A regular customer of ours approached us early December 2011 to book in the overhaul of two Sulzer governors which were manufactured in the early 60s.
Unlike the UG governors with which we frequently work, this Sulzer governor has no internal pump; it relies on oil pressure being fed directly from the engine. This explains the reason behind its particularly dirty state which can be seen in the pictures.
It has two solenoids; one for start-up and one for shutdown. Although it is a very basic governor in terms of its operations, it has a particularly large number of components, more so than governors more complicated than the function of this Sulzer.
This kind of job can be particularly difficult and time-consuming, as when the governors were originally manufactured, one of the core design specifications was for it to be durable. The end result was a governor with its mechanical parts so durable that they would operate for years on end before defaulting and needing an overhaul, by which time, most customers no longer have any product information to provide with the job.
This problem is compounded by the fact that overtime manufacturers ceased making the product, so not even they can provide the necessary information. Thus, in the majority of cases, the product comes into our works with minimal technical data and no drawings. The technicians therefore have nothing to work with except the governor itself, their experience and expertise.
How do we overcome these challenges?
As the governor comes in, photos and drawings are taken to record the position and set up of all parts. The assembly of the governor is mapped out in order to assist the technician when it comes to reassembly. Our technicians do this in such a skilled way that according to their notes and drawings, if a project was put to one side, they could pick-up where they left off on a governor reassembly years after it was originally dismantled.
This, therefore, makes the process of disassembling the governor so much more important than in the case of a UG8 governor, for example, for which the technician has everything he needs to know to complete the job.
In some cases of obsolete governor overhaul, not only does the governor come in with badly worn parts, they may also have broken or missing parts. In the case of the two Sulzer governors, one came in with a broken ballhead assembly, made from cast iron, and for the other, the Bakelite assembly of the solenoid was broken. Both of these parts had to be remanufactured as they are no longer being made by the manufacturer.
This is a considerably time-consuming procedure, however with very few governor overhauling companies that are willing to offer the service on such obsolete governors, we take pride in our expertise and experience that enables us to continue to offer an excellent services to customers.
Whilst we continue to enhance our facilities and expertise by constantly upgrading our equipment to cater for state-of-the art and the latest products and technology, we will never turn down these projects that represent the origins of our business. Furthermore, our engineers particularly enjoy the challenges posed by this kind of project, and like us all, revel in the satisfaction of having completed it to a high standard.