Ultrasonic surveys can be used to identify leaks in compressed air systems, steam systems or any other gaseous distribution system. Ultrasonic surveys compliment any vibration analysis program by providing a simple means of quickly identifying the high frequency component of vibration that is typical of the early stages of many mechanical failures. It also compliments thermographic inspections of high voltage systems by detecting corona discharge energy.
Cost reduction through the early detection of problems and verification of findings.
Improved efficiency through increased diagnostic certainty prior to work-order issuance.
Reduced downtime through increased equipment reliability and availability.
Ultrasonic inspections are one of the most versatile technologies in condition monitoring today. The noise is distinctive and can be readily used to identify a wide range of problems or potential problems. It is also a first line of defense in the reliability battle by providing a low cost means of checking virtually any component in an industrial or power conversion environment so that further inspections or corrective action can be implemented.
EMP Engineering Services uses the Ultraprobe by UE Systems for our ultrasonic inspections.
Compressed Gas Leak Detection
Did you know that at $0.10 per kilowatt-hour, it costs $39,209 for electricity to operate a 100 HP fully-loaded compressor with 90% efficiency for 2 turns per day? According to the Department of Energy, the electrical cost is 76% of the overall operating cost of the compressor and up to 30% of that cost is to provide air that is lost through leaks. That's $11,763 wasted from your budget every year!
These leaks range from pin-holes and bad seals to holes in the pipes. The evidence is all around anyone who's ever walked through a plant and listened to the background noise. Unfortunately, fixing the problem gets lost in the day-to-day maintenance activities and fire-fighting. How do you justify the expense of dedicating people and resources to fixing leaky flanges when everybody thinks that there are bigger fish to fry?
EMP Engineering Services will provide you with a report documenting your leaks, the cost for each one and the total cost your facility blows away every year. We do this by using ultrasonic noise to identify leaks. Ultrasonic noise, which can be quickly and easily detected with the right equipment, is created when high pressure gases and steam escape through small holes.
Heat Exchanger Inspection and Fault Detection
Holes in shell and tube heat exchangers can allow serious leakage and contamination problems. They can be quickly and accurately identified by placing an ultrasonic noise generator on one side and measuring on the other side. By using a boot that allows the operator to pinpoint the source of the noise, problems can be narrowed down to a particular tube. This technique can find even pinholes in large, multi-pass heat exchangers.
Bearing Fault Detection and Vibration Confirmation
There is an ultrasonic component to most common mechanical faults such as rolling element bearing failures. Although this component is not as accurate for trending and determining just when a bearing failure will occur, it is an excellent means for early identification of which bearings are at risk and need further attention from standard vibration analysis. Because of this, facilities with large numbers of roller bearings such as those with roll out tables like to use ultrasonic noise surveys to monitor their roll bearings. This approach can provide a level of risk reduction in situations were it simply isn't feasible to perform vibration monitoring on hundreds of bearings.
Ultrasonic inspections will also identify under and over greasing conditions in bearings. Over greasing is a common source of bearing problems as the additional grease causes the bearing to run hot and often ends up in places where it shouldn't be such as inside of motors. Early identification provides maintenance people adequate time to remove excessive grease before damage occurs.
Other mechanical problems ranging from gear lubrication and wear problems to faulty steam traps to broken valves in reciprocating compressors can also be identified with ultrasonic inspections.
Corona Discharge Detection
Corona discharge occurs is a destructive phenomena that occurs in high voltage electrical equipment. It generates ultrasonic noise that is readily detectable with an ultrasonic device. This will work in outdoor sub-stations or inside enclosures and it is often not not detectable by other means.
EMP Engineering Services will provide you with a report detailing the locations and severity of problems detected in your high voltage equipment.