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Cut mean time between failure on pumps

The problem

Hydrocarbon processing pumps battle hot, corrosive conditions that eventually erode bearings and cause premature failure. The resulting downtime costs the industry hundreds of millions of euros a year in maintenance and lost productivity.

The solution

For one major refinery, the answer involved SKF Explorer bearings, laser shaft alignment, and improved mounting and lubrication methods. SKF worked closely with the refiner to identify and implement a range of asset optimization solutions.

The result

The refinery increased the Mean Time Between Failure (MTBF) on a large percentage of pumps from 18 months to 54 months, over a period of 10 years. Along with extending MTBF, the refinery realized a number of important benefits: 
  • Lower maintenance costs
  • Reduced vibration and noise
  • Easier, safer and more accurate mounting of bearings
  • Single-source responsibility  
Return on Investment (ROI)
  • Pump population:  523
  • Reduction in pump failures (increased MTBF from 18 to 54 months): 046 (fewer failures) 
  • Cost of failures:
  • Components (8 970 € per pump x 1 046): € 9 382 620 
  • Labor (4 staff x 7,5 hours per pump x 28,65 € hour x 1 046):€ 899 037 
  • Total value: 10 281 657 € 
  • SKF solution investment (bearings, training, alignment tools, condition monitoring): € 1 722 000 
  • Net benefit: € 8 559 657
  • SKF solution ROI over 54 months:  497% 
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