(152c) Real-Time Condition Monitoring of Mechanical Seals in Rotating Equipment | AIChE

(152c) Real-Time Condition Monitoring of Mechanical Seals in Rotating Equipment

Rotating equipment, such as turbomachinery and pumps, are often the most critical equipment within a production facility. Extended equipment downtime results in production delays, material shortages, and significant financial losses. To mitigate this issue, many production facilities closely monitor such equipment’s operating conditions and performance as part of a predictive and preventative maintenance program.

Many options exist for monitoring the health and performance of rotating equipment, but few provide detailed and actionable data specific to the equipment’s mechanical seals. Mechanical seals are one of the most sensitive components within a piece of rotating machinery. As such, seal failure and replacement are frequently cited as the cause of unplanned shutdowns of pumps and compressors. Traditional condition monitoring techniques cannot always determine whether a transient event within the process damaged the mechanical seals, or whether the root cause of an alarm is a failed seal. Advances in condition monitoring spurred by Industry 4.0 technologies allow reliability practitioners to monitor mechanical seal performance in real-time.

This lecture discusses the hardware and software required to implement a mechanical seal asset monitoring program. In addition, it discusses the theory behind a novel sensing method utilized in such technologies. The lecture underscores the benefits of monitoring these components in real-time. It includes case studies highlighting potential increases in seal and compressor reliability, and reductions in emissions from implementing such a program.



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