Putting Thought Back into Machinery Inspections

An interesting exercise is to go and review a dozen or so of your completed “operator care” round sheets (Electronic or paper). Assuming you could find them, what (useful) information did they contain?

 Too many times we visit facilities where machinery inspections (look listen feel) are in full swing, but the information they provide is either not used effectively or ignored all together. Great emphasis is placed on the performance of the inspection but almost no emphasis on the information the inspection provides. To be effective the machinery inspection needs to be performed by an inspector who is thinking about machine condition rather than completing a check list. How do we accomplish that? 

Consider this inspection check item, “Record the following:- pump suction pressure; pump discharge pressure; pump flow;”. What is the desired outcome? It is not just to have a record of the pressures and flows, but to assess the performance of the pump. Does this meet the goal?

Now look at another, “Record the following:- pump suction pressure; pump discharge pressure; pump flow; and determine if the pump is operating in the reliable flow zone (say 80-110% of BEP)”

In the latter case the inspector has to think about the performance of the pump to properly complete the inspection and the inspection will produce the desired results.

This is just one example. I am sure there are thousands more in your facilities. 

How do we accomplish this? Well, it starts with ensuring the people inspecting machines understand the operation of the machine and how to recognize the common failure modes. But we must never forget that we need to set the expectation that those skills will be applied. One way of doing that is to ensure that inspectors are required to think while performing rounds. https://kvgo.com/Example/Pump-Curves

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