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.

September 21 2021

Notice of Equipment Changeout

Notice of Equipment Changeout

Hydro’s engineering team is notified by the customer that they are going to swap the rotors of one of their Descale pumps with a newly rebuilt rotor. This pump has the Centaur system installed to support in-depth, real-time condition monitoring.

October 4 2021

Equipment Installation


The newly rebuilt rotor is installed and commissioned.

October 8 2021

Early Detection of Irregular Vibration

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Centaur detects a start-up event with an increasing trend in the overall vibration amplitude levels at the outboard bearing sensor location in both the horizontal and vertical directions. The Centaur team alerts the site that there is a problem.

October 25 2021

Root Cause Analysis

Root Cause Analysis

The Centaur engineering team informs the end-user that they suspect a structural looseness might be the cause of the elevated vibration. The recommendation is made to inspect the outboard bearing housing for loose bolts.

November 6 2021

Remote Analysis & Troubleshooting

Remote Analysis & Troubleshooting

The Centaur team continues to monitor and analyze the site data from their Monitoring & Diagnostic Center in Chicago.

November 7 2021

Vibration Threshold is Exceeded


The vibration amplitudes at the outboard bearing housing exceed the alarm limit of 0.3 in/s

November 8 2021

Inspection Uncovers Looseness

a person wearing a helmet

The end-user inspects the bearing housing and finds that the hold-down bolts are only finger tight. The bearing housing is retightened to the correct amount.

November 11 2021

Excessive Vibration is Eliminated

Excessive Vibration is Eliminated

The pump is restarted. Vibration amplitudes drop by 71%. Further observation shows a consistent trend of operation within acceptable limits.

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