Solutions Spotlight: Vibration Monitoring Case Study

Rotating equipment can be found in nearly every industrial application. These pieces of machinery have their own language, and humans aren’t the most fluent in noticing the subtle difference between a happy piece of equipment and an angry one. It takes trained professionals with specialized equipment to translate. Whether it’s a blower, turbine, engine, compressor, generator, gearbox or pump, preventative maintenance like vibration testing can benefit a production facility significantly. When pumps experience excess vibration, they often succumb to seal leakage and premature bearing failure. When seals are damaged from vibrating and moving further away from their designed specifications, they break and allow liquids to leak into bearing housings. This leakage corrodes the bearings', which increases inefficiency in shaft rotation and can lead to failure. The vibration that causes seal failure is difficult to predict when the equipment is evaluated purely on physical appearance or excess noise produced in an already loud production environment. When pumps are not routinely checked, either via vibration testing, a flow meter or other devices, production halts, costly repairs add up and employee safety could be at risk. For these reasons, pumps and rotating machinery demand regular monitoring and routine vibration testing.

Many industries maintain production by requiring pumps to operate 24/7/365 with little to no preventative maintenance. That’s a straight shot to failure. Due to the strenuous nature of these conditions, pumps often take on heavy wear and tear during operation, which can lead to an uneven impeller, which causes excess vibration, leaking seals, and, over a short time, unplanned pump failure and operational downtime—all of which can be avoided with preventive maintenance.

Investing in routine care and maintenance of your operations' rotating equipment comes with many benefits, and they all add up to efficiencies and savings.

1. Preventing Costly, Unplanned Downtime
Utilizing the technology provided by industrial piezoelectric accelerometers used in vibration monitoring, teams can formulate customized maintenance plans for each piece of rotating equipment. Understanding the current state of each pump can help the plant schedule downtime or reroute its operations to maintain production. When downtime is not scheduled, it often leads to halted production, revenue loss and the removal of employees from their designated tasks to aid in resolving the issue.

2. Money Saved on Urgent Repairs
Utilizing professional vibration monitoring services provides insight into the specific internal component causing trouble and can streamline repairs. Efficient pump repair and reinstallation improves overall plant efficiency and productivity and increases savings.

3. Insight and Knowledge of Your Machines
Implementing routine vibration testing into your existing maintenance plan provides valuable insight on your rotating equipment. While observing data and implementing repairs, your maintenance personnel will better understand common issues in the application and how they arise, allowing them to take preventative action when the data starts to go downhill. Having this knowledge helps improve your rotating equipment's efficiency while increasing its usable life.

Vibration monitors typically test for the below list of issues:

  • Misalignment
  • Imbalance
  • Gearbox failure
  • Bearing failures
  • Mechanical looseness - Type A, B, & C
  • Pump cavitation
  • Resonance and natural frequencies occurring at critical speeds
  • Electrical motor failures
  • Bent or arched shafts
  • Angular velocity

GPM is excited to introduce new vibration monitoring services, now available to local facilities seeking to enhance their preventative maintenance strategies. GPM Vibration Monitoring Services include:

1. Route Establishment: We assist in creating organized and efficient testing routes to streamline your maintenance efforts.

2. Baseline Assessment: Whether it's a gearbox, pump or blower, we conduct baseline vibration tests to establish the standard operating characteristics for each type of machinery.

3. Routine Development: We work with you to determine a monitoring schedule that ensures timely updates on the performance of all your equipment.

4. Vibration Analysis: Our experts compare your equipment's performance to its respective baseline to identify and address any abnormalities.

5. Record Management: We maintain detailed reports for each customer, centralizing data, repair records, and other findings in one easily accessible location.

GPM is your all-in-one solution for rotating equipment repair. When your vibration analysis reveals concerning data, you can rely on us—the pump professionals—to restore your equipment to its OEM specifications, regardless of the equipment's brand. For a closer look at GPM’s Vibration Monitoring Service, explore our recent case study of a production facility that effectively prevents unexpected downtime by partnering with GPM.