1S6: Case Study: Critical Problems of Centrifugal Machines

Profulla Kumar Pal, Mechanical Engineer, Dynamic Engineering Services


Case Study: Critical Problems on Centrifugal Fans

All the equipment at a large steel plant was commissioned except for 3 centrifugal fans,which delayed the full plant commissioning by 6 months due to the vibration problems. During this time, the consultant responsible for the commissioning was suffering huge financial losses due to liquidated damages under the contract.

Through this time, the fans had been dismantled several times by the fan manufacturer with static and dynamic balancing preformed but the problems were not resolved. Vibration amplitudes were recorded at at 90 mm/s (normal limit of 4.5 mm/s). Operation of the fan at such destructively high vibration levels was deemed unsafe. As such, only short runs were allowed,during which time problems of resonance, looseness, unbalance and insufficient suction were detected and solved stage by stage. Finally the vibrations came down from 90 mm/s to 2.3 mm/s.

The presentation reveals why the diagnosis could not be carried out by the Manufacturer and how it was solved.


Mr. Profulla Kumar Pal is a Mechanical Engineer who has headed various Maintenance Departments and Project Department of Indian Industries. He has got wide experience in the field of Maintenance Management of Continuous Process Plants. He represented India for UNIDO Fellowship Programme at Italy. For the last 22 years he has been working as a Consultant for Predictive Maintenance Programme of Power Plants, Steel Plants, Sugar Mills and various Continuous Process Plants in Eastern India. He has richly contributed to the various Industries by rendering his services for Higher Efficiency and Better Productivity. He has solved many critical problems of Centrifugal Machines during its commissioning or during Maintenance. He is a Chartered Engineer and Life Member of various Professional Organisations. He is a Visiting Faculty of an Engineering College at Kolkata.
He has received a National Award in India for his contribution to the Industries for improvement of Productivity.