Routine measurements on remote or hazardous locations are time consuming. However, these measurements can often be critical to ensure asset availability.
The Royal Alexander Hospital in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, talks about their solution.
A critical part of the hospital’s reliability program is the cooling tower drives as they contribute to cool the ambient air inside the hospital in summer.
Collecting reliable vibration measurements of the cooling tower drives was almost impossible in the past since the gearbox driving the cooling fan was not reachable for vibration data collection during operation. However, it is precisely the gearbox’ condition that the reliability team was interested in, since the hospital did not want the cooling towers to suddenly fail, especially in summer when temperatures often reach more than 30 ̊C.
On all measurement locations of interest, permanent transducers were installed and connected to an automatic switchbox, or Multiplexer. Measurements can now be cycled through autonomously across all connected sensors. During a route, the operator only has to trigger the data collection with a VIBXPERT II.
With this solution, the hospital can even perform troubleshooting measurements off-route, in case the vibration trends are increasing. For example, pigeons sometimes get caught in the blades resulting in a severe unbalance. This can now be investigated using the multiplexer solution before calling an external contractor to take the drive system apart.