Payback Analysis

Pay Back Analysis


At Sun Co.’s Toledo, Ohio refinery, the Ultraprobe identified 188 malfunctioning steam traps. Savings from replacing these traps have been in the range of $56,000 per year based on reducing 450 p.s.i. steam consumption by about 1,000 lb./hr.

Chevron USA, Perth Amboy NJ has six to eight thousand steam traps throughout the plant. The plant generates close to 500,000 lb./hr. of steam. A steam trap audit with the UE SYSTEMS’ Ultraprobe revealed the trap failure rate was up to 28%. The refinery has increased its steam trap reliability by 15% within two years after the Ultraprobe was put into use. The reduction in steam losses is savings at least $50,000 a month.

Indiana University-Perdue University campus at Indianapolis has three to four thousand steam traps. Technicians using the Ultraprobe to monitor steam traps and bypass valves estimate they are saving $300,000 per year.

In a 75 p.s.i. system with a production cost of $0.14/m cu. ft., a number of leaks totaling 1/4″ will cost $5,734.15 in a year. Double that to 1/2″ and the cost of wasted air will be $22,940.25.
In a 100 p.s.i. system, based on nozzle coefficient of .65, and a production cost of $0.10 per thousand cubic feet, a number of leaks totaling 1/8″ will result in the loss of 740,210 cubic feet of air per month, at a cost of $74.01 per month. Triple that to 3/8″ and the waste will be 6,671,090 cu. ft. per month and $667.19.

A bearing on one of our client’s two 500 H.P. motors froze up and did $2,500 damage. Using the stethoscope (contact) module, they picked up a bad bearing noise on the second motor . . . resulting in immediate repair and avoiding a complete shutdown in one area of the plant.

Related to another client, on a Saturday, when the shop was shut down, maintenance personnel used a regular stethoscope and picked up a bearing noise with the machine running at low speed. The housing they listened to contained two bearings at a cost of $1,500 each. Their stethoscope could not determine which bearing was going bad. With the plant back in operation on Monday, and all other machinery running the Ultraprobe was brought in to check the machine in question, while running at top speed. The Ultraprobe identified the front bearing as being the culprit while the back bearing was okay. They immediately replaced only the front bearing at a cost of $1,500, and were back into production much sooner than would have been the case had they replaced both bearings.

And again another client, one of the largest construction companies in the Southwest USA uses an Ultraprobe to check the hydraulic systems on earth moving equipment, tower cranes, etc. In a recent case, ten minutes of PM prevented the destruction of two pumps worth $2,000 each, two or three days down time in the midst of a project with operators and other worker standing idly by; the cost of eight hours maintenance time (at overtime rates); air freight charges to fly in new pumps; and even the possibility of a penalty for the delay in completing the project.

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