TLT-Turbo On-site Test Lab Advances Product Quality

Global ventilation fans and systems manufacturer, TLT-Turbo GmbH, has spent the past five years investing in and equipping its on-site test lab. The test lab now provides streamlined processes for research, advancing product quality and expanded capabilities for material testing. With a focus on particle impact wear testing, the test lab is driving innovation forward at TLT-Turbo as the results help improve product reliability, quality and performance in their final operating environment.

Patrick Baumgärtner a Research and Development Engineer – and expert in wear and corrosion protection – at TLT-Turbo, has played an instrumental role in building up the test lab – located at the TLT-Turbo Development Centre in Zweibruecken, Germany – to its current capabilities. Together with Sabine Groh, Industrial Fans Product Manager at TLT-Turbo, they have been spearheading the current research.

Currently, the core field of research at the test lab is the testing of new wear-resistant materials and coatings for fan components. Baumgärtner says that the testing takes place in the lab’s solid particle impact wear test bench. There, various types of dust or abrasive particles are blasted onto the test material, varying the angle and speed of the blasting to observe the resulting wear. “We also carry out caking tests in which we select, for example, anti-adhesive layers for our fans, in order to find suitable solutions for customer applications. A further main focus is the analysis of process residues that can have an abrasive or corrosive effect. Here the composition, size distributions, pH value and conductivity in the eluate are determined,” Baumgärtner explains.

(Above) Part of the materials testing laboratory in Zweibrücken

TLT-Turbo’s approach is to continuously test materials, coatings and components in order to produce fan components that are designed for performance excellence in any operating environment – no matter how abrasive. This testing is applied to current and new products in development but also to samples that are brought in from client sites in order to establish the wear patterns caused by their specific environment. In this way, TLT-Turbo is able to provide each client with a customized solution that will last longer and require less maintenance. 

The test lab now offers facilities for metallography, a stereomicroscope, a pycnometer for determining the density of materials and coatings, and an automated solid particle impact wear test bench. “The capabilities of the test lab open a lot of doors for advanced research that will make a positive contribution to the engineering community at large as well,” says Baumgärtner. “Under my supervision, studies and thesis research takes place in the laboratory in cooperation with local colleges and universities. For me, this is the basis for successfully researching and developing new solutions in our field.”

According to Groh, the test lab has almost endless possibilities for the improvement of product delivery to clients. “Our customers are often operating TLT-Turbo fans in abrasive and/or corrosive environments. To develop suitable solutions that match the wear resistance against particle impact we use our automated solid particle impact test bench. Compressed air accelerates a defined mass flow of abrasive particles to velocities up to 300 m/s and propels them onto a piece of sample material. This leads to material loss and wear that we can examine.  It is even possible to use original dust from a customer’s plant to evaluate the most suitable solution for them. By varying the impact angle we can observe system characteristic wear curves. With this knowledge we can provide customized solutions for many processes.”

(Above) Exchangeable impeller blade exposed to massive wear

These customized solutions can be best illustrated in the selection of coatings. This, says Groh, has an immensely positive impact for TLT-Turbo clients. “If we were to propose a new coating for a customer, the wear rate of the coating would be determined first. That is the main scientific-based decision criteria for wear resistant coatings. If the coating has a superior wear rate compared to other coatings or at least a wear rate that is on par with other coatings and another beneficial quality such as anti-stick effect, corrosive resistance or a cost advantage it will be implemented into TLT´s coating portfolio.”

Groh says that they have also conducted tests that have led to the development of completely new proprietary coatings. “During the manufacturing process, coatings were tested to see the influence of welding heat on coating qualities – such as the development of cracks – to ascertain how to avoid damage caused by heat or weld splashes. We conducted research and testing on combining welded coatings and thin layer coating into a Hybrid Coating which can dramatically increase the operational lifespan of TLT-Turbo fans at their clients’ plants.”

This is one of numerous examples of how TLT-Turbo’s testing capability can positively impact ventilation systems across all applications. “Due to the broad database of wear tests on various materials and coatings, we are able to offer tailor-made wear protection solutions for various processes of our customers,” Baumgärtner acknowledges.

(Above) Blasting nozzle and sample holder of test bench

Groh agrees, adding that the wide variety of chemical compositions and coating conditions such as acceleration of coating powder and heat development make it extremely difficult to objectively find the best coating by carrying out testing at a customer plant. “The process of reaching just initial findings in these conditions is very time consuming. In addition to this, there is a broad variety of conditions to contend with at different customer plants that hinder an accurate comparison of different coatings at different plants. If you test different coatings on one machine you might get a rough estimation what coating is superior, however different wear rates of coating cause imbalances in the impeller and vibrations at the fan.”

She elaborates by explaining that finding a precise comparative measurement on different coatings is impossible without being able to analyse how the wear rate changes at different angles. “At the test lab we can control the conditions to find precisely what we are looking for in a shorter timeframe. Additionally we are able to replicate the fan’s operating environment. We can run tests using dust collected from the client site while simulating particle speeds that match the client’s environment to precisely simulate wear rates.”

In the laboratory environment, the TLT-Turbo team is also able to determine additional coating properties as they have the capability to run additional experiments, e.g. corrosive resistance, anti-stick effect, robustness, heat resistance, suitable application methods, and combination possibilities like hybrid coatings.

The test lab has afforded TLT-Turbo engineers a deeper understanding of the mechanisms behind wear and the effects of specialized solutions. This has led to new approaches in product advancement and development that are grounded in providing solutions that meet market requirements.

“The analysis of residues from plants has a great influence on product development as we are making more informed decisions when choosing materials for corrosive and abrasive environments,” says Baumgärtner.

This has also had an impact on TLT-Turbo’s aftermarket service offering. The test lab, has allowed for new customer services can be generated, such as the performance of specific tests for customers. “The development of new solutions for specific customer problems is now much faster and more accurate. Also the suitability of low cost approaches or solutions that allow for wear induced damages to be repaired on-site integrate effortlessly into TLT-Turbo’s existing solutions,” Groh concludes.

The test lab enables TLT to continuously improve their solution portfolio for different customer problems with a focus on wear. The combination of understanding the client’s exact requirements and challenges and having a tool that allows engineers to find the best solutions from a scientific basis are a key factor for success in the market and play an important role for TLT-Turbo’s on-going product development and quality client delivery.

– ENDS –

MEDIA CONTACT                                                       TLT-TURBO GLOBAL CONTACT

Oxigen Communications                                            Global Marketing Office

Nicola Weir                                                                 Anna Renner

nicola@oxigencomms.com                                        a.renner@tlt-turbo.com

About TLT-Turbo

TLT-Turbo GmbH builds radial and axial flow fans for virtually any application. First-rate engineering, tradition and progress in air handling technology and a worldwide support network have been the cornerstones of their excellent global renown as a fan and systems manufacturer for more than 140 years. TLT-Turbo GmbH fans and the associated system components are deployed successfully all over the globe. To date over 10,000 fans have already been installed. Their subsidiaries, branches and agencies span the globe including TLT-Turbo offices in Germany, China, Austria, Russia, South Korea, USA, Chile, Hungary, Australia, India and South Africa.

Visit www.tlt-turbo.com for more information.

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TLT-Turbo Introduces the Next Generation of Mechanical Vapor Recompression

TLT-Turbo GmbH, a global ventilation fans and systems manufacturer, has launched a new range of mechanical vapor recompression fans, with ceramic hybrid bearings that provide an exceptionally long operational lifespan. Integrating the latest ventilation technologies, this fan offers numerous advantages regarding performance efficiency, minimal maintenance and high reliability.

The TLT-Turbo fan for mechanical vapor recompression (MVR) has been in development since 2012 since the first case studies were carried out. Following intensive discussions with clients, TLT-Turbo established that a need existed for low maintenance MVR fans. This was followed by four years of intensive research, product testing and consultations with clients. The first MVR fans were rolled out in 2016 while continual product improvement has remained a focus area for TLT-Turbo.

“MVR fans have been available on the market for some time but instead of just following the trend, TLT-Turbo took time to ensure that we came to the market with a completely new, state of the art MVR solution,” says Mario Schmidt, Head of TLT-Turbo’s Vapor Fans business segment. “And we continue to have on-going discussions and feedback exchanges with our clients worldwide in order to continuously adapt and improve our MVR offering to their requirements.”

According to Schmidt, the features of TLT-Turbo’s MVR fan, such as the lower maintenance requirements and the introduction of hybrid ceramic bearings, underscores their commitment to developing products in close alignment to their clients and their needs, and also speaks to TLT-Turbo’s key objective for continual innovation.

(Above) The new TLT-Turbo fan for Mechanical Vapor Recompression

The implementation of hybrid ceramic bearings is a key differentiator of the TLT-Turbo MVR fan. “Our clients are amazed by the possibility of a hybrid bearing operating at high speed without circulating oil. Conventional roller bearings do not provide the required support for operating the fan in a broad operational speed range without running into harmful resonance frequencies (under critical operation). Thanks to continuous enhancement in recent years, especially through the use of ceramic materials, more effective roller bearings are available today. The use of hybrid bearings with steel rings combined with ceramic rollers has been established in many industrial applications and in the case of the TLT-Turbo MVR fan, hybrid ceramic bearings mean significantly lower maintenance requirements and better operational performance,” Schmidt explains.

The hybrid ceramic bearings used in TLT-Turbo MVR fans are life time greased and can be operated for up to 10 years without requiring maintenance. To enhance this benefit for clients, TLT-Turbo introduced an additional device to the fan’s design that allows for the bearing to be re-greased from the outside in order to further simplify maintenance and to increase the fans’ service life.

High motor speeds, a wide range of optimized impellers and the allowance for high temperature and pressure increases complement the lifetime greased hybrid ceramic bearings to ensure that clients benefit from the enhanced performance and efficiency that they have come to expect from TLT-Turbo products. These factors allow for operation of the fan below critical speed which ensures both reliability and safe operation.

(Above) A high efficiency will be achieved with an optimized impeller design

“Reliability and safety are key concerns for our clients and TLT-Turbo has addressed this in the MVR fan by using high quality components. Thanks to the use of the hybrid bearings, no oil supply or oil pump is necessary which means that no oil can contaminate the product. In addition to this, the fan also features temperature and vibration monitoring and remote monitoring of the bearing is possible as well. Our entire manufacturing process is carried out according to all major quality standards, including DIN ISO 9001,” says Schmidt.

The TLT-Turbo MVR fan is suited to numerous applications in the chemical, pharmaceutical, waste water treatment, and the organic natural product production industries as well as in the food and beverage process and manufacturing sectors. “Since 2018, we have received 35 orders for MVR fans across the globe with one installation completed. Thus far, the feedback from clients has been very positive. We have received reports that the bearing temperature is considerable lower than that of other comparable MVR fans and that our fan runs with less vibration than other MVR fans,” Schmidt affirms.

“Overall, TLT-Turbo’s objective was to offer our clients a mechanical vapor recompression solution that would outperform what was currently available on the market. We have delivered a fan that requires less maintenance while providing high efficiency and reliability. This is exactly what clients would expect from TLT-Turbo as a world class fan manufacturer and global service organization.”

– ENDS –

MEDIA CONTACT                                                       TLT-TURBO GLOBAL CONTACT

Oxigen Communications                                            Global Marketing Office

Nicola Weir                                                                 Anna Renner

nicola@oxigencomms.com                                        a.renner@tlt-turbo.com

About TLT-Turbo

TLT-Turbo GmbH builds radial and axial flow fans for virtually any application. First-rate engineering, tradition and progress in air handling technology and a worldwide support network have been the cornerstones of their excellent global renown as a fan and systems manufacturer for more than 140 years. TLT-Turbo GmbH fans and the associated system components are deployed successfully all over the globe. To date over 10,000 fans have already been installed. Their subsidiaries, branches and agencies span the globe including TLT-Turbo offices in Germany, China, Austria, Russia, South Korea, USA, Chile, Hungary, Australia, India and South Africa.

Visit www.tlt-turbo.com for more information.

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ACHEMA 2018 – Strong visitor Interest at the TLT-Turbo Booth

At this year’s ACHEMA 2018, we once again presented our MVR Turbo Fan for mechanical vapor recompression. This year, we demonstrated the fan to the audience with a sanded and highly polished impeller, as an example of how it is applied for use in the pharmaceutical industry.

The TLT-Turbo Mechanical Vapor Recompression (MVR) fan attracted a large number of visitors to the booth. Our engineers presented the energy-efficient process in detail to interested visitors representing the process, chemical and pharmaceutical industries.

The innovative bearing concept – a hybrid ceramic bearing that is grease-lubricated at the factory and requires neither regular oil changes nor an oil supply – aroused great interest. With this concept, maintenance and thus operating costs can be reduced significantly.

The units are available in two different versions: the basic version includes the fan on a base frame with monitoring sensors whereas the complete package contains a motor and frequency converter. Depending on the application, different stainless steel housings and impeller types can be selected. In addition to the standard impellers made of duplex stainless steel, and models made of super duplex or titanium are also available.

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TLT-Turbo at Drinktec 2017

Drinktec 2017 held in Munich, with over 76,000 visitors, was a special highlight for TLT-Turbo GmbH. It was TLT’s first participation at Drinktec and at our booth we presented the TLT-Turbo fan for mechanical vapour recompression – MVR for short.

In a relaxed atmosphere with pretzels and TLT-Turbo wheat beer, trade visitors were able to see the outstanding technology of the MVR fans for themselves. The innovative storage concept in particular was met with great interest from numerous visitors. Both plant constructors and plant operators see the TLT-Turbo Hybrid Ceramic Bearing as a major advantage over conventional oil-lubricated bearing arrangements.

Come and see TLT-Turbo’s quality and innovation for yourself. Visit us at the ACHEMA 2018 in Frankfurt. You will find us in Hall 5.1 at Stand A90.

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New Service Workshop Now In Operation

Repairing up to 40 tons in four weeks! Our new service workshop enables cost-effective and fast overhauls of industrial fans.

Sustainability is becoming increasingly important for industrial ventilation systems. Significantly fewer new investments are being made in this area and old systems are used and maintained for as long as possible instead. In order to support its customers, TLT-Turbo GmbH, one of the world’s largest fan manufacturers, commissioned a new service workshop in Bad Hersfeld at the beginning of November 2017. In this workshop, all types of large industrial fans – both radial and axial –with weights of up to 40 ton will be overhauled and repaired in the future. In addition, the production area was expanded by 1500m² and the production and assembly areas were updated to meet new requirements.

“With regard to revisions, our customers increasingly make their decisions based on price and leadtime, which can be explained by growing cost pressure,” explains Matthias Adamy, Sales Director for After Sales Services at TLT-Turbo GmbH. “This increases the need for cost-effective and fast revisions. This is why we have decided to set up a service workshop that supports our customers with fast, flexible and uncomplicated service. Rapid processing in particular is an essential requirement here as the rapid replacement of defective or maintenance-needy rotors is crucial. Downtime can be shortened and system availability increased thanks to a short throughput time. For this reason, three types of revisions will be offered in the service workshop in future, which are characterized by a standardized procedure for diagnosis and repair. In addition to the standard and findings-oriented overhauls, there is now also a so-called rapid overhaul. This only takes four to six weeks, which means a time saving of about six months compared to conventional maintenance and repair. The reduction in processing time is also accompanied by a reduction in costs.”

Despite the short duration, TLT Turbo can guarantee the highest quality with the aid of component tests, functional tests for rotors, quality and surface crack tests. For this purpose, the specialist workshop has qualified personnel, all the necessary machinery and testing equipment for disassembly, cleaning, diagnosis, repair and assembly, as well as close links to the specialist departments, such as design and quality assurance. “In contrast to a repair on site, it is more advantageous to have a diagnostic report made in the service workshop, as the equipment, workshop and personnel support at the location where the fans are used are often not ideal,” Adamy explains. “An inspection directly at the customer should therefore always be an exception due in special circumstances”.

Process optimisation for smooth handling

In order to ensure that orders can be processed smoothly in the workshop even at full capacity, separate sections for dismantling and final assembly were set up and route and transport optimisation was implemented. “Due to the greatly reduced processing time, the new concept requires continuous improvement of internal processes and external communication. Through efficient cooperation and communication with subcontractors, for example, spare parts can be delivered and installed more quickly,” Adamy confirms. Especially for components with comparatively long delivery times, TLT-Turbo offers its customers consulting appointments with regard to spare parts stocking, so that revisions can be carried out as quickly as possible. The spatial extension also allows significantly more flexibility and space for handling workpieces of all kinds. For this purpose, several storage racks were installed in which up to 450 pallets can be accommodated. TLT-Turbo attaches particular importance to the transparency and traceability of the orders: This means that the status of the revision can be queried online at any time.

The new service workshop was presented to selected business partners at a Customer Day on 8 November 2017. “We want to signal to the industry that our focus is on service. To this end, we deploy highly qualified personnel who are familiar with diagnostic findings, repairs and the replacement of parts,” concludes Adamy.

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