Emerson Process Management’s wireless condition monitoring and prediction system is being used at the SABIC Olefins plant in Teesside, UK, to detect potential problems with pumps before they disrupt normal operations. The system helps reduce the risk of unexpected failures that can cause lost production and expensive repairs, as well as safety and environmental incidents.
The critical pumps being monitored are installed on the plant’s Olefins cracker, which is used to produce ethylene, propylene, butadiene and gasoline products. SABIC Teesside previously collected and analysed vibration data for these pumps manually, but potential problems could occur between readings. This led to higher maintenance costs and reduced plant availability, which was affecting overall production.
“We wanted to improve the monitoring of critical pumps at the Olefins plant in Teesside,” said David Hambling, instrument engineer, SABIC Petrochemicals. “By installing Emerson’s wireless vibration transmitters we can now continuously monitor vibration levels and detect faults before a failure occurs.”
Emerson’s online vibration monitoring system has detected a number of problems that could have resulted in equipment failure, including a chipped tooth on a gearbox gear and an impending bearing failure. Identifying and rectifying potential problems earlier helps minimise pump failures and maintenance costs.
In addition to measuring overall vibration and temperature, the CSI 9420 wireless vibration transmitter includes PeakVue technology, which detects faults that cause impacting, friction, and fatigue, particularly in gearbox and rolling element bearings. The monitoring system takes basic readings every 30 seconds and an in-depth, full spectrum analysis once every day. By tracking rising vibration levels, SABIC Teesside can detect developing faults and improve maintenance scheduling.
“Emerson’s Smart Wireless technologies, combined with advances in sensor technology and low lifecycle costs, have made it quick and easy for our customers to access data from their critical assets,” said Nathan Pettus, vice president, machinery health for Emerson Process Management. “With our proven predictive technologies like PeakVue and our focus on pervasive sensing, we are helping customers like SABIC to filter, automatically analyse and capture useful, actionable information so they can rectify any issues that could interrupt production.”
The plant’s existing Emerson Smart Wireless network made installing the wireless vibration transmitters quick and easy, enabling vibration data to be sent to SABIC’s process control system. The established mesh network also makes it easy to add or relocate wireless-enabled devices for additional process information from remote or difficult-to-access locations.
“Wireless has shown itself to be a valuable tool in our condition monitoring armoury,” concluded Hambling. “Predicting failures in gearboxes of this type can make considerable savings on any subsequent turnaround and help to keep equipment available.”
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