APM Mechanical Integrity: Inspection Management for Rotary Assets
With increasing pressure to optimize costs, as well as, regulatory constraints, it is crucial that inspection and maintenance capabilities are streamlined to deliver the utmost efficiency and actionable insights to asset-intensive organizations. Inspection Management has long been an integral part of Meridium Enterprise Asset Performance Management (APM) Mechanical Integrity solution. Little, however, has been done to explore the possibility of leveraging this capability’s functionality to other Taxonomy categories such as, rotating machines, electrical machines, etc. I hope to provide some technical insights into its benefits in this post.
Traditionally, the strategy development for a rotating machine starts with identifying the criticality of an asset or group of assets and ends with actions implemented in an Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) system.
With respect to other reliability studies, the output is in form of Performance Recommendations generated from Reliability Analytics (RA), Root Cause Analysis (RCA), Lifecycle Cost Analysis, etc.
The major questions that come to mind with respect to this work process are:
- Are the Reliability Centered Maintenance (RCM) recommendations implemented?
- When is the next action due date?
- Was any recommendation deferred? If yes, why?
- How to capture recommended task details?
- Where to find the inspection findings As-I/As-Left condition?
- Is the inspection findings/reports approved by a supervisor?
- Can I assign the task to a user?
- How can I define the task list or the scope of any action?
- I assigned a failure mode to a component and defined its failure pattern. Do I need to capture failure rate of component?
- Do we track opportunity based replacements/repairs?
- How can I verify that a field engineer has done the maintenance, as per the Condition Based Maintenance (CBM) expert recommendations?
APM Mechanical Integrity can answer all of these questions. For example, a Centrifugal pump criticality is found to be “Very High.” The system is taken for RCM analysis. A team of reliability engineers sits down to identify the functions, functional failures, failure modes, effect and recommendation. The RCM analysis once approved is promoted to the Asset Strategy Management (ASM) capability within the APM software, where the cost risk balancing is done and the action is then sent to the Asset Strategy Implementation (ASI) capability to be packaged. The Rotary experts can then say they work has been accomplished.
Now, let me fill in some of the gaps…
Iinstead of the actions being pushed to ASI, create inspection tasks for each action item. If misalignment is a failure mode, and performing a laser alignment is the recommended action, create an inspection task for alignment and the scope of alignment will be based on the extent of:
- Laser Alignment – Axial Reading <=0.005/ Radial reading<=0.005
- Laser Alignment + Piping Tension
- Laser Alignment + Thermal Stress
- Dual Gauge Alignment + Foundation Check
An analyst has the power to create inspections and record the origination of the inspection, record As-is and As-left readings (along with field photos) in a checklist. The inspection is approved by a supervisor and reports are automatically generated and linked to the asset. Being an inspection task scheduled every year, the analyst will get the list in “Due inspection” and if the task is decided to be deferred due to some maintenance completed during month 11, the same shall be recorded and the action can be deferred for another 12 months.
So, the RCM experts get a complete picture of how the analysis is being implemented for strategic actions.
Since Inspection Management comes with Work Management Interface (WMI), the same can be implemented through EAM system.
Now, let’s talk about other scenarios that exist in field…
If an inspection task is created from a CBM recommendation for bearing replacement, the vibration analyst can define the scope of work and the kind of inspection report that will be generated. The inspection will come back for approval to the vibration analyst, closing the loop of eliminating the failure mode identified through CBM. A corrective action done against a CBM recommendation gets linked to the CBM recommendation and the health indicator record with field inspection checklist and approved inspection report. The inspection report can be linked to the high vibration pattern observed before maintenance taking the analytical capability of CBM to the next level.
If a breakdown has occurred, a full inspection report shall be generated and the inspection checklist completed during the maintenance with As-Is failure photos for all profiles for the failed asset can be used by the RCA team later on for detailed analysis. The inspection report can be used as a reference document directly linked to the RCA analysis. Any abnormal observation related to maintainable item (profile) is captured against the maintainable item helping the stock keeper for future procurements or storage.
If time-based maintenance for general cleaning and alignment check is being performed and found that the seal has also failed, the inspection of the seal profile shall capture “Replaced during PM as found damaged.” The details of damage and replacement will also be captured in the checklist. In addition, component level failure history can be captured and leveraged to identify the failure rate of maintainable item.
The question reliability engineers need to ask themselves is, “Are we ready to say Inspection Management is not only about Mechanical Integrity but also for Asset Reliability? I think so, but let me know what you think by commenting below.
You can learn more about Meridium’s APM Mechanical Integrity Solution by downloading this datasheet.