Enhancing Rotating Equipment Reliability and Uptime
August 18, 2023

Enhancing Rotating Equipment Reliability and Uptime

Maximising rotating equipment reliability and uptime is a key priority for most plant and process engineers.

This technical article touches on some of the best practice techniques to help ensure and maximise rotating equipment uptime.

Below are some of the key issues to achieve rotating equipment reliability.


If you wanted to reduce your personal weight, what is the first thing you would do?

Most people would weigh themselves. This sets the benchmark from which weight lost ideas, techniques and practices can be judged against.

Enhancing rotating equipment uptime is no different. The first thing to do is to set a benchmark.

Implement vibration analysis, oil analysis, thermography, and other predictive maintenance techniques to monitor the health of rotating equipment.

Use sensors and monitoring systems to track equipment performance in real-time and detect early signs of wear, misalignment, or imbalance.

If your in-house engineers do not have the time to invest in this, align yourself with suppliers who offer a condition monitoring service as it is ONLY through recording and setting a baseline can reliability enhancements be quantifiably assessed.

Regular Inspection:

Continuing on your weight loss journey, most people find huge benefit attending a weekly weight loss class.

Probably the highlight of the class, in terms of achieving your weight loss goal, is having a weekly weigh-in.

By sharing your weekly progress with others, you keep your mind and body focused on the end-goal.

Likewise, by establishing a routine inspection schedule for all rotating equipment, will help to identify and address issues before they escalate.

By creating an easy-to-use checklist listing all items, and assigning each item with a Red/Orange/Green level of checking, you can help to ensure checks are conducted with respect to duty importance and no key piece of equipment is missed.

In a process plant with hundreds, if not thousands of items of rotating equipment, it is very easy to miss items unless a methodical checking system is employed.

Regular Lubrication

Properly lubricate bearings and other moving parts to reduce friction and wear.

Alignment and Balancing:

Ensure proper alignment of shafts, couplings, and belts to prevent excessive vibration and premature failure.

Perform dynamic balancing to reduce vibrations and extend equipment life.

Proper Installation and Commissioning:

Follow manufacturer guidelines during equipment installation and commissioning to prevent initial defects or misalignments.

Training and Competency:

Provide training for operators and maintenance personnel on proper operation, maintenance, and troubleshooting techniques.

Root Cause Analysis:

Conduct thorough root cause analysis for any failures to identify underlying issues and prevent recurrence.

Spare Parts Management:

Maintain a well-organised inventory of critical spare parts to minimize downtime in case of equipment failure.

Upgrading and Modernisation:

Consider upgrading outdated equipment with newer, more efficient models that offer improved reliability and performance.

Environmental and Operating Conditions:

Ensure equipment operates within recommended temperature, humidity, and other environmental conditions.

Avoid excessive start-stop cycles and other operating conditions that can accelerate wear.

Emergency Response Plan:

Develop a clear plan for responding to equipment failures, including shutdown procedures and contingency plans.

Data Analytics and Digital Twins:

Utilize data analytics and digital twin technology to model and simulate equipment behaviour, enabling better decision-making and proactive maintenance.

Reliability Centred Maintenance (RCM):

Apply RCM principles to determine the most effective maintenance strategies for each piece of rotating equipment based on its criticality and potential failure modes.

Continually assess and improve your maintenance strategies based on data and feedback.


In conclusion, remember that achieving your weight loss goal is only the first step. Sustaining your ideal target weight is the next key step.

Similarly, implementing rotating equipment best practice techniques is the first step on a continuous improvement journey.

Ensuring plant operatives have ongoing access to best practice reliability training is key for this journey.

The 'automatic' transfer of operator skills and knowledge is vital given people leave or retire and new people join the company.

Like any good concepts, the important thing is to tailor the above best practice techniques to your organization's needs.  

Companies who have a real Continuous Improvement Organisational Culture are most likely to succeed and be around for a long time.


Contact the technical sales team at Reliability Seals for further information or to enlist on our 'Online Reliability Uptime training program'.

"Learning is a constant process of discovery without end" - Bruce Lee (Martial artist and actor)

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