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Predictive Maintenance

Monitoring critical asset avoids 45 days of downtime

March 25, 2022

The challenge: improving uptime

Our client, a mineral processing plant in Atlantic Canada, wanted to monitor the health of a critical asset, an autoclave agitator, to improve plant uptime.

After analyzing their need, our team recommended and installed an Emerson AMS 6500 Machinery Health Monitoring system to provide predictive vibration monitoring.

Visibility pays off
Shortly after the system was installed, our client’s vibration specialist was checking online vibration data and discovered that there was a peak on one of the agitators, which led him to recommend a speed reduction of 10% on that agitator to prevent further bearing problems.

Once the speed was adjusted, the agitators’ vibration signature returned to normal. With this information in hand, our client’s vibration specialist was able to diagnose the peak’s source and alert operations that they needed to order a replacement part before the agitator sustained any further damage.

When the agitator’s vibration started to peak again despite the slower rotation speed, our client needed to shut the autoclave down to replace the faulty agitator component.

Because the AMS 6500 system had created an early awareness of the issue, parts had been purchased proactively in order to be ready for the eventuality of an unplanned shutdown. Since they already had the replacement part on hand and knew about the upcoming repair, our client was able to perform the repair when it was needed without additional shutdown time.

The impact
By implementing predictive monitoring of a critical asset, our client avoided an estimated 45 days of machinery downtime, which would have cost 17 million dollars in lost production hours. Proactive repairs also prevented further damage and stress to the autoclave.

Finally, by monitoring assets online instead of through traditional methods, the plant helped create a safer environment for its employees and a more streamlined monitoring workflow.

$ 17M

savings documented 

45 days of downtime avoided