An engine/compressor surveillance program’s main objective is to keep machinery running reliably as long as possible, thereby reducing maintenance expense and supporting production. Scheduled maintenance is recommended only when it is felt that the machine will not “last” until the next surveillance period. The term “last” can mean: (1) if equipment continues to operate, a failure could cause machinery to become unsafe, or (2) a catastrophic failure could occur resulting in extended downtime and more expensive repairs.
The following parameters may be established to classify machinery conditions:
Phase I. Potential problem. Symptom of a potential problem is present, but of low magnitude. If, however, the unit is shutdown for another reason, before the next analysis, it would be advantageous to make the repair.
Phase II. Predictable failure stage. Schedule maintenance within a few days. Conditions call for scheduled maintenance. Experience indicates that machinery in this condition can deteriorate rapidly.
Phase III. Failure imminent. Recommended immediate shutdown. Analysis indicates probable catastrophic failure. The shutdown surveillance team will gather needed data and then immediately contact the operator to shut down the unit. The surveillance team will then notify proper personnel and present them with supporting data.
Through coordinated efforts between the surveillance team, operations, and maintenance, the recommended repairs are scheduled, and when complete, are recorded for review by interested personnel.