Rheem New Zealand Ltd, a water heater manufacturer, opened in Auckland and Wellington in the late 1960s.
It was the first overseas venture for Rheem Australia, a drum and water heater manufacturer. Today, it is part of Paloma/Rheem USA, one of the largest manufacturers of water heaters in the world. Rheem New Zealand Ltd’s headquarters and major manufacturing operation is located in the Auckland suburb of Avondale.
Application & Challenge
A critical part of the water heater manufacturing process is the baking of the enamel coating on the steel water heater tanks. The furnace chain rollers that carry the tanks through the oven were regularly failing due to the extremely high temperatures. The furnace bakes the enamel on at 900°C (1652°F).
The bearings on the two extractor fans for the furnace were also failing because of the heat, causing the oven to be switched off and leading to a serious and expensive loss of production. The air temperature entering the extractor fan ducting is 925°C (1697°F).
The plant switched lubricants and began applying LE’s Almasol High Temperature Lubricant (1250) to the furnace chain rollers and extractor fan bearings.
The engineering foreman, said that after switching to Almasol High Temperature Lubricant the Rheem factory experienced a dramatic reduction in the number of furnace roller failures. Normally, these failures are due to a lack of proper relubrication. The extractor fan bearings have not failed at all since Rheem began using Almasol. Instead of frequent replacements, Rheem is now replacing the extractor fan bearings only once annually as a precaution.
Other LE Products Used
- Almaplex® Industrial Lubricant (1275)
- Quinplex® Food Machinery Lubricant (4025)
- Monolec® Industrial Lubricant (4701)
- Almasol® Dry Film Lubricant (9200)