Pro-Active / Prevention Maintenance Services

Companies interested in preventing costly failures of their rotating machinery should strongly consider instituting a Proactive Maintenance program.


Below are the ten basic steps we perform for you in starting and conducting an effective Pro-Active / Prevention Maintenance Program.

Step 1. Generate a list of all the rotating machinery in your facility. It would be helpful to gather all the nameplate data on both the driver and driven units. If possible, it would also be helpful to know the machinery identification (e.g. Pump# 103-A), operating shaft speeds, the types of bearings on the machinery, the type of flexible coupling or belt & sheave info, how often it is in operation (continuous or intermittent duty), and operational parameters such as: flow rates, pressure, temperature, amperage, etc.

Step 2. Decide the priority level of the machinery. Usually there are four priority levels: Critical, High, Medium, and Low. Below are guidelines to assign appropriate priority levels to your machinery.

Critical Priority Equipment
This is equipment that would have a considerable impact on production loss or personnel safety. It is frequently the larger, more expensive equipment in the plant or it performs a vital function to production and does not have a standby unit in the event of a failure. Sometimes the equipment does not run on a continuing basis but still is critical such as fire water pumps, emergency exhaust fans, or standby electric generators for example. It is recommended that this equipment be periodically monitored monthly to every 3 months.

High Priority Equipment
Failure of this type of equipment would have a temporary impact on production but not necessarily cripple operation for long periods of time. Machinery in this category frequently has a spare or standby unit that could be started in the event of a problem with the main unit. It could also be equipment that operates intermittently but is very expensive or there is a long lead time needed to secure replacement parts. It is recommended that this equipment be periodically monitored every 3 to 6 months.

Medium Priority Equipment
Machinery in this category would have a marginal impact on production or has several spare units to resume operation without detrimental effects. It could also encompass relatively expensive equipment that operates intermittently but spare parts could be obtained very quickly to effect the necessary repairs. It is recommended that this equipment be periodically monitored every 6 to 12 months.

Low Priority Equipment
Machinery that would have very little or no impact on production or can be repaired or replaced quickly would fall into this category. It is recommended that this equipment be periodically monitored every 12 to 24 months.

Step 3. Determine the physical location of the equipment in the plant. Perhaps the best way to do this is to have a plan view of the facility showing the position of the machinery. Identify which machinery is Critical, High, Medium, and Low priority. Start by “penciling” in the the probable sequence you will be taking as you walk from machine to machine in each one of the assigned priority levels. Decide what type of data will be collected at each machine (vibration, pressure, temperature, etc.)

Step 4. Physically walk through the route taking notes as you go. It is recommended that you keep the length of each “route” to less than 3 hours in duration. Tired people and equipment make for disappointment and pain later on. If you haven’t already done so, now may be a good time to take nameplate data on the machinery (e.g. Manufacturer, Mdl#, Ser.#, HP, RPM, Service Factor, Trip Speed, Property Record #). Ask yourself ...
- Can you reach all the bearing locations safely?
- Will coupling covers or other obstructions have to be removed to capture data?
- Does some of the machinery already have permanent monitoring systems that you should add to the route?
- Are there other types of parameters (e.g. pressure, temperature, flow, amperage, valve position, etc.) that should be included?
- How can I enter information other than performance data (e.g. oil leaks, loose bolts, broken or leaking piping, exposed wiring, etc.)?

Step 5. Create the master database file for the machinery and design the routes that will be used to collect the information. Decide how many and what kind of measurements will be taken on each machine, what vibration frequency range will be assigned to each point, and alarm limits. Gather any baseline data (vibration, pressure, temperature, etc.) for comparison purposes. “Baseline” data is defined as information that indicates the operating condition of a “healthy” machine. “Initial” data is defined as the information that is collected for the very first time on a piece of machinery. The initial data and the baseline data do not necessarily mean the same thing. If baseline data has never been collected on a specific piece of machinery, industry standards or data on similar equipment can be applied for comparison purposes until true baseline data can be obtained.

Step 6. Collect the data for all the machinery. Take notes to make any changes or corrections that were observed. Upload the data and save for future reference.

Step 7. Analyze the data by comparing it to baseline data or industry norms.

Step 8. Generate a report based on the findings. Clearly indicate what equipment has a problem, how bad the problem is, and what the recommended action is to be taken to remedy the problem.

Step 9. Follow up on the progress of the recommended action. Get involved with the repair or improvement process.

Step 10. Capture a set of measurements as soon as repairs are made to determine if the problem has been resolved and gather baseline data for future reference.