion) generated from the inner surfaces of radiators and steel pipe work as well as older iron heat exchangers. This magnetite is a common cause of diverter valve malfunction, pump failure, blocking of primary and secondary heat exchangers leading to poor efficiency, restriction in radiators and thermostatic valve failure. I think of it as the hidden assassin.

The current options for domestic heating systems are:

  • Power Flushing
    • Washing contamination out of the system seems like a good idea but, a power flush might just loosen magnetite from internal surfaces only for it to become dislodged later, hence the bewildering (and, for installers, expensively time consuming) experience of ‘new’ boilers failing soon after power flushing.
  • Inhibitors
    • Generally speaking, inhibitors do a good job of slowing down the corrosion within a system, but they unfortunately don’t stop it and obviously can’t do anything about contaminant present in a system. They are good to use in conjunction with a mechanical filter/cleaner, but not a solution in its self.
  • Mechanical system cleaners
    • There are many variations on a theme (typically a magnet in a container of some form) that populate the after market, from units that only address magnetite, to units that are claimed to remove both magnetic and non magnetic contaminants. Some are very small, some very large, some claim high efficiency, some have a strong presence in the aftermarket, some only really used by the boiler manufacturers.

Jobey Marlowe says that the specification that we should all be demanding is a mechanical filter that:

  1. removes both magnetite or non magnetic contaminants,
  2. is small and discreet enough to be located in a domestic environment,
  3. is aesthetically appealing to be used in a domestic environment
  4. is very simple and easy to service and install, and
  5. helps to maintain performance and minimise energy consumption.

This all points to the next generation of Magnom filters. Expect an announcement soon.

No room for failure as Didcot A coal-fired power station keeps working to the end

The four 500MWe generating units RWE npower’s Didcot A power station began burning coal over 40 years ago in 1970. Yet the station remains in perfect working order thanks to a dedicated maintenance team that have kept all of its coal feeders, boilers and pulverisers running – with a little help from British engineers at Magnom who have eliminated much of the wear and tear on 32 vulnerable gearboxes.

Didcot A operates as an opted out station under the Large Combustion Plant Directive (LCPD), meaning that it must close by 31 December 2015 at the latest. However, it continues to play an important role in meeting the national demand for electricity, supplying power to meet the needs of around 2 million households in the UK. Commercial logic dictates that replacement of major items of plant should be kept to a minimum, although the maintenance team still have a crucial role to play in keeping the station running smoothly and efficiently. Using Magnom filtration to reduce the need for five or six new gearboxes a year to just one in the 24 months has made a massive, immediate and welcomes impact on running costs.

The gearboxes that are now protected by Magnom filters control the 32 mills that pulverise coal into a fine dust that is blown into the burners. Each mill has 20 massive steel balls weighing in at a ton each, and the gearboxes have a big job to do. Inevitably there will be some wear so that small, even microscopic, metallic parts will find their way into the lubricant where they can do a surprising amount of damage very quickly.

Having been torn from other metal parts, these contaminants will be hard and create scratches and fissures that, deceptively small as they are, soon become a focus for localised stress. The damage progresses exponentially and, as Didcot A’s maintenance team leader David Williams said; “Once the chain clash royale boom reaction gets a grip, a gearbox can fail very quickly, bringing the mill to a grinding halt.”

Magnom’s patented magnetic filters are easy to design in as they are simply installed In-Line where they do not affect fluid flow at all. Hydraulic fluids and lubricants flow unimpeded through the open core of the filtration unit, while a remarkable powerful magnetic field pulls metal contaminants out and, just as importantly, hold into it until the maintenance team are ready to clean it off. Simple magnetic filter designs start to lose their power of attraction as soon as they become coated with ferrous debris.”

“It is good to be involved in a project that has shown such enormous returns on investment so quickly and so measurably,” said Magnom technical director Jobey Marlow. Even better, we’ve been able to achieve these results for Didcot A with standard Magnom products, and we have no doubt that we can deliver equally good results for the new generations of powergen technologies.”