Background

This case study is from a Food & Beverage plant located in the US. The Eastway Safeguard® online monitoring system has been installed on a phased basis on the critical production equipment in the plant, beginning in 2018 and continuing to present.

The Eastway Safeguard® continuous vibration and temperature monitoring system on this Homogeniser replaced their pre-existing manual vibration data collection programme on these critical assets. The plant adopted the 24/7 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.

The Eastway team have extensive experience in this specialist high pressure mixing equipment and prior to the Eastway Safeguard® system installation, sensor selection – chosen as dual vibration and temperature monitoring- and positioning was carefully reviewed.

Case Description

In early July 2020, high vibration values, Acceleration (g RMS), were detected on the Homogenizer Motor Drive End through the Safeguard® Online Vibration System. Automatic alerts were sent to key personnel and the Eastway team. See Figure 1 for this increased trend.

Machine Name Homogeniser PU2
Description Motor Belts Pulleys Gearbox Crank Case
kW 200
Motor Plate RPM 1490

Figure 1 Motor DE Acceleration (g RMS) Trend 19 Mar 2020 to 16 Jul 2020

Initial analysis of the vibration data indicated excessive Acceleration vibration (g RMS) from just the Motor Drive End (MDE). See Figure 2 for the Acceleration vibration (g RMS) trend from the Motor Non-Drive End (MNDE) and Figure 3 for the Gearbox Drive End of the Homogeniser for the same time period. Note no increase in vibration was detected across the remainder of the machine.

Figure 2 Motor NDE Acceleration (g RMS) Trend 19 Mar 2020 to 16 Jul 2020

Figure 3 Gearbox DE Acceleration (g RMS) Trend 19 Mar 2020 to 16 Jul 2020

Further analysis of the vibration from the Motor Drive End data was completed by the Eastway remote monitoring team. As an example of this analysis, the vibration Fast Fourier Transform (FFT) spectra, enveloped spectra and time waveform signatures were examined.  See Figure 4, an Acceleration FFT sample from 13 July 2020 and Figure 5, a Time Waveform from the same date, both sampled online from the Motor Drive End test point.

Figure 4 Motor DE Acceleration FFT sample from 13 July 2020

Figure 5 MDE Acceleration Time Waveform from 13 July 2020

This analysis by Eastway determined increased vibration noise due to low lubrication across the vibration signal at the Motor Drive End Bearing. Based on this analysis it was recommended to plant maintenance personnel to carry out lubrication of the Homogeniser motor bearings to prevent bearing damage occurring.

Following this recommended, the Motor bearings were lubricated. This reduced the excessive vibration previously detected from the Motor Drive end test point. See Figure 6 for the reduced vibration trend evident after 20 July 2020 and the Waterfall Acceleration FFT comparing 13 July 2020 (rear) and 31 July 2020 (front), both figures indicating a significant improvement in condition following lubrication. 

Figure 6 Motor DE Acceleration (g RMS) Trend 19 Mar 2020 to 17 Sept 2020

Figure 7 MDE Acceleration (g RMS) FFT Waterfall comparison from 13 July 2020 (rear) to 31 July 2020 (front)

Results: Estimated cost savings associated with avoidance of unplanned downtime, emergency repair costs & secondary damage:

Maintenance time saved: approx.  hours
Downtime avoided: 8 hours
Downtime cost per hour €5,000
Estimated equipment cost avoided: €25,000
Total Savings: €65,000