Paul’s Predictive Plan

Paul Seammen is a PEME Operations Manager with a wealth of experience from working on our maintenance outsourcing contracts and introducing reliability improvement initiatives.  He has introduced a predictive maintenance task that avoids costly down-time, delivers real benefits to our client and reduces the risk from a potentially dangerous atmosphere.

Paul is shown alongside the reverse jet diaphragm valves associated with the powder silo’s in a chemical manufacturing plant.

The Problem:

  • The valves pulse air into filter bags to clean them so they do not blind.
  • Due to the local operating context the valve diaphragms perish leading to inappropriate operation, powder build-up on the filter bags causing them to blind, loss of compressed air and potentially an explosive atmosphere.
  • Safety systems stop production and production does not resume until the valves are repaired, the effected filter bags replaced and the atmosphere made safe.
  • This was having a significant, uncontrolled impact on production and posed an unacceptable risk to safety.

Paul advises “the equipment was being operated on a run-to-failure basis, which meant no attempt was made to spot any degradation, in this case the onset of the diaphragms perishing, and we were suffering significant secondary damage as a result of the failure effects.  This was hurting us, so I looked to see if a smarter approach could be introduced”.

The Solution:

  • The solution that Paul has successfully trialled, with the PEME CBM team, is the introduction of an acoustics technique.
  • Use of a touch probe with acoustic equipment set to identify ultrasound in the 25kHz region allows for non-intrusive identification of developing defects.
  • Acoustic identifies the baseline readings of a serviceable valve and then routine monitoring identifies an increase in decibel level associated with the leakage of air from a perishing diaphragm.
  • This allows the failing valve to be scheduled for corrective maintenance at a time that suits production.

The Benefits:

  • Prevents a potential explosive atmosphere.
  • Achieves maximum economic life of the filter bags and diaphragms because they are only replaced when they are failing and secondary damage, which causes premature failure, is avoided.
  • Energy savings by averting wastage of compressed air.
  • Avoids production downtime by predicting failure and conducting the remedial action when the asset is not in production.

If you are interested in exploring how PEME’s Condition Monitoring, Reliability Improvement or Maintenance Outsourcing capability can help you then please Contact Us.