Free «Literature Review: Reliability-Centered Maintenance in Gas Turbine Compressor» Essay Sample

To speak about the implementation of Reliability-Centered Maintenance in gas turbine compressor, first of all, the attention should be paid to the following fact. The outcomes of this operation management are based not on the detection of failure time but presuppose a meeting of objectives being the following ones. As de Souza (2002) suggests, the main goals of Reliability-Centered Maintenance in gas turbine compressor are related to the prioritization of functions in an operational mode, identification of potential failure modes that can harm the functioning of the asset, and preservation of functions from the unnecessary performance or material use. Regarding that, de Souza (2012) considers the implementation of Reliability-Centered Maintenance grounded on the selection of a potentially degrading element of the asset and overall evaluation. It occurs as long as implied failures may lead to harmful consequences for the asset. In addition, the researcher (2012) admits that a sequence of steps of implementation depends heavily on a type of asset and a potentially degrading element. Concerning the gas turbine compressor, it is worth mentioning that this model of operation management is one of the most appropriate ones. First of all, Reliability-Centered Maintenance minimizes expenses on repairs, substitution or redesign of such a large asset as gas turbine compressor. Since gas is concerned, it is important to note that Reliability-Centered Maintenance presupposes a considerable reduction of power consumption. Therefore, the asset is able to address the basic principles of economic and environmental sustainability. Except that, Reliability-Centered Maintenance renders a certain degree of flexibility concerning the key operational modes of the asset.

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Regarding the main benefit on reduction of power consumption, it is pivotal to note that Reliability-Centered Maintenance manages a streaming of gas through pipes of various diameters. In other words, the entire piping system does not work simultaneously unless it is needed by the purposes of the operation mode. Therefore, Snow suggests that this strategy is the most reasonable one. Excessive amounts of gas are not involved in the performance of the asset. What is more, Snow (2008) mentions that such piping layout avoids unnecessary gas fluctuations. These statements are certainly true to a particular extent. However, the asset is rendered with more benefits from a technical perspective rather than from environmental and economic. It can be explained by the fact that preventing the asset from the production of excessive gas streams will secure the turbine from unnecessary overloading. As a consequence, it will not require repairs for a longer period. Fluctuations of gas are also concerned in this case as long as they create a potentially dangerous situation. It is not needed to say, the related security consideration will prevent the creation of emergency state. However, it will reflect the performance of the asset. Generally speaking, a specification of gas pipe streaming in the asset is one of specific benefits of the implementation of Reliability-Centered Maintenance in gas turbine assets.

The other evident benefit of Reliability-Centered Maintenance is based on the ability to render the flexibility of performance for the entire asset. As Awwa Research Foundation (2006) admits, Reliability-Centered Maintenance provides the asset with different automatized configurations and layouts. They depend on the circumstances of operational purposes. As it has been already mentioned, this option includes the involvement of some actually functioning elements of the asset. As a result, the asset can be switched on the other regime without many efforts and consumption of power. One may argue that flexibility of the asset can be associated with certain instability. It is not true at all since flexibility means the possession of multiple functions. Such ones can be incorporated in the operational mode immediately. Provided that the asset is changed without a possible flexibility rendered by Reliability-Centered Maintenance, it will require substantial resources for amendments. As a result, the asset becomes more vulnerable and instable. In regard to the gas turbine compressor, its flexibility can be initiated not only by a means of streaming gas throughout selecting pipes. However, it may be done by a simple regulation of standard parameters of compressor. That is why Reliability-Centered Maintenance usually suggests a certain framework, which is developed by the collection of statistical data and setting break-even margins for the performance as well as resource consumption. In other words, Reliability-Centered Maintenance considers certain parameters of the asset instead of forecasting the particular period of failure-free performance. Still, there are some other views regarding the orientation on time and state of the asset. Therefore, these opinions are also worth a discussion.

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In such a way, Smith and Hinchcliffe (2004) consider Reliability-Centered Maintenance as a method of failure prevention from a perspective of two dimensions: time-directed and condition-directed. A time-directed approach, however, is particularly focused on the consideration of time within the asset’s performance. Thus, it is related to the intrusion in the asset from the perspective of deviation from time of normal performance (Smith & Hinchcliffe 2004). It is not needed to say that some procedures do not require any intrusion. The time-directed approach is a relative method then. It is crucial to note that it is not used without a condition-directed approach as long as Reliability-Centered Maintenance is oriented at advancing the maximum effectiveness within a minimal time frame. Concerning the condition-directed approach, it should be noted that it is based mainly on systematization of signs. They can be regarded as a distinct evidence of a potential failure. It is the main point, which makes difference between Reliability-Centered Maintenance and traditional methods of operation management. Contextualizing these approaches in the environment of the gas turbine compressor environment, it should be mentioned that the time-directed failure prevention is prevailing in this case. It can be explained by the peculiarities of the asset’s performance. The compressor is related to the powering system. Thus, delays in operating imply a pause in power supply. That is why the intervention for this asset is supposed to be planned in extra time in such a way that the conditional intervention can be also conducted.

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On the contrary, Reliability-Centered Maintenance presupposes particular implications. To be more specific, Mather (2005) argues that the implementation of Reliability-Centered Maintenance is not a simple procedure itself. That is why there is a contemporary variety of strategies called as Reliability-Centered Maintenance models. Originally, Reliability-Centered Maintenance is based on the collection of parameters, which can be incorporated in a graph of failure patterns (Mather 2005). Therefore, the implementation of it requires an in-depth preparation and a thorough collection of data as well as examination of the asset. Basing on the collected data, patterns of a potential failure are developed. As it has been already mentioned, these patterns do not indicate a particular time frame, but a set and number of parameters. They can be concerned as the signs of the threat concerning the asset’s performance. This aspect of the implementation of Reliability-Centered Maintenance does not contain any specific preferences for the gas turbine compressor. It is a standard asset in a wide range of manufacturing and other industrial organizations. Still, one should consider not only a state of the asset and its parameters of performance but a condition and physical characteristics of gas. It is becoming increasingly apparent that various conditions of gas also influence the performance of the compressor. Hence, Reliability-Centered Maintenance has to be applied not only to the asset but raw material, human resource, environment, etc.

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A similar approach is suggested by Mourbay. To be more specific, these approaches have integrated timed-directed and condition-directed approaches (Mourbay 2010). This combination is based on the fact that any failure is often detected in relatively late time. Thus, this approach recommends taking time measures on the potential time of developing the failure and its factual influence of the asset. This method includes a wide range of predictive models. However, all of them are primarily focused on the identification of three crucial points: time of factual development of failure, emerging of first signs of failure, and the impact triggering a failure on the asset (Mourbay 2010). This approach is certainly efficient in many cases, but it is hardly applicable concerning the gas turbine compressor. First of all, this asset depends heavily on gas and its physical state. The record of all parameters should be conducted on a regular basis (Mourbay 2010). This approach is not efficient enough for such type of asset. Therefore, the gas turbine compressor needs some other methods of predicting developments of failures. However, the described above method refers to technical capacity of the asset as well. Hence, the predicted maximum of the asset’s capacity can be compared with currently operating parameters. In such a way, this approach should be regarded as preventive rather than predictive. The reason is that the results of comparison can be utilized as a milestone for designing a break-even margin of the asset’s performance.

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At the same time, predictive procedures in terms of Reliability-Centered Maintenance do not have to be necessarily sophisticated. This assumption is expressed by Li (2005) claiming the following fact. The prediction of failure can be conducted without much involvement of quantitative statistics. It does not mean, however, that Reliability-Centered Maintenance follows strictly a condition-directed approach. However, the majority of statistical data is simplified considerably (Li 2005). Taking this point into account, the prediction of failure can be calculated by measuring daily parameters on a regular basis and comparing the factual performance with an already designed predictive framework. This method does not require a consideration of all parameters. To a largest extent, it simply seeks to the detection of consequences rather than causes of failure. Since the tendency for a failure is detected, it can be addressed. This strategy is apt for the application to the environment of the gas turbine compressor as long as this asset performs on a regular basis. It cannot be stopped for a long period. That is why flexibility of Reliability-Centered Maintenance is an important factor for such type of assets. In addition, a case of the gas turbine compressor provides the evidence of same objectives for preventive and predictive aspects of this maintenance. What is more, this particular case excludes a risk assessment. The reason is that this asset cannot operate in terms of any potential risk. Regarding that, the implementation of Reliability-Centered Maintenance is strongly recommended for this asset.

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Except prevention and prediction, Reliability-Centered Maintenance can be used for the overall improvement of the asset’s performance. This approach is called proactive maintenance. It is particularly aimed at boosting the asset’s components with a minimal involvement of raw material and power consumption. As Dhillon (2006) suggests, proactive maintenance addresses the improvement of such aspects as design, installation, scheduling, workmanship, and maintenance procedures. These goals can be achieved throughout the characteristics, which are as follows. They involve: use of feedback and communications for ensuring an immediate reaction, periodic evaluation of the asset’s condition, application of various analytical models for determining the failure tendency, and assurance of no threats remaining after the intervention. Such aims may also include: overall adaptation of the asset for certain operational purposes, continuous correction of the operating parameters, integration of support maintenance with program planning, and optimization of the most effective method of asset production (Dhillon 2006). All these issues are applicable to the case of the gas turbine compressor. This type of intervention does not obtain strictly internal nature. Therefore, it is possible to admit that the improvement of the asset can be conducted on a day-to-day basis. There is no denying the fact that improvement procedures should not exceed a certain degree. Nevertheless, this aspect can be integrated in a general schedule and parametrical chart of the asset. It means that improvements do not have to violate the designed framework for the asset.

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Optimization of the asset is a special perspective of Reliability-Centered Maintenance. The reason is that it presupposes the overall improvement of the asset. Willis and Schreiber argue that improvements of a certain unit within the asset are supposed to be considered in terms of overall improvement. In other words, a chosen element has to render certain benefits to the other components of the asset. Willis and Schreiber (2013) consider potential benefits as expectations rather than some evidence of good conditions for obtaining particular advantages. In a similar way, costs should be treated as expectations accordingly (Willis & Schreiber 2013). From this perspective, costs and benefits are natural sides of the assets’ performance. As a result, the correlation between them should exist. This approach is primarily directed to power consumption and use of raw materials for production or maintenance. By the same token, it can be specifically referred to the gas turbine compressor. Gas is quite a valuable natural resource. The reduction of its consumption requires substantial expenses initially. The main principle of optimization of the asset in terms of Reliability-Centered Maintenance is based on considerable expenses for the establishment of waste-free and reasonable patterns of operation. This procedure includes a wide range of factors. A proper investing in optimization of the asset will result in evident benefits. Thus, this approach is advised for the application for any type of asset.

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Eventually, it is important to return to the subject of material considerations. As their quality and state are concerned, management of material does not imply only a reasonable division and use of resources. It is expected to place an emphasis on the quality of materials or their specific features. Such ones are required for effective performance of the asset or desired level of quality of manufacturing. Therefore, Peters (2015) considers this side as essential in terms of enormous materials’ amounts to be processed nowadays. A solution of this situation is simple. It is necessary to detect materials, which are the most apt for an asset’s normal performance. They should keep powering the asset only with these exact physical properties of the material (Peters 2015). With regard to the gas turbine compressor, a choice of certain physical properties of gas is pivotal for this type of asset. Taking this point into consideration, a lab analysis of gas physical qualities is essential. These data can be easily integrated with an asset’s operating framework. Needless to say, lab results will not be instant. Therefore, the asset has to be ready for operating with different types of gas. The result is well-justified as long as the contemporary Reliability-Centered Maintenance suffers from a wrong and random choice of raw materials for physical assets. All in all, these are the main points of the literature review on the implementation, benefits, and methodology of Reliability-Centered Maintenance for the gas turbine compressor.

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