March 10, 2021

Motion Amplification® Vibration Analysis for the Oil and Gas Industry

Jenna Johns

The oil and gas industry supports a vast network of miles and miles of piping. But like any mechanical component and key piece of industrial equipment, pipes, their connections, and surrounding supports and equipment experience wear.

Fluids, solids, and gasses that move through pipelines can cause vibrational displacement. Over time, vibrational forces can make mountings, fittings, and anchor points loosen and degrade. Vibration issues are both prevalent and persistent among the oil and gas industry, and vibration-induced fatigue is among the most common causes of process piping system failure. Video Motion Amplification® is designed to reveal these vibrations.

Protecting Pipelines

Pipes may be the most recognizable oil and gas industry infrastructure, but they’re hardly the only pieces affected by vibration and degradation. For example, structural towers that support piping and the weight of operations lines are prone to vibrational degradation.

Since Motion Amplification® cameras can provide an expansive view of an entire section of equipment — or a more precise look at a specific component — a clearer picture of the displacement, sway, or twist of an entire structure is achievable. Similarly, a closer look at foundations and anchoring points experiencing undue vibration can reveal fissures, twisting, and other faults detrimental to operations.

Processing industries also face unique challenges due to flow-induced issues that can include piping structure degradation, pump misapplication, and other problems. Configuration of pipes, pumps, and other components can all affect flow-induced vibration and affect hydraulic applications. Therefore, it’s important to keep an eye on your infrastructure and materials, allowing proactive, predictive maintenance to take the lead.

Check for Vibrations

As with many forms of machinery, vibrations can be a normal part of equipment operation among oil and gas industry structures. Problematic, abnormal vibrations can therefore be sneaky and go unnoticed. And pipelines and support structures are still only a fraction of the types of equipment subjected to vibration and wear.

Blowers, compressors, gearboxes, motors, pumps, turbines, and cooling towers are just some of the many other machines and gear that should be monitored for vibration-induced damage and fatigue. Using Motion Amplification® technology, that’s entirely possible, as an object or structure needs only to be recorded and analyzed to visualize its movements.

While vibration leads to equipment fatigue and excess noise in some circumstances, it can exacerbate or cause equipment failure. For the oil and natural gas industry, failures not only hurt productivity and efficiency, but they can also raise significant safety concerns, augmenting the risk of spills, fires, explosions, occupational injuries, and other disasters. RDI’s Motion Amplification® software can play a critical role during safety checks and risk avoidance.

RDI Technologies Visualizes Solutions

Since the Iris M™ Motion Amplification® platform supports contactless vibrational analysis, it’s an ideal system for oil and gas industry operators. Offshore rigs, high-temperature environments, and heavy equipment can all be non-conducive for placing physical vibration analysis sensors. Piping is also notoriously difficult to monitor since sensors can’t be easily attached.

RDI’s technology lets operators avoid placement and use of physical sensors entirely. Instead, our Motion Amplification® cameras take aim at the structure or machine in question, record pixel-based data, and use an accompanying proprietary software algorithm to create a visual of the vibrational movement taking place. For us, seeing is believing, and Motion Amplification® vibration analysis offers an effective, quick way to see, diagnose, and respond to problems.

Motion Amplification® can be key to most any reliability program. Contact us to learn more, or download our free guide: How Motion Amplification® Fits into a Reliability Program

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