Why do we need continuous online monitoring systems
Refinery balance-of-plant machines such as pumps are sometimes monitored by only portable monitoring instruments on a routine basis if they are monitored at all. Such pumps are easy to replace and there are often back-ups if one fails. Therefore, you may ask, why is an online monitoring system even needed?
In this article, there are two case studies at a major refinery on solvent booster pumps. These were monitored by portable vibration instruments, which give early detection of normal bearing faults. The instruments, however, could not be used for fast-developing faults, such as lack of lubrication.
The bearings failed undetected and allowed volatile gases to escape, which ignited, creating expensive, damaging fires. In another case, there was a risk of a seal leak due to improper shaft replacement.
When the online, rack-based VC-8000 SETPOINT® protection and condition monitoring system from Brüel & Kjær Vibro (B&K Vibro) was installed to replace the portables, the problem disappeared.
Read more about it here.