3 Steps To Ensure Mechanical Integrity

3 Steps To Ensure Mechanical Integrity

You are well aware of how important it is to establish mechanical integrity with all of your company’s assets. Mistakes can be dangerous and costly, but good mechanical integrity can prevent these mistakes more often than not. This leads to saving you time, money, and bad press, and, depending on your industry, it can lead to helping prevent environmental damage.

It is imperative to detect critical asset failures before they even occur, but this is becoming increasingly difficult as plants have fewer and fewer experts onsite to catch, diagnose, and correct problems with machinery. IIoT solutions can help by offering unparalleled machine monitoring services and technology.

The idea of mechanical integrity may seem easier said than done at times, but Windrock is changing the name of the game with condition monitoring. Read below to learn three steps to always take when investing in mechanical asset integrity, and contact Windrock today to get started on machine monitoring for your business.

1. Prioritize Your Assets

First and foremost, you need to rank assets in an effort to prioritize which are the most vital. If you have never done an assessment of asset criticality, then start with systems first rather than equipment. Look at maintenance, dispatch, safety, purchasing, environmental, and operations and work with stakeholders to address the entire plant’s needs.

As you prioritize the assets, determine which systems would have the largest impact on productivity and more if they were to fail. Next, follow the same guidelines and rank the highest priority equipment within each. With each of these high-priority assets, perform an analysis to identify how and where the equipment could possibly fail. It is important to find all potential failures so you are best prepared for the asset’s future and can get the best predictive maintenance tools, condition monitoring system, and more.

2. Use Condition Monitoring

Machine monitoring will be of top concern now. But where to start? With the list you just made when prioritizing your assets.

Reciprocating equipment is prone to develop problems and need repairs, but manual collection is costly and difficult, and it isn’t time-efficient. Instead, switching to continuous condition-based monitoring eliminates human error, saves time, and is extremely effective.

Here are some of the reasons why reciprocating equipment can fail:

  • Mechanical Wear and Tear – This will largely depend on the bearing type, but it’s understandable that mechanical wear can negatively impact the mechanical integrity of an asset. This could be caused by a defect in a rolling element or the inner or outer race, or it could be caused by a fluid instability or rub issue.
  • Looseness – Everything in your machine is designed to work a certain way, and this largely depends on everything being in the right place with the right intensity. If something is too loose, then, or has too much space and is moving more than it should, your operations could be at risk.
  • Imbalance – When it comes to rotating equipment, balance is essential. This balance is obtained when the center of mass is aligned properly with the center of rotation. When these are out of alignment, your rotating equipment will experience a large imbalance as the heavy spot rotates around the center — causing the entire asset to wobble and create further damage.

It is important to understand the ways in which your reciprocating equipment can be damaged — such as what’s listed above — so that you can get machine monitoring that best meets your needs. Condition monitoring equipment works in two different ways: prediction and protection.

When you have condition monitoring for prediction, the condition monitoring system will analyze the health of the equipment while it runs. This means you can know if you will need repair soon or if there are signs of one of the issues we discussed above. Up to 90 percent of machinery malfunctions (that lead to downtime) can be predicted, and reactive maintenance costs are up to 50 percent higher than planned maintenance costs. So, if you have predictive maintenance tools like Windrock provides, you can save time and money upfront — while also avoiding catastrophe.

Protection involves automatically shutting down equipment based on specific conditions. If this were to occur, the machinery could be shut down before extensive damage or injury happens. Protection systems are generally required for plants to operate, and it’s an important part of condition monitoring.

3. Analyze New Data

And, finally, you can now use your condition monitoring system for good! Don’t just bask in the incoming new data and think you’re doing well, though — it is vital to actually analyze the new data and use it to evaluate asset health.

Here at Windrock, we even provide the Analyst Development Program, which offers training in various types of engine, compressor, and reciprocating machinery analysis. We also provide the only Reciprocating Analyst Qualification Program in the industry today, which we teach around the U.S. and the world.

Work With Windrock For Condition Monitoring

Mechanical integrity is of top concern in your plant, and predictive maintenance tools from a condition monitoring system can help you achieve optimal mechanical asset integrity. When you work with Windrock, you’ll have access to some of the best IIoT solutions in the industry so you can get the protection you want. Our Spotlight Monitoring System (for compressors or for engines), Platinum Online Monitoring System, 6400 Portable Analyzer, and other data analysis software can all help you in the process.  

Read more about why condition monitoring is important and how the Spotlight Monitoring System can help, and then reach out to Windrock today for a quote. We’re in the business of helping your business perform better, and we would love to help.