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MRF Safety Measures for COVID-19

Safety

MRF is closely monitoring the updates around the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Even though, for the time being, our region is mildly affected in comparison to other areas around the country, we have taken precautionary measures based on the given advice and guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO).

For the safety of our staff and our customers, we are asking our sales team to work with customers through digital channels as much as possible. We’re also postponing some of our in-person events while turning others into virtual developments to further avoid unnecessary risks.

We will keep you updated of any changes or modifications that will need to take place during these trying times. From all of us here at MRF, Stay Safe.

DUE TO COVID-19

Ceramics Expo 2020 is Rescheduled for September 22 – 23, 2020

Ceramics Expo 2020 provides an unrivaled opportunity to see first-hand and up close the innovations in materials, processes, and products that are driving today’s ceramic manufacturing industry.”
We look forward to seeing you at the expo this year. Come by and chat with us, or better yet, make an appointment with a member of our sales team now to meet at the Ceramics Expo. Let us, at MRF, help you custom design a furnace that works for your process or provide you with the right support for your current system.

MRF is a manufacturer of high-temperature vacuum and controlled atmosphere furnaces for processing ceramics, metals, alloys and synthetic materials. The company has been providing custom and standard furnaces since 1990, aiding in the development and production of innovative materials found in Medical, Aerospace, Energy, Electronics, Nuclear and many other sectors within specialized industries.

Reference
Enabling a clear, efficient, and electrified future. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.ceramicsexpousa.com/visit/

 


General:

A program of regular inspection and maintenance of your vacuum furnace is essential to the safe and reliable operation of the equipment and should be instituted and followed rigorously. Order replacement parts early or keep spares on-site to avoid unnecessary furnace downtime. Basic heating devices such as heating elements and shield insulation used in MRF and other competitors’ furnaces are designed for ease of maintenance. MRF prides itself on intelligent and robust designs that facilitate an active maintenance program. Please contact us for more information or fill out a request form for field service here.

 

What to look for when performing your maintenance and care checklist:

 

A. Vacuum System (mechanical pumps two-stage rotary)

Mechanical vacuum pumps should be checked and repaired as required. A partial list follows:

*Check drive belts to insure they are not worn.

*Check drive belts to ensure that tension is proper.

*Check oil leaks at the shaft seals.

*Check or Change the oil.

*Check for dirt and water accumulation.

*Drain drip legs.

*Check motor mounting bolts.

*Check and ensure vacuum connectors are tight.

*Grease bearings.

*Check electrical connectors.

*Check bearing housing oil.

*Monitor electrical current during operation.

*Check inlet screen filters.

*If vacuum levels are marginal, perform a blank-off test.


B. Vacuum System (diffusion pumps): As required

*Check and/or change oil level.

*Check and/or flush water-cooling circuits.

*Check and ensure that vacuum connections are tight.

*Clean refrigeration compressor.

*Check heating elements to ensure they are tight and indicate proper
electrical parameters.


C. Turbo and /or Cyro pumping system: To be determined as required

*Check and/or install rebuild kits as required.

*Clean Refrigeration Compressor.


D. Vacuum valves & pneumatic equipment

*Check regulator pressure setting.

*Check air supply filter is drained and operating properly.

*Check pilot valves not leaking excess air.

*Ensure that moving O-ring seals are cleaned or changed when there are indications of excess wear.

*Check filter element.


E. Vacuum chamber and general arrangement

*Check O-rings- Clean and grease as necessary.

*Check flanges and clean. Polish with Scotch Brite if necessary.

*Clean sight glass and pyrometer ports.

*Leak check or conduct rate of rise test…leak detector required.

*Check the chamber for evidence of hotspots and improper cooling.

*With a brush or other devices remove major oxides and contamination from
the hot zone and accessible areas of the cold wall chamber. Blow out
contaminate with a dry air hose.

*Run furnace to near maximum design temperature and maximum
vacuum to burn out furnace contaminates.

*Check the fit and sealing of doors, gaskets, seals, etc. to ensure cleanliness,
freedom from cracks or gouges and retention of elasticity. Give particular
attention to all doors and or lids where work regularly passes.


F. Power supply, interlocks, electrical and hot zone

Power supply issues:

*Check primary and secondary wiring cables to ensure they are tight
and free from overheating, pitting or arcing.

*Check for proper ventilation and air cooling or proper water flow
per unit or transformer.

*Check contactor, motor starters, light bulbs and indicator lamps for
serviceability, excessive contact wear and or poor connectivity.

*Check and clean air circulation vents, filters on heat exchangers and
cooling fans.

*Check power feed throughs (PFT) for the condition of copper,
connectivity, and serviceability of all components.


Interlocks and alarms: Periodic checks of all safety interlocks and alarms should be performed. Particular attention should be given to over-temperature safety devices, hazardous gas, low air pressure, insufficient cooling water, vacuum, oil temperature, and low oil alarms.

*Check over-temperature interlock and fail-safe devices, making certain that the control instrument or recorder drives/operates in the proper direction.

*Test visible or audible alarms for proper signals.

*Test manual and automatic turn-down equipment.

*Check water interlock for proper shutdown of equipment.

*Check vacuum interlock.

*Check all relief valves and clean if necessary.


Electrical

*Check thermocouples and lead wires for broken insulators, shorts,
and loose connections.

*Check and inspect all electrical switches and contacts, repair as required.

*Check instrumentation for “on conditions” and active operation.

*Review power instrumentation and zone settings.


Hot zone:

*Check furnace internals in detail for heating element, heat shield,
work support or mechanism failure or deterioration.

*Check element current balance.


G. Water and gas system

Water system:

*Check flow switch operation, clean and adjust as required.

*Flush water circuits.
*Check and flush water filter and strainer.

*Check for water leaks and loose water hose connection.

*Check and clean water chiller.


Inert Gas System

*Check and clean relief valve.

*Check and clean backflow preventors.
*For Hydrogen system use- check burn-off igniter for proper function.

*For Hydrogen system use- check blow off port for proper function.

*For Hydrogen system use- check inert gas purge flow.

*Check each gas pressure switch for proper setting.

*Check gas flow switch for proper setting.

Expos and Conferences Oh My!

ceramics expo 2017

Ceramics Expo 2017

Ever heard of the Ceramics Expo?  This annual event is the largest USA “manufacturing trade show for ceramic materials and technologies.  Ceramics Expo provides an unrivaled opportunity to see first-hand and up close the innovations in materials, processes and products that are driving today’s ceramic manufacturing industry.”

If your industry or application field is related to ceramics, this event is a worthwhile visit. The expo is in its third year and has increased in size rapidly since its inception. This not only attests to the industry’s upsurge, but also to the event’s relevance to the entire ceramics manufacturing supply chain.  “The massively expanded event stands as a unique showcase for all the latest start materials, industrial equipment, technical ceramic components, processing expertise, analysis and testing devices, thermal technologies and precision finishing systems that keep this sector at the forefront of manufacturing advances”.

The event will have numerous Industry experts presenting on various topics, covering anything from the latest R&D, applications, materials, manufacturing and even packaging. The event will have over 270 manufacturers and 3500 attendees, with a full hall of exhibitors and plenty of networking opportunities.

As a supplier of high temperature furnaces, MRF has been serving the ceramics industry for over 26 years with its expertise in custom high temperature furnaces for specific applications and processes. Tim Jones, Business Development Manager at MRF, will be available during the expo to answer any questions about our product offering and how we can answer your manufacturing needs.

The 2017 ACS Ceramics Expo, will be held in Cleveland, Ohio from April 25 – 27th.

Images property of  American Ceramics Society.