This case study is from a pharmaceutical manufacturing plant located in Ireland where remote monitoring detects reactor pump bearings low lubrication. The Eastway Safeguard® online monitoring system has been installed on a phased basis on the critical production equipment in the plant, beginning in 2020 and continuing to present. Eastway has carried out a range of condition monitoring services for this client since 2012.

The Eastway Safeguard® continuous vibration and temperature monitoring system was installed on critical assets with restricted access, this project replaced the pre-existing manual vibration data collection programme on these critical equipment. The plant adopted the 24/7 Eastway Safeguard® system to support their increased production output demands by reducing their risk of unplanned machine downtime in addition to utilising technology for greater visibility on asset condition and performance.

Case description

In early February 2022, high vibration values, acceleration (g RMS) and velocity (mm/s RMS), were detected on the Reactor 432 pump bearings through the Eastway Safeguard® Online Vibration System. Automatic alerts were sent to key personnel and the Eastway team. See Figure 1 for this increased velocity trend at the pump non-drive end bearing.

Figure 1. Turbo Shaft DE Velocity Trend from 31 Dec 2018 to 01 July 2019

Recommended Action

Further analysis of the vibration from the pump data was completed by the Eastway remote monitoring team. On the analysis, the vibration FFT spectra (Fast Fourier Transform), enveloped spectra and time waveform signatures were examined.   See Figure 2. an acceleration FFT sample from 03 February 2022 from the pump drive end test point showing an evident noise floor.

Figure 2. Acceleration FFT spectra – Pump Drive End

The analysis by Eastway determined increased vibration noise due to low lubrication across the vibration signal at the pump bearings. Based on this analysis it was recommended to plant maintenance personnel to check the oil level and carry out lubrication of the pump bearings to prevent bearings damage occurring.

Action taken

As recommended by Eastway, maintenance personnel checked and topped up the oil level in the pump. This reduced the excessive vibration previously detected from the pump test points, values returned to satisfactory levels and have remained at these magnitudes since. See Figure 3. for the reduced vibration trend evident after 10th February 2022 and the Waterfall Acceleration FFT comparing 4th February 2022 (rear) and 12th February 2022 (front) in Figure 4. both figures indicating a significant improvement in condition following lubrication.

Figure 3. Reduced vibration trend after lubrication – Pump Non-Drive End

Figure 4. Pump Drive End Acceleration (g RMS) Waterfall Comparison of FFT’s from 04 Feb 2022 (back, before lubrication) and 12 Feb 2022 (Front, post-lubrication)


This case prevented the deterioration of the pump bearings in the reactor 432. Thus, in addition to identifying problems and dramatically reducing downtime, the detection also significantly reduced the man hours to repair the equipment and carry out maintenance work in an efficient way.

Table 1. illustrates the importance of having a 24/7 monitoring service in place to detect failures, allowing corrections to be carried out before costly system failures occur.

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