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1998-05-15 14:10:57


Monitors That Are Not Compliant: Shut-Downs Assured



Equipment that monitors turbines in power plants tell when equipment needs repair. The main manufacturer of this motitoring equipment has put up a Web page on which of its products are noncompliant. It is a long list.

Also, some of the equipment relies on the plant's software to supply date information. What if this software is noncompliant?

This is from Westergaard's site.

* * * * * * * * *

Bently Nevada Corporation is a leader in the field of rotating machinery real-time vibration monitoring (pumps, turbines, compressors, motors, etc.) and eddy current testing equipment. They have a stranglehold on this market in power generation plant business; in fact, Bently Nevada is the vendor of choice for vibration monitoring in most large industrial environments that deal with large rotating equipment.

A high-speed turbine has vibration monitoring installed for two reasons:

1. Performance trending over a period of time; i.e. for predictive maintenance purposes.

2. If the turbine becomes unbalanced for any reason (wipes a journal bearing or whatever) the turbine will be automatically stopped as a safety measure to keep the turbine from flying apart.

Faulty turbine vibration monitors will trip a turbine and shut down a power plant (I've personally seen this happen twice at a nuclear power facility; I even wrote the event reports for both occurrences). Until the vibration monitoring equipment is fixed, the large, rotating asset (turbine, circulating water pumps, etc.) can not be returned to service. Plant insurance rules will not typically allow the large, rotating asset to be run without vibration monitoring.

So, where does Bently Nevada come into the Y2K picture? I invite you to take a trip to Bently Nevada's Web site, and review the list of Y2K compliance of their products and equipment: You will find a lot of totally unsupported equipment and software, and a lot that requires upgrades for Y2K readiness.


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