3S4: Case Study – Detection of root cause of unplanned plant shutdowns with online condition monitoring

Pierre Colon, Product Director, I-care


After several unplanned outages during a period of less than 45 days of the two redundant turbo-pumps in a big chemical plant in Belgium, Emerson and local reliability partner I-Care where contacted in order to propose a solution. Since these pumps are having a crucial impact on the production throughput of the plant, the case had to be handled with highest priority and precision. In order to make a suitable solution we advised to execute locally a root cause analysis test with the Emerson portable online analyzer. By the results of this analysis the root cause of the unplanned failures was uncovered. The combination of certain process circumstances and the product quality itself where causing at certain moments heavy cavitation with high vibrations, serious wear-out and integrity distortion at both pumps as result. Based on this analysis, the company decided to install a fixed online condition monitoring system of Emerson to have better insights and control of their process circumstances in order to avoid abnormal ware of their critical turbo-pumps.


Pierre Colon is a Mechanical Engineer and has a master degree in Total Quality Management. He’s working in reliability and Predictive Maintenance for 10 years. He was used to work on the field and was a vibration and thermographic analyst. Then he took care of training and support in I-Care and became the product director for the whole group in 2012.