When it comes to the operation of reciprocating machinery, there are numerous components that factor into the smooth function of the system as a whole. From degradation over time to issues that arise due to a lack of monitoring of the system, reciprocating machinery requires a close eye to ensure it remains operable and safe. One of the worst things that can happen is for a complete system failure. Any downtime caused by the breakdown of reciprocating machinery can be a serious concern. Here at Windrock, we specialize in technology that is geared towards improving the operation of reciprocating machinery. Our machinery analysis tools help ensure that your facility operates smoothly and effectively.
If you are looking to improve the uptime of reciprocating machinery at your facility, we have outlined below some tips for ensuring you waste less on downtime. For further questions about optimizing your reciprocating machinery performance, we invite you to reach out to our team for assistance.
The Costliness Of Downtime
First, it should be noted that downtime is a serious concern for a reason — it is extremely costly to any industry. This is particularly true in some of the giants who utilize reciprocating machinery, such as the oil and gas industry. In these industries, one failure can lead to millions of lost dollars. In fact, it is estimated that an average of $49 million is lost annually in this industry due to unplanned downtime. Not only does an emergency shutdown mean everything comes to a crashing halt, but it can also mean it stays that way for a longer period of time than expected. Parts might need to be ordered that take a week to arrive or a specialized technician might be difficult to schedule immediately.
While avoiding downtime entirely is a bit of a pipe dream, it is possible to cut down on the amount of wasted time and money due to downtime. The best goal to set is to look for a percentage decrease in your annually calculated downtime. This will allow you to understand how much money can be saved and how much money is worth investing in improved technologies and better equipped management.
The Contributing Factors To Downtime
Unfortunately, most downtime is unexpected and unplanned, which is part of the reason why it has such a large financial impact upon companies. According to research, less than 24 percent of operators would describe their approach towards maintenance as a predictive method. Instead, operators are relying on a reactive tactic, which contributes greatly to downtime. When you do not have the machinery analysis needed to make predictions about the upcoming maintenance needs of your equipment, you wind up facing complete shutdowns and lengthy fixes. This leads us to the next point on the improvement of data monitoring to provide a greater ability to prevent downtime.
Monitoring And Data Prediction
The good news is that as technology has increasingly improved, so has the ability to properly monitor reciprocating machinery. With the right monitoring systems, you can not only understand to a greater degree the current health of your facility’s machinery, but you can also utilize this data to make intelligent predictions and proactive maintenance plans. The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) has led to outstanding advancements in the ability to monitor and analyze the condition of all machinery. By implementing extremely advanced sensors, you can track and monitor everything surrounding the health of your reciprocating machinery. With a constant stream of data from these sensors, you can then turn this data into decisions.
Going a step further than traditional and manual data analysis, IIoT solutions provide an added bonus — the implementation of artificial intelligence. This is where preventing costly downtime can be best achieved. While in the past it has been hard to pinpoint minute changes in the operation and function of reciprocating machinery, the precision of modern technology allows for incredible data collection. This is then paired with artificial intelligence and sophisticated algorithms to create a predictive analysis. For example, with IIoT solutions, data might be pulled that detects a minor change in the vibration of a component of machinery. The intelligent machine analysis can then create predictions on potential system failures. This allows you to take a proactive stance against downtime. The software can alert you as it detects potential failure down the road. You can then make decisions immediately to prevent catastrophic failure.
Utilizing this kind of elevated machine data can go a long way in saving your company large amounts of money due to the prevention of downtime. Here at Windrock, we offer an array of products geared towards ensuring you can easily access the data you need to make these accurate assessments in real-time. One such product is called Spotlight.
Windrock Solution: Spotlight
If you are interested in improving the performance of your reciprocating equipment, we invite you to check out the Spotlight. This monitoring system is an outstanding way to optimize machinery through the collection and analysis of in-depth data. Through the Spotlight, you will be able to connect from anywhere at any time to access important data on the condition of your reciprocating equipment. With clearly defined key performance indicators, you can accurately and quickly make important decisions in regards to maintenance, operation, and the prevention of downtime.
Other benefits of this product include the following:
- Easy, simple, and fast installation — in most cases, it can be installed within a few hours
- Affordability — the system operates at 1/10th the cost of a comparable older monitoring system
- Secure data transmission — sensitive data is protected
- Complete picture — when you pair this with other Windrock systems, you can gain full visibility of the health of your assets
- Compatibility — pair this product with Windrock MD™ analytical software for easy operational analysis
If you are interested in learning more about how Windrock’s IIoT solutions can help you optimize the functionality of your reciprocating machinery, we invite you to reach out to our team. We will be happy to walk you through the suite of IIoT solutions we offer to ensure you find the ideal products and software platforms for your needs. Our goal is to help our clients avoid costly downtime and catastrophic failures through intelligent data collection and analysis.