• Unit 3A, Adwick Park, Swinton, Rotherham S63 5AB

Major fan failure prevented on a newly built production line

PCMS Engineering’s reliability engineers performed a Condition-Based Maintenance (CBM) Factory Acceptance Test (FAT) baseline study on a newly built production line at a process plant in the United Kingdom, while in the active commissioning and handover stage of the project.

The Challenge

During the study, 13 newly installed assets displayed signs of pending machinery degradation and failure modes due to lubrication and precision set up issues – see figure 1.

As the main extractor fan is a critical single point of vulnerability (SPV), failure would stop production until repair and reinstatement was achieved.

The main fan was displaying high levels of stress wave energy in excess of 22 G’s and further analysis indicated clear fault frequencies relating to the non-drive end bearing.

Issues with this particular fan include the NDE bearing & potential impeller looseness. Failure would potentially incur safety of personnel and cause significant consequential damage, resulting in a downtime period of 12-weeks due to complicated and costly strip and repair issues.

The Solution

The facility’s engineering team made an informed decision to stop the fan during the next planned maintenance outage in order to change the bearing using existing parts from stock – the OEM estimated that this would take 5-7 days. This activity was planned, scheduled and coordinated over a 36 hour period – the stress wave plots in figure 2 show successful before and after running conditions.

The Results

  • Informed management team – leading to controlled and safe repair of the unit.
  • No safety-related failure incident.
  • No consequential damage of additional components – the high cost of OEM parts equating to savings of £50K.
  • Production downtime reduced from 12 weeks to 36 hours – equating to 231 tonnes of lost production savings.
  • OEM/Contractor warranty claims for repair costs.
  • CBM programme return on investment (ROI) justified with single fan unit detection.

To request a CBM FAT baseline study on your new or existing assets, contact us on 01709 876712 or email info@pcmseng.co.uk