We’re a Northern California company that has a proven track-record in providing effective solutions for ongoing tribological problems. Tribology can best be defined as, “The science of the mechanisms of friction, lubrication, and wear of interacting surfaces that are in relative motion.” To put it more plainly, tribology deals with the wear-and-tear that accrues over the course of time throughout man-made systems that have a great deal of fluid coursing through them. Such wear-and-tear oftentimes comes as a result not only of the forceful friction of liquid on solid, but the corrosiveness of that liquid. Water, for instance, both seawater and freshwater, can be horribly corrosive. And what better place for freshwater corrosion than at a major dam?
Located 25 miles northeast of Sacramento, towering 340 feet high and spanning 1,400 feet across the American River, Folsom Dam’s concrete and steel have resisted nature’s power for going on 70 years. The dam not only supplies drinking water for Sacramento and its surrounding communities, but also contributes to making the Greater Sacramento Valley one of the most fertile farming regions on Earth. In addition, the hydroelectricity generated by the dam is essential in powering a full range of residential, commercial, industrial, and agricultural industries throughout the Sacramento-San Francisco Bay region.
When we were called on to investigate a tribological problem at Folsom, we encountered what amounted to a potential disaster in the offing. A pivot bearing on the side of the dam’s spillway was “frozen,” preventing the flood-gate from opening in a controlled, regular manner. Frustrated that the pivot seemed immovable, the dam’s operators applied too much force to the pivot, causing the gate to crumple, and water to begin flooding en masse into the river below.
Examining the pivot, we found it was “frozen” on account of tribological rust. Analyzing the reddish material oozing out of the bearing back at our SF laboratory, we determined what we had half-suspected: that the reddish material was hydrated iron oxide, the mineral goethite. The other possibility would have been hematite, which would require an entirely different treatment than the one we eventually chose for Folsom. Had it been hematite, the tribological solution would have been to minimize looseness and vibration, as well as possibly lubricating the surface with an anti-fretting compound. However, since it was goethite, we determined that the bearings should be insulated from water-contact by way of seals, and periodically lubricated with a superior rust-inhibiting grease.
Large-scale foul-ups can have their underpinnings in small events – things like a little too much manual force being applied to a rusty pivot. But with Herguth at the helm, Folsom Dam was made structurally sound again, fit (with any luck) to resist the American River for another long stretch of years.
Spanning three days in early June – the 3rd through the 6th – the AWEA Windpower Conference and Expo in Atlanta, GA is coming up quickly, and not a moment too soon. While wind industry production rose 31% in America during the course of 2011, with successful installation of 3,464 wind turbines that delivered a total of 6,816 additional megawatts, huge challenges and uncertainties remain. Both houses of Congress are currently in vigorous debate on whether or not to slash subsidies for wind power. Additionally, given the emergence of cheap oil and natural gas opportunities in North Dakota and the Gulf of Mexico, the fate of American green energy hangs in the balance of a fast and furious electoral landscape. If government subsidies expire, it will be difficult for the domestic wind power industry to compete on a quantitative or qualitative level with more highly-developed wind programs in Europe, China, and India. More importantly, 37,000 American jobs stand on the line.
Under the shadow of these uncertainties, the AWEA Conference will convene in an effort to chart a successful course for the American wind industry. Presentations and discussions that deal with such topics as the state of North American wind power, how to make connections with companies interested in operating with wind power, how to finance wind power business expansion overseas, and a detailed case-by-case troubleshooting of wind power’s supply chain, are only some of the items up for discussion. In addition, there will be an exposition room that showcases the latest technological developments in wind turbine technology, as well as first-class networking opportunities for the various power players in the industry. Our company understands just how important it is to maintain wind turbines engines at peak performance, and just how heavily oil and grease testing factor into successful upkeep.
While the short-term future of wind power in America feels politically charged and up-for-grabs, we at Herguth wouldn’t be in attendance if we weren’t confident that wind energy will be one of the foremost technologies to help power our way through the 21st century. As the oil and natural gas reservoirs of the planet continually dwindle, it really becomes a zero-sum game, at least in the long-term. Surely it doesn’t take a weatherman to tell you that.
We at Herguth are proud to give you our new website, https://www.herguth.com. It’s the same IP address as our previous website, but pretty much everything else has been restructured towards a more navigable, informative, and user-friendly experience for our clients. Come and see for yourself.
In addition to having a better, cleaner overall look for our site, we’ve opted to develop several key add-on features. For starters, we’ve improved upon our customer solutions by building a customer-to-customer support forum. That way, different clients of ours can interact and post directly with one another (in addition to interacting with Herguth), allowing for one company to help another “with its homework,” thus creating a more helpful, collegial atmosphere. Furthermore, we’ve added a 100% secure webstore that sells our online products and supplies, many of them being the same devices we use in our own company laboratories. Additionally, we decided to include video training sessions where you can familiarize yourself with any number of specialized processes and services offered by our company. Such videos help you appreciate more fully the level of expertise you’re dealing with when you take your business to Herguth.
Finally, we now feature an interactive online calendar that displays all of our company’s upcoming shows, forums, roundtable conferences, and presentations. Every customer has the right to know precisely when and where they can reach out to us beyond the office. We’re always happy to field scheduling questions and concerns from our business partners.
There’s much to be pleased with on our new website. We highly recommend you come see for yourself just how Herguth is developing as a leader not only in science-based analysis and problem-solving, but in business-savvy organization as well.
The future of oil analysis… the need for perfectly attuned machinery in today’s ultra-competitive global economy… computer programs that perform root-cause analysis for plant failures… These are just a few of the conferences, forums, and presentations that will be occurring from May 1 – 3 at Noria’s 13th annual “Reliable Plant” conference in Indianapolis. In a city that’s developed a reputation for hosting landmark events, the Noria-hosted conference will bring together some of the foremost minds behind the science and practice of oil analysis and lubrication engineering. We at Herguth will be there, and we genuinely hope to see you in attendance as well.
By exhibiting our own testing services and how they are vitally relevant to almost any industry, we hope to see old, familiar faces as well as meet new opportunities for further business. With our extensive test-work in industries ranging from oil and gas, nuclear power, and hydroelectric dams, we certainly have much to offer in the way of experience, strategic thinking, and quality advice for those who seek to improve upon their generative productivity. We will be exhibiting at Booth #623 on the main conference floor. We look forward to seeing you out East.
Herguth Laboratories, Inc. was established in 1980 with the original intention of providing rigorous, high-grade fluid analysis for a range of industries. Since our inception, we have built our company into one of the finest, most trusted names in the analysis of lubricants, greases and fuels. Having determined that roughly 75% of all mechanical failures in machinery are due to lapses in the correct level, application or cleanliness of lubricant supply, we have applied our knowledge and skill-sets towards inspecting, analyzing, and providing real maintenance and/or repair solutions to a whole host of machine applications – everything from linear bearing operations at manufacturing plants, to cases of determining oxidation stability in nuclear power plants.
Our work in the nuclear industry is something we especially would like to mention. Having performed lubrication testing for state-of-the-art nuclear facilities in many locales, ranging from South Texas to the environs of Detroit, we are leading experts in determining causal relations between reactor coolant pumps and their oxidation stability, oil degradation, contamination of all varieties, adhesions, abrasions, and other types of wear-and-tear.
The fact that we are 10 CFR 50 Appendix B certified (in other words certified by the nuclear industry) allows us a distinct advantage over many otherwise worthy competitors. Other laboratories have ISO 9001:2008 and ISO/IEC 17025:2005 qualifications, but few are able to keep pace with our expertise in the nuclear field. In short, we are some of the highest-ranking industrial lubricant specialists in North America, and have the endorsements and experience to back such a claim. We look forward to getting to know you and your company’s needs better by way of this blog, and greatly anticipate the day when we can provide your machinery with the skillful solutions-based analysis that it deserves.