Avoiding ‘crater maintenance’ and the ‘doom loop’

Reciprocating compressors have a reputation as bad actors among the rotating equipment fleet, showing the highest number of damages while being process critical at the same time. Although this is a crucial combination, insufficient protection and condition monitoring systems can still be found on reciprocating machinery. PROGNOST asked a potential customer’s reliability engineer whether he employed time-based or condition based maintenance strategies. He was completely caught by surprise and replied, “None of these. We operate on ‘crater maintenance.’ As long as there is no crater visible where once was a recip, no maintenance is needed on the machine.”

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