What You Should Know About Condition Based Maintenance

According to Markets and Markets, the machine condition monitoring market reached an estimated value of $2.21 billion for 2017. This market is expected to grow to $3.5 billion by the year 2024. It includes items such as vibration monitoring, oil analysis, thermography, corrosion, emissions, and more. The proper operation of a plant is related to the application of these disciplines in maintaining equipment. It is critical to ensure the right maintenance is carried out on time and at budget to minimize downtime during shutdowns and turnarounds. One of the newest ways to do so is through the practice of condition-based maintenance.

What Is Condition Based Maintenance?

Condition based maintenance (CBM) is a methodology that prioritizes maintenance tasks depending on the current condition of equipment and other assets. The condition is assessed through:

  1. Visual inspections.
  2. Testing.
  3. Performance data.

These steps allow you to get a bird’s eye view of your equipment to predict which are most likely to fail in order to schedule maintenance work before the break down. In a hypothetical scenario, a sensor on a piece of equipment may alert when there is excessive vibration. Putting off an alignment or other task until the sensor detects a certain level of vibration would be considered condition-based maintenance.

During a shutdown, condition-based maintenance would be used to:

  1. Perform periodic to continuous equipment monitoring.
  2. Schedule maintenance during the shutdown based on the actual condition of equipment rather than a pre-set schedule.

Condition Based Maintenance in Practice

 The below are common activities associated with condition-based maintenance before shutdowns and turnarounds.

Physical and Mechanical Inspection – This includes evaluating the exterior condition and cleanliness of equipment and their components. You should inspect for conditions that could lead to leakage, affect temperature, or that could expose an electrical current.

Spills and Leaks – Inspect visually or even with moisture detection equipment for leaks in oil, coolant, lubricant, and other liquids. Use special care when inspecting electrical equipment.

Grounding and Anchoring – Each piece of equipment should be secure and grounded before, during, and after the shutdown.

Monitor Performance – Use items such as capacitors, transformers, and battery levels to measure the performance of your equipment to ensure they are operating within acceptable parameters.

Oil and Gas Analysis – This is a non-invasive technique that can outline the internal condition of a motor. The process works by analyzing the number and size of debris in collected oil to determine the wear on the asset.

Condition Based Maintenance Summary

 The profitability of a shutdown or turnaround is directly related to the amount of uninterrupted days of operation. A condition-based maintenance program should be carried out to include preventative maintenance while the plant is in operation including inspections, surveys, diagnostic testing, and more in order to develop the best plan possible.

AMACS is a trusted, global supplier to the refining, chemical, petrochemical, and gas processing industries. AMACS engineers are leaders in offering industry solutions in the design and manufacture of separation and mass transfer equipment. AMACS offers customers a seasoned consulting team to advise the correct “replacement in-kind equipment” of hardware, trays, packing, and mist eliminators for towers, regardless of the original manufacturer. The team is available 24/7 to quickly service planned or unplanned shutdowns while manufacturing items quickly from our Houston or Monterrey facility.