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Centaur Condition Monitoring Early Detection Saves Over $200,000

As part of Hydro’s support of a Midwest steel mill’s descaling pumps, the Centaur condition monitoring service has been installed on five of their pumps machine trains. Using wireless sensors, Hydro has been continuously collecting real-time vibration and surface temperature levels on the pump, gearbox, and motor. The goal of this monitoring service is to work directly with the end-user to improve rotating equipment maintenance strategies through better, more frequent data collection and Hydro’s subject matter expertise in rotating equipment.

graphical user interface, text, applicationThe value of having continuous monitoring was proven during a vibration even that occurred shortly after the installation of a newly refurbished rotor on one of the pumps. After noticing a concerning upward trend in vibration, Centaur’s engineering team suspected that the pump was suffering from structural looseness in the outboard bearing housing.  Learn more about how the discovery and remediation of this vibration transpired in the timeline below.

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Fertilizer Focus: Resolving Design Flaws in UAN Solution Pump

Heavy Wear of the Bushing Bore

A newly commissioned US fertilizer plant was experiencing recurring vibration problems with their vertical UAN Solution pump. The VSF vertically suspended pump was removed from service and sent to Hydro for a full inspection and investigation of the vibration source. When the pump was disassembled, it was evident that there were significant problems at the motor bearing and guide bushing locations. These design flaws that were affecting reliable operation of the pump.

Inspection of the motor thrust bearing revealed that the ball bearing cage had become unseated and was damaged. During Hydro’s analysis, it was determined that the motor thrust bearing was unsuitable for the service. The OEM chose a single row, angular contact bearing that could only handle thrust in one direction. During start-up, when the pump experienced an upthrust, the bearing became unseated. The unseated bearing was unable to function properly, even when the pump reached its normal operating thrust. This unrestrained upward motion of the shaft also caused damage to the mechanical seal faces.

Upgraded thrust bearing design

Another problem detected during the DCI was elliptical wear of the bearing bores. In this pump, the lineshaft couplings were located under the guide bushings, which is very atypical. Lineshaft couplings are areas where the greatest runout often occurs, resulting in a greater probability of contact and wear in this area. This problematic design was coupled with excessive tolerances on the columns, spiders, sole plate, and motor flange that affected centerline compatibility of the components.

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Lineshaft Coupling Design Change

The pump was upgraded to a new design that included a relocation of the lineshaft couplings, a new thrust bearing that could handle load in both directions, and an improvement of all component tolerances to minimize the possibility of component misalignment. Almost 70% of the pump was redesigned; this work was completed on an emergency schedule of only 2-3 weeks. Since reinstallation, the pump has operated successfully with reduced vibration.


Ares Panagoulias Recognized by Pumps & Systems as a “Top 10 Pump Professional”

a group of people in a roomHydro is excited to announce that our very own Ares Panagoulias has been chosen by Pumps and Systems Magazine as one of “2021’s 10 Pump Professionals to Watch”.  This annual list is compiled and curated by the editors and the editorial board of Pumps and Systems Magazine, the premier industry publication for the North American Pump Industry. The list recognizes some of the best and the brightest in the pump industry.

a group of people posing for the cameraAn Eye Toward the Future

Ares has been with Hydro since August of 2011, starting as Test Lab Engineer, then quickly rising through the ranks to become Test Lab Manager, then Sales & Engineering Manager of Wireless Condition Monitoring, and now he is The Director of Condition Monitoring and Test Lab.

Ares’ contributions to both Hydro and the pump industry are quite substantial given the relatively short time he’s been in the field. His commitment to keeping Hydro on the cutting edge of pump technology is one of the many reasons we agree that Ares Panagoulias is a standout in the pump industry. Congratulations Ares!


Case Study: Batch of 21 Pumps Tested & Validated Under Expedited Conditions from Hydro, Inc. on Vimeo.

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Case Study: Expedited Repair Saves Refinery Downtime

While Hydro was repairing a petroleum refinery’s decoker pump, an emergency caused the refinery’s backup pump to fail.

The refinery, faced with a critical situation, turned to Hydro for help. Hydro was able to expedite the repair process and spare the refinery a lengthy downtime and costly situation.

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Wireless Sensor Data Integration Into Existing Plant Historian

A large American energy company wanted a new data collection system to be integrated into its site historian along with process trending software to better diagnose system-related issues that can lead to maintenance issues.

Thanks to the help of an aftermarket service company, the energy company combined multiple sources of data and can now view complex mechanical vibration phenomena in parallel with plant process data. By comparing the two sets of data side by side, plant personnel will correlate process conditions with mechanical vibration data.

The service provider’s history of pump and rotating equipment knowledge helped to provide actionable analysis of pumps and other rotating equipment health—and a mechanism to provide additional engineering solutions to complex problems. Combined with the energy company’s focus on reliability and a history of maintaining their equipment, this system provided an improved method of data collection and analysis.

Source: https://www.pumpsandsystems.com/wireless-sensor-data-integration-existing-plant-historian