1S11: Case Study: Predictive Maintenance at a Government Electrical and Water/Sewer System Utility

James Santo, Reliability Engineering Manager, Mission Support Alliance


The purpose of the program is to provide direction concerning the implementation of a Maintenance Program that incorporates Condition Monitoring/Predictive Maintenance as a primary tool to reduce the cost of maintenance and increase equipment reliability and availability.  Condition Monitoring is the use of nonintrusive or less intrusive diagnostic tools to monitor the condition of equipment items with minimal disruption to normal operations. Those tools include but are not limited to:

  •  Vibration analysis
  •  Thermography
  •  Oil analysis/Lubrication
  •  Motor Current Signal Analysis
  •  Surge Comparison Testing
  •  Ultrasonic Gas Leak Detection (Acoustic monitoring)
  •  Data Management, Trending and Analysis

The program applies to the transmission and distribution system of high voltage lectricity and includes line patrols and substaiion Infrared (IR) Thermal analysis and evaluation on a periodic basis.  Motor Control Centers, transformers and other electrical equipment in water and sewer utility facilities are also evaluated using IR thermal analysis on a periodic basis.  Pumps and motors are evaluated using vibration analysis in horizontal, vertical and axial axes where applicable.  Oil analysis program for high voltage transformers for electrical facilities is performed on a periodic basis, as well as standard oil analysis of pumps and motors in water/sewer utilities.  The program high lights the use of IR and vibration technology concurrently as well as trending and analysis of oil both as a lubricant and as heat control.  Other tools, the use of the CMMS and metrics for reporting to customer are also discussed.  The paper presents hands on implemntation with actual reports as well as trending and reliability engineering recommendations.


James Santo is a licensed Professional Engineer (PE) and certified Project Management Professional (PMP). He has design, implemented and managed the Asset Management and Reliability based 5 year program plan to transition the infrastructure contractor at the Hanford Federal Nuclear Reservation cleanup program, one the largest environmental clean programs in the world, to a reliability and condition monitoring based posture. He has managed multiple cleanup project at Hanford, Los Alamos Laboratory and internationally for the UK Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) and has over 25 years experience in projects, operation and maintenance.