Wastewater Treatment Facility Reliability Using Condition Monitoring
Filtering harmful and toxic elements, breaking down organic matter, and restoring oxygen are just a few ways wastewater treatment facilities protect a city's population and environment.
Maintenance personnel and budget restrictions make it extremely difficult for cities with growing populations to meet demand without optimized equipment – Enter condition monitoring. This maintenance strategy utilizes various technologies to detect worn and/or damaged components before a critical failure occurs, providing valuable insight for informed decision making; thus helping water plants meet demand, reduce maintenance budgets, increase plant efficiency, and lower energy consumption, all while minimizing the number of chaotic reactive repairs (Firefighting).
An industrial customer located in the Florida Keys utilizes condition monitoring strategies by enrolling in a custom, quarterly vibration analysis program to trend mechanical conditions over time. This program allows AME to identify mechanical (and some electrical) issues on 24 machine trains before a potential failure occurs.
AME analysts attend the customer site, collect data, and prepare an Executive Summary Report with stoplight level simplicity – Red for Alarms, Yellow for Warnings, and Green for Acceptable. If a machine falls within red or yellow conditions, a resultant statement and recommendation are provided based on Level 2 spectral data. This program also has remote analysis capabilities, where onsite personnel collect the data and transfer it to AME's offices.
During the most recent visit, a vertical pump exhibited high vibration on its motor due to a worn journal bearing on the pump shaft – Excessive clearances allowed the motor to oscillate eccentrically. Additionally, a diesel-driven pump showed potential structural/foundation issues. A Motion Amplification Survey was recommended to determine the root cause.
After deciding to carry out this survey, AME analysts discovered a resonance in the piping system. The root cause of this excitation was a loose support, resulting in the pipe lifting off its support periodically. Upon this discovery, it was recommended to tighten the piping support and re-evaluate the vibration. Tightening the support will stiffen the piping system and shift its natural frequency outside the forcing function.