My experiences in troubleshooting at various sites

Many years ago, while I was working with Engineers India Limited, I was extensively involved in troubleshooting of rotating equipment for their Vibration and Noise problems, and resolving most of them, by sheer “Sixth Sense”. Some of the Centrifugal Pump Vibrations problem handled were:

  • Grey Water multistage Pump, 500 KW at GNFC Bharuch
  • Fractionating Bottoms Pump, 400 Kw, BRPL, Bongaigaon
  • Topped Crude Pump, 230 KW, CRL Cochin
  • Vertical Cooling Water Pumps, 1500 KW KIOCL Kudremukh
  • Main Oil Line Pumps, 2700 KW, BHS Platform (Offshore)

These experiences required detailed study of each of these equipment design, P&IDs, vendor data and measure operating parameters besides vibrations at site, and applicable codes and standards. Exhaustive analysis of these input data gave insight into equipment design and procurement errors which were “lessons learnt” and would be corrected in next project. I also happen to Meet Mr. Igor J. Karassik (“pump user’s engineer”) while he visited EIL, and posed the IOC Bongaigaon Pump issue with him. His advice – Reciprocating pump may have been a better option instead of multistage Centrifugal pump which was provided, due to solid contents in the fluid!

Another case in point was a large 400 KW Induced Draft Fan creating very high vibrations and Noise at IOC Barauni, for which no reason could be assigned. Despite all possible analysis and measurements at the site, and spending two days there, I could assign nothing to the problem, and was about to return back to Delhi the next day. Around 9:00 PM while at the Company Guest House, I asked the site engineer whether he can visit to site with me at that time. He was glad to do that, we both reached site and I asked him to arrange a technician to open the Fan Cover. As soon as the cover was removed, we saw in the torch light the impeller has moved axially by about 2”! And lo and behold – the issue was known. I kept my next day flight as scheduled – site management confirmed they can easily handle this now. Never heard of any vibration problem in that ID fan after that.


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