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Reciprocating compressor failure

In this case study from a chemicals and fiber company in Taiwan, a reciprocating compressor failed due to carbon residue on the piston rods.

The compressor was monitored online using vibration and SPM LR/HR HD shock pulse measurement. Interestingly, the LR/HR readings did not show increasing shock pulse levels while this machine fault was developing, nor did the Vel Rms values reach the configured alert levels. A different approach was needed to capture this particular failure mode. A closer look at the vibration readings revealed a significant increase in the Kurtosis levels, indicating that this was a more suitable parameter to monitor in this case. Thus, an alert on the Kurtosis level was added to the system to help prevent future compressor breakdowns. Furthermore, the case study also demonstrates how viewing the time signal in a circular plot is useful to determine the running condition of reciprocating compressors.

During maintenance of the failed compressor, carbon residue was found on the piston rod, confirming the theory that high Kurtosis levels can indicate the rubbing of residues.

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Case Study
Filename/description Language Size Modified
CS_034B_Reciprocating_compressor_Formosa Chemicals_TW.pdf English (United Kingdom) 18 MB 9/12/2022
In this case study from a chemicals and fiber company in Taiwan, a reciprocating compressor failed due to carbon residue on the piston rods.

HD technologies

Condition monitoring with High Definition (HD) technologies provides extremely long pre-warning times, thus maximizing the planning horizon for maintenance and repairs.

Intellinova family

The Intellinova online systems combine HD measurement technologies with high-performance digital hardware to ensure the earliest possible warning of deteriorating mechanical condition.

Solutions for the chemical industry

Chemical industries are generally sensitive to production stoppages. Due to long production chains in the lines, breakdowns have a significant negative impact.