Many machines in process plants are subjected to operating conditions that vary from their original design envelope due to changes in feedstocks, upstream or downstream equipment, or wear. A thorough assessment of a machine's thermodynamic performance using actual operating conditions can provide the end user with the data needed to make informed decisions regarding maintenance activities.
Centrifugal and reciprocating pumps and compressors can all experience performance degradation over time. Additionally, equipment re-rates or new installations should be evaluated to verify that the proposed equipment will meet process requirements. Performance analysis is often conducted for new installations, pre-/post-outage performance verifications, and for eliminating "bad actors."
Compressor and pump performance analyses can be effective as a diagnostic tool for identifying the root cause of poor equipment performance. The pump that "won't pump" or the degraded compressor efficiency can often be diagnosed through careful collection and review of process data. Incremental efficiency improvements for critical machinery through correction of problems identified by performance analyses can often yield exceptional returns from reduced fuel and energy consumption costs or increased throughput.
In addition to troubleshooting and reduction in operating costs, pump and compressor performance analysis can be beneficial for maintenance planning. Isolation of the root cause of poor performance prior to planned outages is critical for developing the scope of repairs prior to an overhaul of a machine.
Kelm Engineering, LLC uses a mixture of proprietary and commercially available software to evaluate equipment thermodynamic performance. We can evaluate in situ performance using data from plant process data historians or collect applicable data using advanced field testing equipment. This is often evaluated for actual performance relative to OEM supplied performance curves to determine actual performance.
In some cases, we have developed troubleshooting tools for plant Rotating Equipment Engineers to investigate equipment performance problems or predict performance under varied operating conditions.
Kelm Engineering, LLC is a registered engineering firm in Texas, with employees that are ISO certified vibration analysts and consultants with Category 3 and 4 certifications through the Vibration Institute. We have over 30 years of combined experience in the vibration analysis, field balancing, transient monitoring (startup up of turbomachinery), modal analysis (operating deflection shapes), and torsional vibration field measurements. In addition, we provide a wide range of mechanical engineering services including piping and structural dynamics, finite element analysis, flow induced vibration, as well as noise and pressure pulsation analysis.