Compressor Vibration

Evaluation of Reciprocating Compressor Foundations Using Vibration Measurements

Paper No. 58

K. E. Atkins/S. M. Price, PCRC 7th Annual Reciprocating Machinery Conference, Denver, CO, September 1992.

Foundations for reciprocating compressors are an integral part of the structural system. In many cases, the foundation is required to provide additional lateral stiffness to the compressor frame to support the forces and moments generated by the compressor. Deterioration of the foundation can result in differential bending deflection of the frame between each main bearing, potentially causing crankshaft or other component failures. Therefore, the long-term reliability of reciprocating machinery depends to a large degree on the integrity of the foundation and anchor bolt system. An approach will be demonstrated that can show deficiencies in the foundation and anchor bolt system using relatively simple vibration measurement techniques. Data will be presented illustrating several types of failures that were detected and monitored with the techniques. Using these data, it was possible to propose minor repairs and improved maintenance procedures which were effective in extending the life of the compressor and foundation, thus minimizing costly downtime.


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