One of the world’s largest producers of meat and prepared food had a poor experience with previous testing companies and were not satisfied with the report findings/recommendations. Yet, the facility knew they were ignoring some big problems, making them susceptible to significant safety and reliability issues.
They were looking for an external organization to not only test their equipment and provide findings, but also provide the solution, the “fix” for the issues given the constraints of their on-and-off line schedules, as well as their budgetary requirements.
Through a discovery meeting with the Facility Engineer, Rinzler’s consulting team recommended maintenance testing be conducted to evaluate and determine equipment condition. Rinzler conducted the maintenance testing over a period of two weeks, leveraging current facility shutdowns on the weekends to minimize time off-line. This project entailed the review of over 300 individual components throughout the plant, which included:
• Relay protection
• Circuit Breakers
• Power cables
Several conclusions were made as a result of the in-depth component analysis across the plant. Those conclusions include:
- Multiple breaker deficiencies that were immediately addressed.
- Relays failed testing, were identified to be past life expectancy and recommended to be replaced.
- Multiple protection settings were defeated opening up the equipment to excessive damage and possibly compromising the safety of employees.
- Minimal settings were applied to relays in order to allow the motors to run and the IOC option for the relays were disabled, meaning that if they ran in to a fault with at least 800% the FLA across all three phases, the motor, cables and all associated equipment with it would burn for 12 seconds before a motor JAM fault would take it out.
- Unwired alarm settings resulting in no warning except visual identification when in front of the relays. Operations and maintenance personnel have zero advanced warning of issues before catastrophic damage may happen.
Rinzler worked closely with the Facility Engineer to prioritize critical issues that needed to be fixed to ensure the facility is back to operating safely and reliably, all while working within their fixed budget and off-line schedule. This facility could have been well on its way to a serious incident, more serious in size, scope and costs than taking the time to review the electrical distribution system and put an action plan in place.
The customer is in the process of considering a full engineering study to ensure equipment can handle the load requirements.