EnVibe’s in-the-field rotating equipment vibrational analysis expertise and experience was called upon after a client had two successive fan catastrophic failures in their cooling fan on their gas-fired generator. The client’s belt-driven, overhung fan shattered into many pieces due to unforeseen reasons. This particular fan’s vibration signature and reliability condition could not be assessed while in running state due to inaccessibility of positioning vibration analysis diagnostics on said rotating equipment.
To remedy the catastrophe, the client installed a new fan with an accelerometer to remotely measure any vibrational abnormalities. Upon running the second installation of this new fan, it also ended in catastrophe with another fan blowout. This is when the client called in EnVibe’s expert analysis and experience to understand why they were installing and loosing fans.
When the client’s in-house maintenance and vibration team could not identify the problem of the exploding fan, and in the interest of not loosing another fan, EnVibe came in with higher-level analysis and in-the-field experience to see if they could identify and solve the root cause of the exploding fan.
Working with the in-house maintenance and vibration team, EnVibe performed analysis on a newly installed fan and observed that vibration levels were excessive. EnVibe performed resonance testing which indicated resonance at turning speed. Based on interviews with maintenance team and using their own expert experience, EnVibe’s Analyst Grady Gage determined that the fan bearings were bound which caused excessive heat and lead to the fan’s shaft to bend at a 45 degree angle (see pic to right). Combined with natural resonance, this was suspected to be the root cause failure of the previous fan blowouts. The future for this currently installed fan was the same as the others if immediate, corrective field balancing measures were not taken. In short, without remedy, this fan’s future was catastrophic.
To achieve reliable equipment running condition, EnVibe did the onsite field balancing by applying counter-balance weights to the installed fan. Result was a smooth running fan with no more catastrophic failures. EnVibe was able to prevent catastrophe of the newly installed fan, create a reliable equipment running environment and save the client money and any unforeseen operating down-time.