A relationship with a service provider that will remotely monitor equipment can minimize downtime and equipment failure.
by Andy Hoy, SKF USA Inc.
October 22, 2013

In effect, machinery information and measurement data are uploaded to the cloud server, where it is stored and is available for viewing anytime and anywhere using Internet access. Incoming data are reviewed continuously by the service provider’s support team, which automatically compares the new data against known (and good) baseline measurements for possible deviations.

The software flags problems and alerts a designated service provider engineer, who reviews the data and decides on the best course of remedial action(s). A report follows with recommendations.

The MHRP in Action

The intrinsic MHRP partnership can position plant operations solidly on the road to realizing firsthand how a comprehensive predictive maintenance program can make a substantial difference, especially when supported by partners equipped with the knowledge that allows them to deliver optimized uptime and savings.

In one application, a manufacturer initially tried to implement a predictive maintenance program on its own, but the busy in-house plant maintenance team could not keep up with the program. Inexperience with vibration analysis made converting the data into actions difficult, and frustrations grew. Management was in a quandary, but machine reliability was a top priority, so they turned to an MHRP.

The service provider’s experience and results were well-documented. Previous failures of a mission-critical compressor at a plant cost more than $30,000 in repair parts alone and unplanned production downtime was measured in days, not hours. With the MHRP in full swing, it was determined that a failing bearing was at fault and, by proactively replacing the bearing, the plant saved tens of thousands of dollars in the direct cost of repair parts. All work was completed during a regularly scheduled production stoppage with no additional interruptions, and no shutdowns for additional repairs or analysis were required.

Other machinery was probed, too, including a critical pump and blower, with a mean time between failures that was too early and too often. The MHRP approach was applied. In just the first six months of program implementation, the plant was able to eliminate more than 25 hours of unplanned downtime and gain tens of thousands of dollars that had previously added up in lost productivity and repairs.

MHRP Implementation

Implementation begins in the first month when a facility supplies a list of critical machines for analysis. Then the service provider instructs the facility’s staff on predictive maintenance fundamentals, collects machine information and builds a measurement database. In the second (or launch) month, microlog data collectors are delivered, instruction is provided, communication software is installed, baseline data is collected and the first in a series of machine health reports is published. Once up and running, the program collects data and delivers machine health reports monthly with quarterly on-site analysis meetings and on-demand “spot” checks included.

A predictive maintenance program’s goal is to continually impart cost-effective reliability improvements. An MHRP can offer a viable and practical way for facilities to diagnose the health of critical machinery assets and minimize all the risks of unplanned downtime.