Richarson Oilseed is one of Canada’s oldest and largest fully-integrated crushing, refining, processing and packaging operations. In the absence of timely manufacturer support for a critical equipment issue, the full time onsite Acuren Condition Monitoring Specialist was able to diagnose and provide a detailed correction path on a defective trunion bearing. This included a complete pinion alignment within a planned outage window resulting in eliminating an unplanned outage with minimal equipment down time. Left undiagnosed, this would have resulted in a critical system failure, an unplanned outage, collateral damage and significant costs.
The Challenge – Leveraging Technology to Deliver Results
Utilizing mechanical Ultrasound an unusual popping and rubbing sound was identified at this cooker location and further investigation revealed that the rollers were making contact, and rubbing at the guard. Upon adjustment of the guard, the identified popping and rubbing became more distinct prompting further evaluation utilizing Vibration and Infrared Analysis. To complicate matters the manufacturer was unable to provide any bearing specifications, thus requiring more in-depth analysis to determine the root cause of the problem.
The Methodology – Analytical Problem Elimination
Once Vibration and Infrared data were collected, the results were reviewed by the Acuren team of reliability experts. The infrared data indicated a difference in temperature in excess of 5.7 degrees Celsius between known good and suspect bearings. In addition, the pinion shaft run-out was measured and results indicated a significant shaft deflection leading to the realization that the shaft was also bent.
The Value – Significant Costs Avoided
The hard dollar cost of this repair, including lost production was approximately $750,000. The bearing replacement and pinion alignment required 9 hours to complete with the equipment being restored to full operational capacity within 13 hours. Had this critical issue gone undetected, an unplanned repair would have taken an estimated 14 days with a cumulative conservative cost estimate, and negative impact on the bottom line, of $19.5 Million.
"Acuren’s early detection of the trunnion bearing fault was another win for us. It had allowed us to properly plan the bearing replacement. Not only did we avoid the cost of an emergency repair and production down time, we also avoided additional damage that would have resulted from a catastrophic failure. This is not only a success for Acuren but for all those in the vibration analysis industry given Acuren’s willingness to share their knowledge with regard to this low speed bearing failure.