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Deferred maintenance causes upsurge in pump failures

05.01.2011  |  Bloch, H. P.,  Hydrocarbon Processing Staff, 

Not addressing the root cause of a failure puts resources and employees at risk

Keywords: [pumps] [oil] [lubrication] [maintenance] [bearing]

If your facility has recently seen an upsurge in bearing failures on boiler feedwater (BFW) pumps in the 200 kW–2,000 kW range, it will not be the only one with this costly experience. Failure causes are elusive, which is why plants have so many unresolved repeat failures. As we take note of them, we realize that these frequent failures are very often related to economic downturns. During economic downturns, maintenance outlays and, of course, training funds are among the first to be curtailed. Maintenance managers then decide to authorize only those repairs that they deem absolutely necessary. In effect, these decisions often encourage treating the symptoms and discourage looking for the true root causes of failures. Ultimately, higher maintenance expenditures and more outage events are incurred. This article explains how the underlying causes of these and other process pump failures must be addressed and avoided.

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