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.
The 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.
What happens when an alarm is signaled from our Condition Monitoring System? Is the software customizable to customers’ needs? Glad you asked.
It all starts in the home of our Centaur engineers – the Monitoring and Diagnostic Center, where dedicated personnel are checking the status of monitored equipment 24/7. These vibration and pump subject matter experts keep an eye on concerning trends and use the digital twin interface to identify areas of concern.
At the same time that our engineers are alerted to the alarm condition and begin investigating, the Centaur system automatically begins taking more frequent vibration sampling to increase the amount of data available for analysis and capture as much information on the event as possible.
The alarm that is triggered is based on limits set by the end-user and the Centaur team at the beginning of the installation. Centaur software allows users to have configurable alarm notification settings based on their preferred diagnostics and notification methods. Such diagnostics include vibration amplitudes, temperature, and gateway connectivity status. These automated alarms can be sent using SMS and email messaging.
Some individuals may prefer to configure the system to only notify them after a high-level alarm event has occurred. The Centaur software provides the flexibility to be notified after Alarm 1, Alarm 2, Alarm 3, or Alarm 4 events. Although the client may wish to only be notified of higher alarm level incidents, Hydro’s Condition Monitoring team is made aware of all alarm levels incidents and investigates the source. If further action is deemed necessary, the team may reach out to plant personnel and notify them of a possible fault so the appropriate measures can be taken. They may also suggest actions that can be completed on-site to validate probable causes of the alarm.
Here’s an example of the process at work. In this case, a machine train’s vibration amplitudes trigger an alarm:
Hydro’s Condition Monitoring team will be notified of the alarm incident, as will any personnel if the alarm level falls in their notification settings
Hydro engineers will conduct vibration analysis of the data sample
Hydro engineers will respond to alarm notification, with all pertinent personnel included, and elaborate on the possible source of the alarm and detail the recommended next steps
In the case of rapid increase of vibration levels, Hydro engineers may reach out to plant personnel directly for more immediate necessary actions
Hydro’s Condition Monitoring system, Centaur, has aided many end-users in catching real-time faults in rotating machinery. In many instances, end users see the value of the system through a no-cost, on-site trial. This includes the hardware, installation support, commissioning, and monitoring starting from the date that the sensors are commissioned on-site. The purpose of the free trial is to allow a “proof-of-concept” evaluation period before a further commitment is made.
After an initial period of data acquisition, typically a few weeks to one month, Centaur’s Condition Monitoring Engineers hold a virtual meeting to walk the end-users through the data collected and the extensive software capabilities. A monthly report is provided with an overall equipment health assessment and alarm event analysis. The analysis often includes trend data, waveform analysis, spectrum analysis, and cross-phase analysis between multiple sensors on a given machine train. The report also includes predictive failure analysis and proactive steps to mitigate component failure in the future. Continue reading →
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.
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