Maximizing machine health
in Heat and Power

The challenge

At power and district heating plants, continuous and optimized production is what delivers the profits. This drives the need for high asset availability and optimized maintenance. A key process in optimizing these two is condition monitoring. Quite often the main process e.g. the turbine is equipped with an on-line monitoring system. Yet, many of the supporting but still critical devices like fans and pumps are monitored manually or by monitoring only general values, such as bearing temperatures. This gives only primitive indication that something is going horribly wrong.

Keep an eye on assets using modern technology

Traditional on-line systems have not been developed with the aim of creating an agile remote condition monitoring solution, ending up being complex and costly. They are also often developed as single-purpose solutions and coupled with the core process asset, e.g. the aforementioned turbine. They have not been developed to include peripheral critical assets without compromises. With Condense-technology we have been able to scale down the cost, making professional systems available for smaller sites and applications without compromising required features and functions.

From the monitoring perspective, in power and heating facilities, typical applications include feed water pumps, smoke, sulphur exhaust and ventilation fans. Manual processes and traditional monitoring systems offer data delivered in intervals. Instead of requiring frequent reporting intervals, Condense delivers a real-time trend of the condition of the asset or its component, say bearings. With Condense, everyone involved has the same information at their disposal at the same time. In the case that an external service provider is used, they can access the data and analysis (also raw time-domain samples) from wherever they are, avoiding the excess cost of travelling. Modern architecture and technology make monitoring simple, efficient and affordable.

A comprehensive view into the
health of the asset

Typical measurements from rotating machines are related to the data and analysis of oil quality and high-frequency vibration, complemented with measurements like temperatures or voltage. How extensive monitoring is conducted is dependent on the business case as well as the complexity of the machine. Commonly the setup consists of vibration, oil-contamination and temperature measurements, which offer a view into the health of a machine and enable predicting potential failures before they become challenges. The modular system can always be updated later with additional sensors if needed. Measurements and analyses as well as the firmware of the smart unit are all controlled from the cloud.

The Benefits

Removing the element of surprise by merely knowing more and earlier is the first benefit of implementing the system. Once potential issues are detected, they can be followed, and actions optimized with condition-based maintenance methods instead of frequent inspections and time-based services. In this model, unplanned downtime for repairs can be minimized and performed when the loss of production has the least impact.

Especially in unmanned facilities, centralizing knowhow and monitoring to one point, or perhaps a virtual condition monitoring team, is very beneficial. Service and maintenance decisions can be based on just-in-time actual data and condition information, comparable with similar facilities and assets. Necessary actions can be scheduled either for an optimal point in production or for example availability and location of maintenance crews.

Condense brings professional industrial grade condition monitoring tools to facilities and applications where online condition monitoring was not affordable before. Advanced data collection and analysis combined with fast-to-deploy architecture takes the uptime and reliability of power and heating plants to the next level.

STEEL AND METAL

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