The chemical industry is considered as one of the largest manufacturing industries in all developed and emerging countries. According to the reports, the chemical industry covers every good-producing sector through direct, indirect, and induced impacts are contributing to seven percent of the world’s world Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and supporting 120 million jobs worldwide.
It is the only industry that develops new products for human lives to fulfil their basic needs. The petrochemicals, polymer, paints, pharmaceuticals, food processing, water, and waste treatment plants are covered under the chemical industry.
Chemical Manufacturing involves hazardous operations. Among the most frequent non-fatal injuries to employees by most common accidents, a larger proportion is linked to lifting and handling.
- Manual handling and safety – Chemicals are toxic and highly flammable. Common injuries that occur at chemical plants include chemical burns, trips and falls, overexertion, cuts and scrapes, chemical exposure, and inhalation of chemicals.
- Skilled labour shortage
- Maintenance of the equipment
- Maintaining the right inventory levels
- Equipment operation in the harsh environment.
- Bearings are replaced frequently to ensure equipment in operation
- Expensive repair and replacement cost
Causes of Accidents
- Human Error and complacency
- Poor maintenance and safety of the Equipment
- Inaccessible location of the equipment for frequent monitoring
Strategies to Improve
- Install custom safety equipment
- Train Employees on proper safety procedures
- Create Designated Loading/Unloading Spots
- Deploy Machinery health solution which can monitor 24×7 remotely
Several types of process equipment such as boilers, turbines, motors, conveyors, dryers, evaporators, feeders, filters, generators, heat exchangers, mixers, packaging equipment, pumps, reactors, tanks, and valves are used in chemical plants.
A prolonged process interruption can lead to a loss of production. Most equipment in the chemical processing industry have standard couplings, gearboxes, and rolling element bearings.
Chemical industries need to utilize the latest technology to stay innovative and competitive in an ever-changing digital manufacturing landscape. The implementation of an appropriate protection, prediction, and performance monitoring system is thus essential for the streamlined operations of a chemical plant.
Advantages of Predictive Maintenance in Chemical Industries
- Equipment is over-maintained for higher productivity.
- Ensure workforce safety and avoid accidents.
- Enable equipment data collection in real-time (remotely) for further diagnostics.
- Optimize MRO (Maintenance, Repairs, and Operations.
- Access to real-time data for analysis.
Vibration monitoring is the best advanced predictive maintenance tool for optimizing chemical plant performance.
Spectrum analysis is used to measure the various frequencies in vibration data. To determine the machine condition, the vibration severity is compared with the standard severity table. Fast Fourier Transform (FFT) spectrum analysis is used widely to develop a unique predictive analytics technique for monitoring the condition of the equipment.
The end-users get relevant information on a dashboard. They get alerts on email/SMS for any violation of the configured alarm limits. They can view reports, FFT spectrum of fault frequencies, and analyses of these FFTs to predict faults in advance.
When data is required to verify compliance, it is readily and instantly available when needed, minimizing production delays, and ensuring work can carry on as expected.
Infinite Uptime’s Industrial Data Enabler (IDE), a Make In India, patented edge-computing Vibration monitoring system for predictive analytics and maintenance remotely gathers tri-axial vibrations, noise, and temperature of any mechanical rotating equipment in real-time. It empowers the Maintenance team to monitor the machine uptime, reduce unplanned downtime, and combat impending equipment damage in advance. Moreover, the end-to-end solution with visual indicators ensures maximum machine-availability, decreased inventory of spares and maintenance costs, and complies with the guidelines on safety and physical distancing directed by the Government. Not only does it help reduce maintenance fixed costs at a time where a reduction in costs and manpower is a dire need, but it also enhances social distancing by allowing remote monitoring of a plant without physical intervention.