THE BENEFITS OF ULTRA SOUND DETECTION: PAY BACK ANALYSIS
In a steam system with 150 lbs. of pressure and a production cost of $6 per thousand pounds, a leak 1/32" in diameter - no larger than the tip of a ball point pen - can cost $249 per year.
In a 50 p.s.i. system with a production cost of $8/1000 pounds, a number of small leaks totaling about 1/4" will cost $8,339.52 in one year. Double the number of leaks to total 1/2" and the cost will be $33,358.08.
At Sun Co.'s Toledo, Ohio refinery, the Ultraprobe® identified 188 malfunctioning steam traps. Savings from replacing these traps has been in the range of $56,000 per year based on reducing 450 p.s.i. steam consumption by about 1,000 lb./hr.
Chevron USA, Perth Amboy NJ has six to eight thousand steam traps throughout the plant. The plant generates close to 500,000 lb./hr. of steam. A steam trap audit with the UE SYSTEMS' Ultraprobe® revealed the trap failure rate was up to 28%. The refinery has increased its steam trap reliability by 15% within two years after the Ultraprobe® was put into use. The reduction in steam losses is saving at least $50,000 a month.
Indiana University-Perdue University campus at Indianapolis has three to four thousand steam traps. Technicians using the Ultraprobe® to monitor steam traps and by-pass valves estimate they are saving $300,000 per year.
In a 75 p.s.i. system with a production cost of $0.14/m cu. ft., a number of leaks totaling 1/4" will cost $5,734.15 in a year. Double that to 1/2" and the cost of wasted air will be $22,940.25.
In a 100 p.s.i. system, based on nozzle coefficient of .65, and a production cost of $0.10 per thousand cubic feet, a number of leaks totaling 1/8" will result in the loss of 740,210 cubic feet of air per month, at a cost of $74.01 per month. Triple that to 3/8" and the waste will be 6,671,090 cu. ft. per month and $667.19.
An electronics components company estimated the Ultraprobe® would be instrumental in saving them $25 per day in the cost of operating two 250 cfm air compressors at 110 p.s.i. and eliminate the immediate need to purchase an additional compressor.
N-Ren: A bearing on one of their two 500 H.P. motors froze up and did $2,500 damage. Using the stethoscope module, they picked up a bad bearing noise on the second motor . . . resulting in immediate repair and avoiding a complete shutdown in one area of the plant.
Anaconda Wire: On a Saturday, when the shop was shut down, maintenance personnel used a regular stethoscope and picked up a bearing noise with the machine running at low speed. The housing they listened to contained two bearings at a cost of $1,500 each. Their stethoscope could not determine which bearing was going bad. With the plant back in operation on Monday, and all other machinery running the Ultraprobe® was brought in to check the machine in question, while running at top speed. The Ultraprobe® identified the front bearing as being the culprit while the back bearing was okay. They immediately replaced only the front bearing at a cost of $1,500, and were back into production much sooner than would have been the case had they replaced both bearings.
One of the largest construction companies in the Southwest USA uses the probe to check the hydraulic systems on earth moving equipment, tower cranes, etc. In a recent case, ten minutes of PM prevented the destruction of two pumps worth $2,000 each. This predictive maintenance prodedure saved the company a number of potential losses: two or three days down time in the midst of a project with operators and other worker standing idly by, the cost of eight hours maintenance time (at overtime rates), air freight charges to fly in new pumps, and even the possibility of a penalty for the delay in completing the project.