Equate calls in GE Energy to monitor plant’s health

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By  Published  September 15, 2006

One of the largest petrochemical plants in Kuwait has implemented a mechanical health monitoring system from power generation technology specialist GE Energy.

Kuwaiti firm Equate is using GE Energy’s Bently Nevada 3500 hardware and System 1 asset management software to assess the mechanical and thermodynamic health of industrial equipment and detect potential faults.

The physical installation took place during a scheduled 40-day shutdown of the plant in March — a process that is only carried out once a decade — meaning the implementation team faced a tight deadline to plan and execute the project.

“This was a five-month cycle, so it really presented a challenge for us to execute flawlessly and meet the time commitment. During these five months we had to use a lot of our resources to ensure that we were working very closely with Equate, because there was no room for error,” said Akram Hamad, regional general manager for Optimisation and Control at GE Energy.

“We were given the go-ahead five months before the shutdown. The shutdown is for 40 days and we were able to finish the work ten days ahead of schedule. So it took 30 days and we had teams of 12-to-15 people working in order to finish early,” he added.

The new system replaces a mix of 15-year-old legacy technology that Hamad described as not being up to the high standards of reliability and flexibility required today.

“It [the old system] lacked certain flexibility in its functionality. For example the system did not have the functionality or required technology to allow the information to flow to the right decision makers and to enable an integrated information flow from various assets in the plant,” he explained.

GE Energy said that with the new system in place, Equate had already been able to identify and fix three “critical” issues, thus avoiding having to shut the plant down at a later date, which could have lost the energy firm one week of operations.

“So far several faults have been detected in the start-up alone using this technology platform and reduced downtime for Equate,” Hamad added.

GE Energy has similar projects underway with clients such as Aramco, KNBC and Sabec.

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