Power plants and turbines
Though the exact causes of problems aren’t always immediately evident, or easy to resolve, the indications of a problem are there for experts to recognize, often times far earlier than more overt evidence of a failure. Digitalization has made collecting and using such insights a tool for preventing severe equipment damage, and keeping systems online.
Customer and industry need
The limitations of manual inspection are no different than the problems inherent in analog record-keeping; there are physical limits to how much information can be gathered, accessed, and applied. There is a competitive advantage for companies to go beyond maintenance as a reactive service, and consider it an active tool to predict, and then prevent problems before they occur. Data make this possible.
An example: severe damage occurs in a utility turbine bearing but indications of the problem are subtle and hard to detect.
As part of a predictive maintenance service contract, the ABB Service Center notices the bearing is running hotter than normal.
Turbine engineers examined shaft orbit plots for the bearing. Shaft motion for a normal bearing would have an elliptical shape. Next, the engineers examined shaft centerline plots. They noted that after a temperature spike, the change in shaft position exceeded the available clearance in the bearing and concluded that the bearing was badly damaged.
The ABB Ability™ solutions
ABB Ability solutions for power plants are complemented by ABB Service Centers which provide expertise and services such as monitoring, diagnosis, optimization and maintenance.
ABB’s collaborative approach is key in supporting the customer’s decision-making, as are rule-based diagnosis, providing both the probability of the failure and its severity, and root cause analysis of the potential failure.
Advanced monitoring and diagnostic tools, moreover, provide knowledge and expert on-site personnel for detecting a hidden issue and preventing severe turbine damage.
ABB and ABB Ability portfolio highlights:
• Condition monitoring
• Turbine Lifetime monitoring
• Plant Performance monitoring
Advanced monitoring and diagnosis lead to improved predictive maintenance, increased availability and reduced Time To Repair. Advanced diagnostic software and excellent engineering skills can also prevent expensive and dangerous incidents, thus avoiding repair costs, unplanned downtime and loss of revenues.