To remove preexisting debris from the outer circumference and grooves of a given wire rope as much as possible during the lubrication process to provide optimal coating and penetration. Optimal? This means for that particular rope. It may not be at the same level for another rope due to many factors. Condition of the rope, thickness of debris, thickness of lay-up material, actual diameter of the rope, whether they cleaned the spot where the groover is attached and/or over tightened the groover causing premature wear, etc.
Groovers are not a perfect answer in the process of cleaning a wire rope and should never be viewed as such. They can never take the place of a crew with wire brushes removing 100% of the debris over several days. I have seen them get 90%. However, mostly in the 50% to 60% range. Much depends on the wire rope construction and how well they match up. We have developed laser technology to better manufacture the tooling for a custom wire rope. This process involves CAD drawings, a wire rope sample (if possible). We have been impressed with these results in the field.
Fit: Wire Ropes can vary from their rated diameter by as much as 2mm to 3mm. This is especially true in regard to larger diameters. (50mm and up). Smaller wire rope may be 1mm at most. Manufacturers are now noting this in their specifications. Not done in past years. However, keep in mind that 1mm is about the diameter of a finger nail and truly does not affect fit. However, if 2,3or4mm difference is part of the equation, than the groover may be too loose or tight. The user will not know until the groover is attached or has micro-metered his rope prior to placing his order.
What is Kirkpatrick Wire Rope Lubrication Systems responsibility? Not to over sell and ask the right questions to provide the best fit possible for the customer. We ask for the micro-metered diameter, the number of outer strands their direction of lay. In the event we are only given the rated diameter and no micrometer is used for larger ropes than we provide groovers a little larger than the specifications. Thus the groovers may be marginally tight because most ropes are larger than their rating as stated. This cause premature wear to the groovers depending on the severity. Thus we always try to make the finished product approx. 1mm to 3mm larger. We make that determination when the customer gives us the information we request from him.
The Manual Stripper was developed as a rotational base for Groove Cleaners apart from the Lubrication process. It is used in most cases for inspection purposes prior to lubrication to determine the number of broken strands on a used rope. They are not required on new or clean wire rope unless the user deems it necessary. Case in point: Last year it was discovered on a Technip Drill Ship that the 51mm rope they were preparing to service had too many broken strands and needed to be replaced prior to lubrication. This, using a Manual Stripper. Otherwise, the lubrication would have been a waste.