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How GE Helps Customers Remotely in the Petrochemical Industry During After-Outage Startup Issues

in Case by

Customer remedies high vibrations in recycle compressor unit  using remote monitoring and diagnostics from GE’s System 1* condition monitoring software to reduce downtime.

PROBLEM

A Norwegian-based customer had completed its 2014 outage successfully and in a timely manner. The critical machine is located at a platform operating in the Norwegian offshore sector. When an attempt was made to start up the 1st/2nd stage recycle compressor, it tripped several times on high vibrations at the electric motor and the LSS of the gearbox.

Services EngineerSOLUTION

Since the customer could not identify the root cause of the elevated vibrations during these startups, it decided to fully use the benefits of its Services Support Agreement (SSA) by contacting GE’s Remote Monitoring Center in the Netherlands. The initial request per email was at 7:47 am. Even though GE was not given the exact details of the machine configuration, particularly the setup of the startup control system, by logging into GE’s System 1 software platform our experts could remotely assess the situation, look at the data stored in System 1, and analyze why the high vibrations were occurring. An email was sent to the customer at 8:31 am with the message that the four startup attempts were similar in behavior, and the issue had manifested at the electric motor and on the LSS of the gearbox. Based on the available data, it was determined that the higher-than-normal ramp rate during startup probably was the reason for the high vibration.

PAYBACK

System 1 provided real-time and accurate information about the problem after the platform outage. Immediate support for the analyses could be delivered by using a connection to the System 1 server from a remote location. The detailed information the customer received from System 1 made it possible to reduce the number of probable causes and led to the prompt identification of a malfunction of one of the cards from the unit’s variable frequency drive. A quick exchange of the card led to limited unnecessary downtime and loss of production – a substantial savings for the customer.

BENEFITS

• Short response time to investigate the issue due to the SSA in place
• Limitation of unnecessary downtime resulting in an estimated $4 million USD in cost savings
• Prompt assessment of the data, which prevented unnecessary loss of production

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