Efficient Plant March 2021 - 26

feature | solution focus

Oil mist
re-classifier
fitting

Constant level
lubricator

Oil ring
Normal oil level
Study 1: Lack of lubrication is caused by over-pressure
delivery of purge-oil mist. The resulting oil level is below
the oil ring, though the sight glass incorrectly indicates a
sufficient level.

Original height of
shaft shoulder

root cause was the mist-lubrication system. The bearings are lubricated by
an oil ring. Oil mist is injected into the bearing housing at a pressure slightly
greater than ambient to act as a purge that prevents contaminants from entering the housing. The oil mist was insufficient to lubricate the bearings on its
own, so the oil ring had to be in contact with the oil to splash the oil around.
As a result of an installation error, an improper re-classifier fitting was
mounted to the bearing housing during a previous service. This allowed
abnormally high over-pressured oil mist to push the oil level into the housing
below the oil ring, giving a false reading on the constant-level lubrication
system eyeglass. As there was no contact between the oil ring and the oil, this
resulted in loss of lubrication to the bearing. After determining the root cause
of the problem, the correct re-classifier was installed and the loss of lubrication problem ceased.
In addition, the Setpoint online monitoring system was selected to replace
the portable monitoring instrument. To achieve the same early bearing fault
detection and diagnostic capability of the portable instrument, the online
system was modified to use the same advanced non-proprietary bearingmonitoring technique used by the handheld, so the bearing faults could be
continuously monitored. This technique was correlated to bearing temperature through relay voting logic in the new system for extra detection reliability. This allowed the online system to quickly trip the pump before damage
was incurred or a fire started.

STUDY 2
During refurbishment of one of the solvent booster pumps, a damaged
shaft was replaced by a newly machined shaft. The replacement shaft was
not up to specification; the outer diameter of the shaft bearing shoulder was
undersized. After several months of operation, the Setpoint system issued an
axial-vibration alarm on the pump. At first it was believed that it was a false
alarm. After the pump was disassembled and inspected, it was determined
that the shaft shoulder, against which the radial/axial thrust bearing sits, was
damaged. The vibration alarm was not the result of loss of lubrication or a
defective bearing, but a deformed bearing shoulder on the shaft. If the pump
shaft is allowed to move in the axial direction, even for a small displacement, this can stress the bearings and the mechanical seals, leading to a leak.
During service, a shaft with the correct dimensions was installed.

EARLY-DETECTION BENEFITS
Shoulder
deformation

Axial
displacement

Study 2: When the outer diameter of the shaft was reduced,
the reduced height of the bearing shoulder deformed due
to thrust loading, allowing the shaft to axially displace. The
Setpoint system can be configured for special applications
such as axial vibration. alarms.

26

| EFFICIENTPLANTMAG.COM

EP2103fsolfocus.indd 26

The solvent booster pumps presented two monitoring challenges that could
not be addressed by the portable monitoring systems. The Setpoint online
system was easy to configure for the special application and capable of detecting numerous faults, including installation and service faults, not just typical
bearing wear. The system increased asset reliability, reduced maintenance and
pump lifecycle costs, improved machine uptime, and mitigated fire risk. EP
For more information on the Setpoint system, visit bkvibro.com.

MARCH 2021

3/1/21 9:21 AM


http://www.bkvibro.com http://www.EFFICIENTPLANTMAG.COM

Efficient Plant March 2021

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