Bay of Plenty Energy Screen Cleaner Review

January 1970

At the Aniwhenua Hydro Station a reliability issue with their screen cleaner was concerning Bay of Plenty Energy. There had been a repeat failure of the pivot arm which has the potential to severely limit generation capacity of the station. Mainstream Engineering was engaged by mechanical engineer Gil Clarke to assist in determining the cause of failure using strain gauging methodologies and FEA capabilities.

After visiting the site and further discussions with both the engineering and trades staff involved in the maintenance of this equipment, it was decided to develop a 3D model of the equipment using our Solid Works software and then apply Finite Element Analysis techniques to determine the possible cause of failure. If this was not conclusive then strain gauges would be fitted and monitored to gather further information.

The FEA analysis of the 3D model showed quite clearly where stress concentrations existed, their value and why they occurred causing the failure of the arm and Mainstream Engineering assisted with recommendations for possible ways to resolve this.

It was great to see the use of technology to prove what people suspected to be the case and eliminate any doubt as to the resolution of this potentially serious reliability issue.