27 Year Old Magnet Still Going Strong!

In July this year Master Magnets were contacted by a customer whose transformer rectifier for their electo-magnet had failed. Master Magnets separation equipment is known for its quality and longevity, therefore we were somewhat surprised at the failure, until we dug through the archives and realised that the magnet had been supplied back in 1989 and was older than some of our members of staff!

When we discussed with the customer how old the magnet actually was they couldn’t believe that it had been installed so long ago! 1989 was the year of the fall of the Berlin Wall, the first GPS satellite was put in to orbit, it saw the first airing of the Simpsons and the birth of the Internet (although the Dot-Com bubble was still 10 years away).

With this new information about the age of the magnet the customer saw it in a new light. With little maintenance the magnet was the work-horse of their process, but was also a critical piece of equipment which kept not only their product ferrous-free, but also protected valuable down-stream equipment.

27 year old electromagnet installationAlthough it was not the actual magnet that had failed and only the transformer, the customer’s critical equipment risk assessment showed that being a similar type of equipment with the same duty cycles the chance to failure was increased.

As the electro-magnets are made to customer order at our factory in Redditch, UK the manufacture time is approximately 6 weeks. Once the customer had acknowledged the importance of the magnet and the time scales from order to completion, it was decided that a critical spare should be purchased to make sure that the plant was not left unprotected. There was only one choice to provide the spare separator and Master Magnets were approached to provide an equivalent electro-magnet.

However times have moved on since 1989; the cold war is taught as part of history lessons, Sat- Navs are in every car, the Simpsons is in its 28th season and all work stops if the Internet crashes! The design of the Master Magnets electro-magnets is no exception, some of the changes include; the magnet coils have ducts to increase the cooling within the coil itself increasing the efficiency of the magnet, the thickness of the steel for the base plate has increased to give better wear rates in heavy-duty applications and the terminal boxes have been redesigned to incorporate new technologies in terms of gasket material and resins.

The customer recognises that all the innovations mean that for a similar block size the magnet is much more effective at separating the ferrous content, even to increasing extraction of the hard to separate small pieces at the bottom of the burden of material. This will help increase the quality of their product and provide additional protection to the down-stream equipment.

The efforts of the Master Magnets sales team were highly praised by the customer, not only for helping to maintain their current set-up with the new transformer being delivered in a surprisingly short time period, but also facilitating a design of magnet that will increase their customer’s satisfaction with their product and whose life expectation is for at least another 30 years, although who knows what life will be like in another 30 years!