In an article in the AFPM Summit Conference News, Emerson’s Jacob Swafford makes the case for continuous versus intermittent condition monitoring.
I don’t think I have ever met a maintenance manager who said that condition monitoring is a waste of time. They agree it’s important but most shrug and say, “I wish we could do more, but we don’t have the resources.”
Refineries and chemical plants that don’t monitor the condition of pumps and compressors often run installations to failure, or very close to it. This requires switching to a redundant unit or stopping production until the failure can be fixed. The result, in any case, is a lot of reactive repair work, made all the more expensive by running until something breaks.
In my article in the AFPM Summit Conference News, I make the point that today’s technologies make continuous monitoring far easier and less expensive than it has ever been. It is also a lot more effective than even the best manual checking.
Manual collection of vibration data on pumps and compressors requires excessive manpower and only results in recording intermittent values, making it quite possible to miss important data. In contrast, when an organization monitors pumps continuously, maintenance personnel are immediately alerted of any changes. The lower cost of sensing and computing also makes it possible to not only deploy condition monitoring, but also predictive analytics at the asset edge for better, faster insights into asset health and performance.
As one of our customers discovered, even if they were very conscientious and managed to perform manual pump monitoring rounds every 30 days, it wasn’t enough. Many problems had plenty of time to develop and run to failure between those rounds.
The solution to adopt continuous condition monitoring is far simpler today thanks to product developments such as Emerson’s AMS Asset Monitor and AMS Wireless Vibration Monitor. These are easy to install since they are self-powered and communicate wirelessly, so no wired infrastructure is required. Data from these devices can be captured and analyzed using AMS Machine Works v1.6. It combines predictive maintenance techniques with comprehensive analysis tools to provide easy and accurate assessment of the machinery health in the facility.
So, what is your situation? Are you still trying to do your monitoring manually? Are you ready for a change? Visit the Condition Monitoring pages at Emerson.com for more on technologies and solutions for pumps and compressors. You can also connect and interact with other engineers in the Chemical and Oil & Gas Groups at the Emerson Exchange 365 community.