Commissioning a new piece of equipment is a stressful and exciting time for all parties involved. You have spent a lot of time on this process. You have worked hard on planning, money and time have been spent on construction, and of course the hard work and effort to put in the new equipment. The goal is to get the piece of equipment into production as quickly as possible. The challenge in commissioning is having the confidence that the new and unfamiliar piece of equipment is operating the way it’s designed.
When commissioning new equipment, there are a couple of items you want to determine. The first is what the new piece of equipment should be doing, building a baseline for future reference. The other is looking for defects or deficiencies that are the result of the manufacturing, engineering, or installation process of the equipment itself. These defects, deficiencies, installation, or design issues often result in excessive vibration that is most often detectable using Displacement or Velocity. Motion Amplification™ is the ideal technology for this because Motion Amplification™ is a displacement-based measurement and shows the movement in the above-mentioned defects very well. It shows ALL the movement, piping, wiring, base, grout, concrete, etc. For example, when commissioning a pump and motor we would typically take 10 vibration measurements on the bearing housings (4 horizontal, 4 vertical, 2 axial). It is possible (I have seen it), for the discharge piping on an overhung pump to be resonant, but the pump NDE bearing vibration to be within spec. This resonant pipe could shorten bearing life, crack pipe supports, and cause much larger issues long after the equipment is commissioned. Issues like these are design or installation problems and should be handled by the installing contractor, or plant personnel before the equipment is put into service.
Motion Amplification™ is a great tool when commissioning a new piece of equipment. The videos show how the equipment is moving. This insight helps all parties communicate effectively through the commission, and establishes a baseline of operation before the equipment is put into production.