proactivemaintenance

Fluid Monitoring detected an emerging bearing failure

Case compressor - Real-time oil performance monitoring

Fluid Monitoring combined with Tan Delta Oil Quality Sensor detected a deviation in the customer’s compressor monitoring data that was confirmed to be a bearing failure. Early failure detection enabled risk minimization and planned maintenance work during the production break.

Image 1. Clearly noticeable deviation in oil performance trend

Image 1. Clearly noticeable deviation in oil performance trend

Fluid Monitoring combined with Tan Delta Oil Quality Sensor alerted about oil performance trend deviation in late 2018. The deviations emerged as single high peaks in the gathered data trend line during the consecutive weeks.

ACTIONS

Maintenance team started more detailed inspection. In the beginning they carried out a vibration analysis that revealed slightly increased vibration levels and sound. Fluid Intelligence carried out an oil sampling and cleanliness analysis. The results revealed few 50-100 micron sized metal particles in the oil that were originated from sliding surfaces contacts. 

Thorough root cause analysis indicated that there was a notable failure developing. However, it was possible to continue production until the next maintenance break. This procedure was also recommended by the machine manufacturer.

Image 2. Few but relatively large metal chips in an oil sample

Image 2. Few but relatively large metal chips in an oil sample

Image 3. Long, over 100 micron chips indicated about notable failure mode development

Image 3. Long, over 100 micron chips indicated about notable failure mode development

The decision was made to increase the machine’s performance monitoring as it was part of the 24/7 production process. Fluid Monitoring alert levels were narrowed, regular oil sampling was implemented, as well as regular vibration analysis. Oil purity level was better than required during the whole process and oil side cycle filtration was performing as expected. In addition to these activities the customer started detailed maintenance break service planning.

Image 4. Bearing failure still in its infancy but clearly visible

Image 4. Bearing failure still in its infancy but clearly visible

A larger revision was implemented for this specific machinery during the normal maintenance break in summer of 2019. A shaft bearing damage was detected. The customer was able to fix the failure quickly during the normal maintenance break due to early failure and it’s type indication.

Woikoski Ltd. Ville Vesterinen (Technical Development Manager)

As a whole this event provides a school class example of well-functioning proactive maintenance. Oil performance monitoring brings us a real operational reliability and reduces our cost base.

Notable operative and financial customer benefits

  • Early failure detection let maintenance team to plan needed maintenance activities, acquire needed resources and spare parts well in advance

  • Fluid Monitoring enabled maintenance team to monitor failure mode escalation speed and make sure that any operation interruptions won’t happen before the next maintenance break

  • The customer was able to continue production after the risk analysis and no extra work were needed as the compressor could be repaired during the normal maintenance break

  • Maintenance work focused only on changing the bearing and no other damages occurred

Real-life results from oil performance monitoring

Across industries the service strategies and ways of working are being disrupted through predictive maintenance models. The calendar based maintenance is coming to an end and reactive models are evolving into predictive one’s and furthermore to proactive ways of working. This disruption will take years but the benefits will be notable.

Fluid Intelligence has developed new ways of working from its very beginning. Our customers are benefiting massively from enhanced reliability in production and savings.

Our new way of thinking about the usage of lubricants, the supporting Fluid Monitoring-service and the expertise supporting the complexity tackles our customers daily challenges in their daily operations and supports them in this ongoing transition.

THE ROOT CAUSE TO MACHINE FAILURES CAN OFTEN BE FOUND IN LUBRICATION

Machine failures occur every now and then even companies aim to maximize operational performance. In rotating machinery the root causes in bearing failures can be traced down to lubrication in 80 per cent of the cases. This fact can be found in studies conducted by international bearings giants like FAG and SKF.

FAG Bearings Company (in percentages)

FAG Bearings Company (in percentages)

SKF Bearings Company (in percentages)

SKF Bearings Company (in percentages)

THE STRATEGIC RELEVANCE AND COSTS OF LUBRICATION

Plant Engineering Magazine Survey (in percentages)

Plant Engineering Magazine Survey (in percentages)

The costs related to lubrication and maintenance sum up from many different sources. Plant Engineering, the international magazine focusing on maintenance, has found in their studies that only 1-3 per cent of the annual maintenance budget come from lubrication oil and most of the costs are related to time and materials related to lubrication. This marginal cost finds its way to the strategic focus when studying  machine failures.

The repair costs and losses in production are the flip side of the coin. In a Nordic pulp production facility a shutdown can cost millions in revenues. On the other end, a failure even in a small stone crusher can cost thousands of euros per hour.

FROM OBJECTIVES TO CONCRETE BENEFITS 

When developing the lubrication program as an organic part of the predictive maintenance strategy you can increase the operational reliability. This leads up to multiple benefits, e.g. reduced amount of machine failures, fewer shutdowns, saved time to focus on value-adding tasks and savings in oil and spare parts.

During the last twelve months our vision has been verified in an increasing amount of use cases across industries. Tens of customers are getting significant benefits to their operations. We have been able to address multiple potential hazards in our customers production sites with our Fluid Monitoring -online monitoring system combined with our pool of oil expertise.

SUCCESS STORIES FROM OUR CUSTOMERS

We have been working intensely with our customers in energy, chemical, pulp and paper, process, and infrastructure industries.

Fluid Monitoring and the recommended actions based on the system have enhanced our customers’ productional reliability, cut down costs and prolonged oil life span. The environmental impact can not be overlooked either.

By May 2019 we have saved five machine failures or shutdowns in production, saved up to 1 million euros in costs and avoided several unnecessary oil changes.

During this spring and summer we will showcase some of our customers’ success stories in the coming newsletters.

First case study comes from Vatajankosken Sähkö Oy (Vatajankoski Power). Together with customer we installed Fluid Monitoring to one of their remote gas engines. With Fluid Monitoring we ensure operative reliability, reduce oil sampling intervals and extend oil lifecycle.

Happy reading!

Read the whole story here

Proactive maintenance is about securing the future

With proactive maintenance you can address use of equipment that is seen risky and other deteriorating development. The aim is to avoid the root causes of damage and all the conditions in which damage can occur. How are then disruptions and problems prevented before they escalate?