Machine Health Case Study Shows the Value of Proactive Maintenance
Arnold Lander posted on November 27, 2019 |
Forest products company in Simsboro Louisiana is the subject of a machine health case study.
Forest products company in Simsboro Louisiana is the subject of a machine health case study.

Machine diagnostics are nothing new. In the early years, pilot lights were employed that would, if operational, aid repair technicians to determine the current state of the machine. Modern machines have an HMI (Human Machine Interface) that is capable of displaying thousands of machine condition and fault messages that significantly reduce the meantime to repair faulty equipment. However, a common weakness of these systems is that they are reactive in nature.

Augury, an AI-based provider of machine health solutions, recently completed a case study that showcases the benefits of a proactive diagnostic system employing wireless sensors to continuously monitor critical equipment and report potential failures before they occur.  The research was done at a forest products company that was plagued by equipment failures resulting in substantial production losses.

The Roseburg plant in Simsboro Louisiana had particular needs that started with upgrading their overall reliability program but also required the capabilities of a turnkey equipment monitoring and analysis system. The solution needed to be easily scalable and integrate into their Enterprise Asset Management System. It would also be required to provide insights for both the plant level and corporate stakeholders while being accessible through the cloud.

Soon after deployment, the Simsboro plant saw a return on their investment. Augury’s digital health program revealed that 30% of the plant’s machines were not performing as desired. The program uncovered a variety of mechanical issues - such as shaft misalignment, severe bearing wear, and imbalance - that the on-site team was unaware of when relying on third-party vibration analysts and standard prevention and maintenance schedules.

Shaft misalignment, bearing wear, and load imbalances were causing 30% of The Simsboro plant equipment to perform below optimum values.
Shaft misalignment, bearing wear, and load imbalances were causing 30% of The Simsboro plant equipment to perform below optimum values.

In one instance immediately after installation on an RTO fan (Regenerative Thermal Oxidizer), the crew was alerted to mechanical looseness, resonance, and bearing wear. Given the advanced notice and actionable insights, they were able to keep the motor running while they waited for the necessary parts to be delivered. Ultimately, catastrophic failure and production loss was avoided. This single event led to a cost avoidance of $126,000.

         Copy of report detailing corrective actions for RTO fan.

Within the first eight months of deployment, a total of 21 major faults affecting critical equipment were identified, preventing production loss costs of over $472,000.

The actionable diagnostics provided to the Simsboro plant have improved the reliability of its entire manufacturing process prompting Roseburg to expand the program across its North American operations.


You can read the entire case study here.


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