28 Air Handlers—New Installation
Symptoms: Within 6 months of the grand opening, complaints about lack of air flow, vibrating floors, and system trips were “flowing” in.
Diagnosis: VIBRATION ANALYSIS pointed to worn/pitted bearings. Motors had 3 months to live.
Treatment: Bearings proved to be pitted. They were bone-dry and discolored from heat, despite a PM schedule! We performed corrective action and CRITICAL SPEED ANALYSIS. We designed an optimized PM program, and management insisted we perform PREFUNCTIONAL TESTING on all future installs and PERIODIC MONITORING of all equipment. Performance is now optimal.
ROI: Avoided catastrophic failure of ¾ of the motors, saving $200k-$300k. Downtime would have severely impacted hotel revenue & client satisfaction. Future maintenance costs were reduced by improving operator performance.
6 Chilled Water Pumps with 100 HP motors on VFDs
Symptoms: 25 days after install, pumps were vibrating violently.
Diagnosis: VIBRATION ANALYSIS indicated misalignment, leaking inboard bearing seals, and unprogrammed CRITICAL SPEEDS. MECHANICAL INSPECTION noted the wrong coupling inserts in the motors. Imminent failure expected within days.
Treatment: Client declined immediate corrective action. 2 days later, 2 motors stalled. The coupling inserts had completely melted! Management finally agreed to corrective action, and we performed CRITICAL SPEED ANALYSIS on all pumps. No additional failures occurred.
ROI: If client had initiated immediate action, would have saved $20k on new pumps. We prevented further expense of $40K. Could have lost all water & airflow, causing a catastrophic Life Safety impact. Could have shut down the OR/ER, affecting Joint Commission Compliance.
Rooftop 100-ton Retrofitted Cooling Tower
Symptoms: Multiple vibrating floors. “Growling” cooling tower.
Diagnosis: VIBRATION ANALYSIS on the floors clocked the same 590 RPM signature everywhere! When the tower was de-energized, harmonics ceased. LOAD DEFLECTION TESTING determined that isolator compression was asymmetrical due to debris in the housing.
Treatment: We emptied the tower, found and extracted the debris, and performed an ISOLATOR ADJUSTMENT. Impact on the problem was minimal! Upon CRITICAL SPEED ANALYSIS, we discovered the tower was operating at a dangerous frequency. Our corrective action achieved HARMONIC REDUCTION. Now the tower cools comfortably again.
ROI: Saved $75k on equipment. 2 tenants threatened vacating without rent payment and possible vibration-injury suits. Tower would have failed in less than a month when summer hit—shutting down comfort cooling and hampering trading activity at the firm.
Multiple Computer Room Air Conditioning (CRAC) Units
Symptoms: Vibration on noisy CRAC units was traveling to server racks, affecting data storage, necessitating increased redundancy, and raising energy costs. 4 consultants were called—no one could “crack” the case.
Diagnosis: VIBRATION ANALYSIS detected anomalies in alignment & unbalanced wheels. MECHANICAL INSPECTION noted several structural and installation discrepancies, causing reverse polarity. One CRAC still sported plastic sheeting—now rotating around inside!
Treatment: We performed corrective action on all CRAC units, remedying the issues, and followed up with PERIODIC MONITORING to ensure continued optimal operation of existing units.
ROI: Avoided $30K+ in replacement CRACs. Decreased energy consumption. SLA commitment to clients remains intact since risk of disruption was eliminated.