A Sustainable & Effective Approach to Vibration Analysis

by Richard Bierman

The approach to vibration analysis is likely the most varied practice in the industry. This is partially due to the lack of standardization, combined with an explosion of new knowledge and technologies over the last two decades. Guidelines for creating a world-class vibration program will differ immensely depending on the source of information. When designing a new policy or optimizing an existing program, it is vital to have a good understanding of the shortcomings that can be found in almost every network in operation. A lack of buy-in, priority, provability, the uncertainty of diagnostics, false alarms, missed opportunities, time and dedication, improper settings and lack of resources are common reasons for a less than fully successful vibration program. In short, the issue is not one thing that’s 100 percent wrong, but rather 100 things that are one percent wrong. At the Chevron Phillips Chemical Company’s (CPChem’s) Sweeny complex, a small amount of unique improvements made a significant difference in the program’s success.

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Pump Technology Balancing Tradition & Innovation

by Heinz P. Bloch

Process pump reliability logically involves a combination of fluid-related performance and design decisions that focus on engineering materials and the configuration of mechanical components. Recent case studies have pointed out improvement opportunities in the relative design conservatism found in certain process pump models. Combined with deficiencies in the training of personnel, it can be argued that pump reliability has not made as much progress as it perhaps could.

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Maintenance Cost and Estimated Replacement Value

by Torbjörn Idhammar, IDCON INC

Yesterday you were a happy camper.  Today you are told your Maintenance Cost (MC) as a percent of your Estimated Replacement Value (ERV) is 4.9%.  According to Consulting, Inc. and your corporate management 4.9% is way too high.  Good performers are under 3%, some operations are even under 2%.  So, the question is what are you going to do about it Mr. Maintenance Manager?

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21st Century Oil Analysis – Fantastic Gains – Still More to Learn and Do

by Jack Poley

A year ago, I wrote an article on the New Paradigms in Oil Analysis and Condition Monitoring (Uptime, Feb/March12) citing the huge gains in-service oil analysis (OA) has made in the last decade.

These included:

  • Online and inline sensors instantly creating a third tier of testing:
    • Tier 1 – Sensors (no longer does vibration have an online monopoly).
    • Tier 2 – Onsite laboratories and test instruments.
    • Tier 3 – The traditional commercial lab (the original format).
  • Large particle inspections out of the reach of standard UV metals analysis.
  • Automated intelligent agent data evaluation and comment generation.

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Workforce Development

by Ramesh Gulati
Co-author: Bill Hall

Big changes are happening in today’s workforce. These changes have nothing to do with downsizing, global competition, or stress; it is the problem of a distinct generation gap. Young people entering the workforce are of diversified background and have much different attitudes about work. They want a life‐work balance. They want to be led, not managed — and certainly not micro‐managed. The new mode is flexibility and informality. A large proportion of our managers of the veteran era have been trained in relatively autocratic and directive methods that don’t sit well with today’s employees. Are we preparing our workforce to meet tomorrow’s need?

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NFPA’s Hazard Rating Diamond

by Ron Parker STS, CHST

The National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA) developed a rating system to identify and rank the hazards of a material.  If you have previously worked in construction you’ve probably seen the colorful labels used to explain these hazards.  The label is diamond-shaped, made up of four smaller diamonds.  The colors are blue, red, yellow and white.  Inside the colored smaller diamonds are numbers or symbols loaded with a wealth of knowledge.

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4 Ways To Break Free From Being ‘Too Busy’

by Rikki Rogers

America began to acknowledge its cultural obsession with “busyness” a few years ago, when Tim Kreider wrote the now legendary piece “The Busy Trap” for the New York Times. Nearly three years later, while our culture certainly hasn’t changed, an admitted addiction to busyness has at least transitioned from groundbreaking journalism to mainstream conversations.

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Costs, Benefits and Projecting Project Payback

by Andrew Gager

I renewed my subscription to Consumer Reports last month. I don’t buy anything of value without referencing Consumer Reports and two or three other review sources. For instance, I just bought a new lawn tractor. I researched the options for weeks before finally purchasing one. It takes about 1½ hours to cut my lawn with a traditional push mower. I figured a riding mower would cut my mowing time significantly. So my cost-to-benefit ratio was based on money spent now divided by the total number of hours reduced over X years. A no brainer, right?

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