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

Separators employee balancing a centrifuge

Posted by: Richard Schildwachter on June 13, 2023 at 12:23 PM

Centrifuges are massive, powerful machines. While these machines operate in a simple, consistent manner, the moment a centrifuge bowl becomes unbalanced, the centrifuge quickly becomes one of the most dangerous pieces of equipment on your production floor.

What Happens if a Centrifuge Is Unbalanced? 

Centrifuges spin at extremely high speeds to separate material. As a result, one of the most important characteristics for a centrifuge is balance.

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. 

An unbalanced centrifuge is not only inefficient, but it's 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

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. 

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 production. Instead, you can take advantage of our Bowl Rental Program while your bowl is receiving service.

Balancing a Centrifuge Bowl 

Balancing a bowl follows a similar process each time you ship it to our shop for service.

Step 1. When we receive your bowl, we'll clean it and inspect it for signs of pitting, galling, or cracking.

Step 2. We'll insert your bowl into the balancing unit so that we can detect how many grams of runout are on the bowl. Then, we'll add weights to correct it. The precise measurement and location of these weights will tell us where the bowl needs to be milled. 

Step 3. After milling, we'll perform a dry balance to see if the milling achieved balance.

Step 4. If the bowl is balanced during our dry run, we'll fill the bowl with water to test the wet balance. Once a bowl achieves wet balance, it is ready to return to your plant. 

Cleaning centrifuge

Once your bowl is balanced properly, we will prepare documentation of the service completed, clean up the bowl, and ship it back to your facility. If you've been using a rental bowl while your bowl is in the shop, we'll swap your newly balanced bowl and pack the rental up for return.

Benefits of Balancing Your Centrifuge Bowl

Eventually, every industrial centrifuge bowl requires balancing. Without this essential service, your centrifuge will quickly become unsafe and inefficient. Not to mention that delayed maintenance can take years off a bowl's life.

Once balance is restored, your centrifuge will operate more efficiently, meaning less time and money wasted to produce the same product. This service also helps your separation equipment meet the safety requirements of your facility and keeps your staff safe on the plant floor.

Need to Send in Your Bowl for Balancing?

We take care of bowl balancing right here in the United States. Learn more about what services we offer at our Indianapolis shop.

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