• Unstable pump operation identified at an offshore oil platform

What did GE's analytics software find?

In September, the GE SmartSignal solution detected an increase in bearing vibrations on both the drive end and non-drive end bearings of a water injection pump on an offshore oil platform. Vibrations increased to as high as 33um, with a model estimate of approximately 15um. These increased vibrations occured while the pump was operating at low discharge flow. GE’s Industrial Performance & Reliability Center (IPRC) added these items to the weekly report for discussion with the customer.

 

What was the underlying cause?

Upon investigation, the customer discovered that the pump was being operated below the minimum continuous stable flow (MCSF) limit.

 

What was the value to the customer?

Due to the initial notification from the IPRC and follow-up work provided by GE's GE SmartSignal and Bently Nevada software, the customer was able to modify the pump operation by increasing the recycle flow. After the modification, the pump vibrations returned to the model estimate. This change helped to extend the life of the pump.

Screenshot depicting increases in actual bearing vibrations (blue) versus expected values (green).

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