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Expert Systems with Applications 37 (2010) 627639

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Expert Systems with Applications


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A fuzzy inference system for pump failure diagnosis to improve maintenance


process: The case of a petrochemical industry
A. Azadeh *, V. Ebrahimipour, P. Bavar
Department of Industrial Engineering and Center of Excellence for Intelligent Experimental Mechanics, College of Engineering University of Tehran, P.O. Box 11365-4563, Tehran, Iran

a r t i c l e i n f o a b s t r a c t

Keywords: Pump operating problems may be either hydraulic or mechanical and there is interdependence between
Centrifugal pump the failure diagnoses of these two categories. Consequently, a correct diagnosis of a pump failure needs to
Diagnosis consider many symptoms and hydraulic or mechanical causes. But, due to nonlinear, time-varying behav-
Inference system ior and imprecise measurement information of the systems it is difcult to deal with pumps failures with
Failure mode
precise mathematical equations, while human operators with the aid of their practical experience can
Fuzzy rule-based
Knowledge acquisition
handle these complex situations, with only a set of imprecise linguistic if-then rules and imprecise sys-
tem state, but this procedure is time consuming and needs the knowledge of human experts and expe-
rienced maintenance personnel. The purpose of this study is to provide a correct and timely diagnosis
mechanism of pump failures by knowledge acquisition through a fuzzy rule-based inference system
which could approximate human reasoning. The proposed fuzzy inference system by: (1) reduction of
human error, (2) reduction of repair time (3) creation of expert knowledge which could be used for train-
ing (4) reduction of unnecessary expenditures for upgrades and nally, (5) reduction of maintenance
costs, will improve the maintenance process. The novelty of this work is the knowledge acquisition
(the extraction of linguistic rules) through the interactive impact of the critical failure modes on the both
hydraulic and mechanical operating parameters including ow rate, discharge pressure, NPSHR (Net Posi-
tive Suction Head Required), BHP (Brake Horse Power), efciency, vibration and temperature. The pro-
posed approach is tested and applied to a petrochemical industry.
2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

1. Introduction its impact on process behavior to provide a practical and struc-


tured approach for a satisfactory maintenance strategy
There is a great attention on the concepts of maintainability, (Ebrahimipour, Suzukia, & Azadeh, 2006). Pumps, based on the
reliability and safety in the Oil and Petrochemical industry, and way they add energy to the uid, are divided into two major cate-
many analyses are used to estimate the risk of hazards and damage gories: (1) dynamic, which continuously adds energy to increase
to equipments in order to improve maintenance policies and re- the uid velocities within the machine, and (2) displacement,
duce the amount and frequency of maintenance costs (Interna- which periodically adds energy by application of force to one or
tional Standard, ISO 14224, 1999). Maintenance is dened as set more moveable boundaries of uid containing volumes. Further,
of activities performed on an item to keep it in a specic state. dynamic pumps are subdivided into varieties of centrifugal and
Maintenance is subdivided into preventive maintenance (PM) special effect pumps. And, displacement pumps are also subdi-
and corrective maintenance (CM) (Birolini, 2004; Levitin & vided into reciprocating and rotary pumps (Karassik, Messina,
Lisnianski, 2000). Cooper, & Heald, 2001).
The major equipment failures in a petrochemical plant are re- Centrifugal pumps are used in a wide range of eld and indus-
lated to pumps, compressors and piping (Lees, 1996). Pumps of trial applications. Since they are varied in types, sizes, designs, and
all types are used in every phase of petrochemical industry, pro- materials of construction, there is a vast range of operational prob-
duction, transportation and renery. In recent years, many petro- lems for these pumps. But, due to nonlinear, time-varying behavior
chemical plants utilize advanced methods to enhance their and imprecise measurement information of a complex system such
knowledge and understanding about the pump performance and as a petrochemical plant it is difcult to deal with pump failures
with precise mathematical equations, and diagnosis of these
* Corresponding author. Tel.: +98 21 88021067.
problems needs domain experts with high experience or educa-
E-mail addresses: aazadeh@ut.ac.ir (A. Azadeh), vebrahimi@ut.ac.ir (V. Ebrahi- tion. But, the failure diagnosis process by human operators is
mipour), pbavar@ut.ac.ir (P. Bavar). time consuming and human error may lead to a faulty diagnosis,

0957-4174/$ - see front matter 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
doi:10.1016/j.eswa.2009.06.018
628 A. Azadeh et al. / Expert Systems with Applications 37 (2010) 627639

Nomenclature

BEF Best Efciency Point P total pressure kg=cm2


BHP Brake Horse Power (kW) Q ow rate or capacity m3 =h
DCS distributed control system RPM pump speed (rpm)
g acceleration due to gravity m=s2 T temperature (C)
H head of liquid column (m) g pump efciency (%)
NPSH Net Positive Suction Head (m) l absolute viscosity (cp)
NPSHA available NSPH (m)
NPSHR required NPSH (m)

therefore a fuzzy rule-based inference system, as a consulting sys- antecedents and a selection strategy of knowledge rules in the
tem that simulates the problem solving ability of human experts, memory knowledge base to develop LUBRES; an expert system
which provides the correct and timely diagnosis of pump failures for real time fault diagnosis of a lubricating oil rening process
would have a major effect on reduction of repair time, unnecessary (Qian, Xu, Li, Lin, & Kraslawski, 2007).
expenditures for upgrades, and improvement of the performance In this paper, we are to acquire knowledge and extract linguistic
of industrial maintenance programs and moreover will increase rules of the fuzzy inference approach in a novel strategy based on
the reliability of the system (Garcia, Clements, & Shelton, 2004; the interactive impact of the critical failure modes on the both
Hu, Xie, Ng, & Levitin, 2007; Levitin & Lisnianski, 2001). hydraulic and mechanical operating parameters including ow
In the recent studies, different expert approaches are proposed rate, discharge pressure, NPSHR (Net Positive Suction Head Re-
for fault diagnoses. Fonseca et al. designed a fuzzy reasoning algo- quired), BHP (Brake Horse Power), efciency, temperature and
rithm to evaluate the likelihood of equipment failure mode precip- vibration. The paper is organized as follows. Section 2 describes
itation in a new framework of reliability centered maintenance the methodology of the proposed fuzzy inference system. The
(RCM) (Fonseca & Knapp, 2000). Bevilacqua et al. used the CART implementation of the proposed approach is illustrated in Section
method for identication of the main operating conditions inu- 3. And Section 4 includes the conclusion.
encing the failure rates of different centrifugal pumps (Bevilacqua,
Braglia, & Montanari, 2003). Garcia et al. implemented PUMPX, an 2. Methodology
expert system for diagnosis of pump problems and for recommen-
dation of corrective actions (Garcia et al., 2004). Wang and Hu used In this study, we are to propose a fuzzy rule-based inference
fuzzy logic principle for vibration-based condition monitoring and system for pump diagnosis. The schematic structure of the pro-
fault diagnosis of pumps (Wang & Hu, 2006). Zogg et al. used a vec- posed approach is illustrated in Fig. 1. To achieve the objective, rst
tor clustering technique for fault diagnosis of heat pumps (Zogg, in order to extract linguistic rules the knowledge is acquired
Shafai, & Geering, 2006). Qian et al. used the sorting strategy of through the OREDA handbook (OREDA Participants, 2002),

DCS

Operating parameters

Development of the pump FMEA to define the


effects of the failure causes on the operating
OREDA parameters
handbook
Extraction of linguistic rules from the pump Defuzzified output,
FMEA failure cause, is
Pump
troubleshooting compared with the
Extraction of set points & operating ranges from failure reasons
the process simulation and pump data sheet mentioned in the
previous field reports
Field expert of the failure mode
maintenance personnel Development of membership functions & of the pump
linguistic rules in MATLAB fuzzy logic toolbox

Pump handbook
Using the Mamdani-type inference system for
the rule base
Fig. 1: The schematic structure of the proposed fuzzy inference system for pump diagnosis
Knowledge acquisition Development of the rule-based fuzzy inference Verification
system

Fig. 1. The schematic structure of the proposed approach.


A. Azadeh et al. / Expert Systems with Applications 37 (2010) 627639 629

manufacturer pump troubleshooting, eld expert maintenance The equipments being studied in this research are centrifugal
personnel, and pump handbook (Jackson, 1999), to dene the pumps, from machinery category with the oil processing service
interactive effect of the pump failure modes on the operating type.
parameters as the pump FMEA. Then, based on the process simula-
tion of the plant and the pump datasheet, pump set points and the 2.2. Fuzzy inference system
preferred, allowable, minimum, and maximum operating ranges of
the pump are specied. Next, the membership functions and lin- Pump operating problems may be either hydraulic or mechan-
guistic rules are developed in MATLAB fuzzy logic toolbox, and ical. In the rst category, a pump may fail to deliver liquid, it
the Mamdani-type inference system is dened for the rule base. may deliver an insufcient capacity or develop insufcient pres-
Then the proposed approach is tested and applied to centrifugal sure, or it may lose its prime after starting. In the second category,
pumps of an Aromatic plant of a petrochemical complex. In an- it may consume excessive power, or symptoms of mechanical dif-
other word, the operating parameters of the pumps (monitored culties may develop at the seal chambers or at the bearings, or
by the distributed control system), as inputs, are inserted to the vibration, noise, or breakage of some pump parts may occur. There
fuzzy inference system and then the results of the proposed ap- is a denite interdependence between some difculties of both
proach are compared with the failure reasons mentioned in the categories. For example, increased wear at the running clearances
previous eld reports of the failure mode of the pump. must be classied as a mechanical trouble, but it will result in a
reduction of the net pump capacity, a hydraulic symptom, without
2.1. OREDA classication necessarily causing a mechanical breakdown or even excessive
vibration (Karassik et al., 2001). And, correct diagnosis of a pump
In this study, the equipment classication is considered based on failure needs to consider many symptoms of hydraulic or mechan-
the OREDA (Offshore Reliability Data) handbook taxonomy (OREDA ical causes, and due to nonlinear, time-varying behavior and
Participants, 2002). The OREDA handbook includes high quality reli- imprecise measurement information of the systems it is difcult
ability data for offshore/onshore equipment (which are collected to deal with pumps failures with precise mathematical equations.
from offshore equipments of ten Oil and Gas companies), and pro- Though, there are uncertainties and ambiguities about the failure
vides both quantitative and qualitative information as a basis for causes. And, the existing diagnosis methods like vibration signal
reliability, availability, maintenance and safety (RAMS) analysis and condition monitoring are blurred to a great extend (Wang &
(OREDA Participants, 2002). In this taxonomy various items are clas- Hu, 2006). While, human operators with the aid of their practical
sied into equipment classes based on one main function (e.g. experience can handle these complex situations, with only a set
pumps, valves). These equipment classes are categorized in 5 major of imprecise linguistic if-then rules and imprecise system state.
categories: machinery (e.g. pumps, compressors), electric equip- There for, the fuzzy system theory developed by Zadeh (1973),
ment (e.g. electric generators), mechanical equipment (e.g. heat which deals with linguistic vague information based on fuzzy sets
exchangers), control and safety equipment (e.g. valves), and subsea and fuzzy logic could be applied to such complex systems (Chak,
equipment (e.g. subsea isolation system). Further, each equipment Feng, & Palaniswami, 1998). Since the main feature of Mamdani-
class is classied according to its design characteristics and type of type fuzzy inference systems is that the rules are explained in lin-
service (system) e.g. pumps are classied into centrifugal, recipro- guistic variables, and as a consequence it is more compatible with
cating and rotary pumps. Next, the failure and maintenance data of the reasoning process of human operators (Kothamasu & Huang,
each of the equipment units of these narrow taxonomy classes are 2007), in this study, a Mamdani-type fuzzy rule-based system is
described in a data table (OREDA Participants, 2002) (Fig. 2). exploited.

Fig. 2. The failure and maintenance data of the oil processing centrifugal pumps based on OREDA taxonomy.
630 A. Azadeh et al. / Expert Systems with Applications 37 (2010) 627639

Rule Base
If premise, then antecedent

Inference Engine
Input Fuzzificatio Defuzzification Output

Fig. 3. The schematic structure of a fuzzy rule-based inference system.

Expert systems are dened as consulting systems that simulate failure: a failure which is not critical, but which prevents the sys-
the reasoning behavior of a human expert. The most important tem from providing its output within specications; (3) incipient
components of expert systems are the knowledge base and the failure: a failure which does not immediately cause loss of a sys-
inference engine. In this study, a Mamdani-type fuzzy rule-based tems capability of providing its output, but which, if not attended
inference system is proposed, and instead of the knowledge base to, could result in a critical or degraded failure in the near future;
the rule base is used (Abraham, 2005). The inference engine imi- (4) unknown failure: failure severity was not recorded or could not
tates the reasoning process of the domain experts to seek informa- be deduced (Langseth, Haugen, & Sandtorv, 1998). In this study,
tion and relationships from the knowledge base to provide without loss of generality, from all the different failure modes
answers, predictions and suggestions (Wang & Hu, 2006). The associated with the involved pump units according to OREDA
inference process is a combination of ve sub-processes: fuzzica- handbook, the critical failure modes which have the highest failure
tion of the input variables, application of the fuzzy operator (AND rate are considered. For example, for the oil processing centrifugal
or OR) in the antecedent, implication from the antecedent to the pumps, the External leakage-process medium, the Spurious stop
consequent, aggregation of the consequents across the rules, and and Vibration failure modes are considered as the most frequent
defuzzication (Casas, Orozco, Smith, De Aberu-Garcia, & Durkin, critical failure modes, (with the 49.8, 9.82 and 4.91 failure rates,
2004; Castellano, Fanelli, & Mencar, 2003a). The schematic struc- respectively), Fig. 2.
ture of the fuzzy rule-based system is depicted in Fig. 3. In the next step, based on the OREDA classication, maintain-
able items of the pump associating with these failure modes are
2.2.1. Rule base considered (OREDA Participants, 2002) (Fig. 4). For example, the
The behavior of a fuzzy system is characterized by a set of lin- data in Table 1, represents the percentage of occurrence of each
guistic rules which constitutes a rule base. A typical linguistic rule failure mode due to failure of each maintainable item of the oil pro-
takes the following form (Abraham, 2005): cessing centrifugal pump. And in Table 2, percentage of occurrence
of each failure mode due to each failure cause of oil processing cen-
If a set of conditions is satisfied; then
trifugal pump is depicted.
a set of consequences could be inferred: 1
In a Mamdani-type fuzzy system the premises and the conse- 2.2.1.2. Pump FMEA. Each of these failure modes due to the failure
quences of the if-then rules are linguistic variables associated with of the related maintainable item may cause a problem in the
fuzzy concepts. A linguistic fuzzy rule is of the form of the follow- hydraulic or mechanical part of the pump. As a consequence, in or-
ing example (Abraham, 2005): der to extract the linguistic rules, we use the information about the
critical failure modes and the related failure causes (based on the
If x1 is A1 and x2 is A2 and . . . and xn is An ; then y is B; 2 OREDA handbook classication) as inputs for the pump FMEA (Fail-
where x1 and x2 and . . . and xn are input variables, A1 and A2 and . . . ure Modes and Effects Analysis), and then we consider the impact
and An are input linguistic terms represented by fuzzy sets, y is an of failure causes on both the hydraulic and mechanical operating
output variable and B is an output linguistic term represented by parameters of the pump; ow rate, discharge pressure, NPSHR
fuzzy sets (Chak et al., 1998). The antecedent (the rules premise) (Net Positive Suction Head Required), BHP (Brake Horse Power),
describes to what degree the rule is applied, while the consequent efciency, vibration, and temperature.
assigns a membership function to the output variable (Abraham, In this stage to complete the FMEA we need to acquire knowl-
2005). Moreover, every rule has a weight (a number between 0 edge. To dene the effects of failure causes on the hydraulic oper-
and 1) which assigns the importance of each rule.
The novelty of this work is the knowledge acquisition (the
extraction of linguistic rules) through the interactive impact of
the pump critical failure modes and its maintainable items on
the both hydraulic and mechanical operating parameters including
ow rate, discharge pressure, NPSHR (Net Positive Suction Head
Required), BHP (Brake Horse Power), efciency, vibration and
temperature.

2.2.1.1. Pump failure modes. In order to achieve the objective, rst


we consider the failure modes associated with oil processing cen-
trifugal pumps based on the OREDA handbook database. The ORE-
DA handbook classies the failure modes based on their severity,
(effect of the failure on operational status and the severity of loss
of the output from the system), in to the following four categories:
Fig. 4. General components of centrifugal pumps (Sahdev, M., Centrifugal pumps:
(1) critical failure: a failure which causes immediate and complete
basic concepts of operation, maintenance, and troubleshooting, Part I. Presented at
loss of a systems capability of providing its output; (2) degraded The Chemical Engineers Resource Page, http://www.cheresources.com, Fig. B.01.).
A. Azadeh et al. / Expert Systems with Applications 37 (2010) 627639 631

Table 1
Percentage of occurrence of each failure mode due to failure of each maintainable item of oil processing centrifugal pump.

No. Maintainable item Failure mode


External leakage (%) Spurious stop (%) Vibration (%) Total relative contribution (%)
1 Actuating device 0.00 0.05 0.00 0.05
2 Bearing 0.05 0.13 0.10 0.28
3 Casing 0.59 0.00 0.10 0.69
4 Check valves 0.05 0.00 0.00 0.05
5 Control unit 0.00 0.36 0.03 0.39
6 Coupling to driven unit 0.00 0.15 0.05 0.20
7 Gear box 0.00 0.15 0.00 0.15
8 Impeller 0.00 0.10 0.15 0.25
9 Instrument, ow 0.00 0.15 0.00 0.15
10 Instrument, general 0.00 0.15 0.00 0.15
11 Instrument, pressure 0.03 0.46 0.00 0.49
12 Instrument, temperature 0.00 0.67 0.00 0.67
13 Instrument, vibration 0.00 0.41 0.49 1.00
14 Piping 1.80 0.00 0.05 1.85
15 Radial bearing 0.05 0.05 0.76 0.86
16 Seals 5.11 0.44 0.02 5.57
17 Shaft 0.00 0.05 0.14 0.19
18 Thrust bearing 0.00 0.00 0.22 0.22
19 Unknown 0.46 1.85 0.62 2.93
20 Valves 0.92 0.05 0.00 0.97
Total 9.06 5.22 2.73 17.11

Table 2
Percentage of occurrence of each failure mode due to each failure cause of oil processing centrifugal pump.

No. Failure cause Failure mode


External leakage (%) Spurious stop (%) Vibration (%) Total relative contribution (%)
1 Blockage/plugged 0.31 0.10 0.05 0.46
2 Breakage 0.05 0.05 0.31 0.41
3 Cavitation 0.15 0.00 0.05 0.20
4 Clearance/misalignment 0.15 0.00 0.97 1.12
5 Control failure 0.00 0.21 0.05 0.26
6 Corrosion 0.41 0.15 0.00 0.56
7 Electrical failure general 0.00 0.51 0.00 0.51
8 Fatigue 0.15 0.00 0.05 0.20
9 Faulty signal 0.00 0.67 0.15 0.82
10 Instrument failure general 0.10 1.39 0.10 2.59
11 Leakage 2.72 0.21 0.05 2.98
12 Looseness 0.36 0.05 0.05 0.46
13 Mechanical failure general 3.59 0.97 0.82 5.38
14 Misc. external inuence 0.46 0.10 0.51 1.07
15 Out of adjustment 0.00 0.21 0.10 0.31
16 Over heating 0.05 0.05 0.00 0.10
17 Unknown 0.05 0.15 0.15 0.35
18 Vibration 0.05 0.51 0.46 1.02
19 Wear 0.15 0.05 0.26 0.46
Total 8.75 5.38 4.13 19.26

ating parameters such as ow rate and discharge pressure the tracted. For example, the six diagnostic rules for the Vibration fail-
knowledge is acquired as linguistic variables (variables whose val- ure mode (vibration at low ows) based on the Table 3, are
ues are dened in linguistic terms) from: process simulation of the depicted in Table 4.
plant, the pump manufacturer troubleshooting, and the eld ex-
pert maintenance personnel. And to identify the effects of failure 2.2.2. Fuzzication
causes on the mechanical parameters such as vibration and tem- Fuzzication is a process in which the input data, precise or
perature the knowledge is acquired as linguistic variables from: imprecise is converted into linguistic variable. Since linguistic vari-
the pump manufacturer troubleshooting, the eld expert mainte- ables; whose values are dened in linguistic terms, e.g. very high,
nance personnel, and pump handbook (Karassik et al., 2001). For are imprecise, ill-dened and surrounded by uncertainty, the
example, the effect of possible causes of the vibration failure mode application of classical two-valued logic is not appropriate, while
of oil processing centrifugal pump on the hydraulic and mechanical fuzzy sets provide a basis for the systematic manipulation of such
operating parameters is depicted in Table 3. The weight column linguistic variables (Castellano, Fanelli, & Mencar, 2002; Castellano
indicates the weight of each rule, a number between 0 and1, which et al., 2003a; Castellano, Fanelli, & Mencar, 2003b). Though, a fuzzy
is induced from the probability of the contribution of each failure inference system uses a collection of fuzzy membership functions
cause and maintainable item to the failure mode, based on OREDA and rules, instead of Boolean logic, for the reasoning process
data (Tables 1 and 2), and the opinion of eld experts. (Abraham, 2005).
Next, based on the pump FMEA for the Leakage, Spurious stop In this study, the operating parameters monitored by the dis-
and Vibration failure modes, about 70 linguistic rules were ex- tributed control system (DCS) are the inputs of the proposed fuzzy
632 A. Azadeh et al. / Expert Systems with Applications 37 (2010) 627639

Table 3
The effects of possible causes of the vibration failure mode of oil processing centrifugal pump on the hydraulic and mechanical operating parameters (pump FMEA)/in linguistic
variables and semiotic signs.

Failure mode Possible cause Q m3 =h Disch. NPSHR BHP Efciency Velocity Temp. Weight
of the failure: Press. (m) (kW) (%) mm=s  C
(kg=cm3 )
Pump 1. Pump suction pipe not completely lled Decrease Decrease Increase Increase 0.5
vibration at with liquid () () (++) (+)
low ows 2. Insufcient available NPSH Decrease Decrease Decrease Increase Increase 0.8
() () () (++) (+)
3. Selection of pump with too high a suction Decrease Increase Decrease Decrease Increase 0.6
specic speed () (+) () () (++)
4. Impeller selection with abnormally high Decrease Increase 0.5
head coefcient () (++)
5. Running the pump against a closed Decrease Increase Decrease Decrease Increase Increase 0.6
discharge valve without opening a by-pass () (+) () () (++) (+)
6. Operating pump below recommended Decrease() Decrease increase Decrease () Decrease Increase Increase 0.9
minimum ow () () (++) (+)
Pump vibrates 1. Pump suction pipe not completely lled Decrease Decrease Increase Increase 0.5
at high with liquid () () (++) (+)
ows 2. Insufcient available NPSH Decrease Decrease() Decrease() Increase Increase 0.8
() (++) (+)
3. Inlet of suction pipe insufciently Decrease Decrease Increase Increase 0.4
submerged () () (++) (+)
4. Vortex formation at suction Decrease Increase(+) Increase(++) 0.4
()
5. Pump operated with closed or partially Decrease Decrease Increase 0.5
closed suction valve () () (++)
6. Clogged suction strainer/obstruction in Decrease Decrease Increase 0.7
suction line () () (++)
7. Clogged impeller Decrease Increase Decrease () Increase (+) 0.6
() (+)
8. Running pump at too high a ow Increase Decrease Increase (++) Decrease () Increase 0.5
(++) () (++)

Table 4
The linguistic rules for vibration failure at low ows.

Rule no. If (premise) Then (consequent)


Rule 1 Q is very low and Disch. Press. is low and Velocity is very high and Temperature is high Pump suction pipe not completely lled with liquid
Rule 2 Q is very low and BHP is very low and Efciency is very low and Velocity is very high and Temperature Insufcient available NPSH
is high
Rule 3 Q is low and Disch. Press. is high and BHP is low and Efciency is very low and Velocity is very high Selection of pump with too high a suction specic
speed
Rule 4 Q is low and Disch. Press. is very high, Impeller selection with abnormally high head
coefcient
Rule 5 Q is very low and Disch. Press. is high and BHP is very low and Efciency is very low and Velocity is Running the pump against a closed discharge valve
very high and Temperature is high without opening a by-pass
Rule 6 Q is low and Disch. Press. is low and NPSHR is high and BHP is low and Efciency is very low and Operating pump below recommended minimum ow
Velocity is very high and Temperature is high

inference approach. Since, for each pump based on its type and ser- uid ow system consists of a mechanical system and a process
vice the operating conditions are different, the membership func- system). And based on the process set points the preferred, allow-
tions for each of the hydraulic and mechanical operating able, minimum and maximum operating ranges for each of the
parameters of each pump is specied separately. In order to assign above parameters, are extracted, (e.g. Table 6).
the membership values of inputs, (ow rate, discharge pressure, In this study, the triangular membership functions are used for
NPSHR, BHP, efciency, vibration and temperature), the equipment the inputs, since the pump BEP (Best Efciency Point at which the
condition and operational parameters of the pump under study efciency is highest and all other points to the left or right of the
(pump datasheet, Table 5), performance curve of the pump (a typ- BEP have a lower efciency) is unique (Casas et al., 2004; Fonseca
ical pump curve which includes, pump size, model number, speed, & Knapp, 2000). All operating parameters are expressed as triangu-
and the impeller size and impeller version and is basically a plot of lar fuzzy numbers so that their contribution to the development of
pressure developed in feet of liquid pumped, versus the quantity of a particular failure mode is quantied as fuzzy numbers between 0
liquid pumped, which is generated by tests performed by the and 1, Fig. 9ad. Therefore, the input space which is seven-dimen-
pump manufacturer, Fig. 6) and the P&ID (Piping and Instrumenta- sional (since there are seven operating conditions) is partitionized
tion Diagram which denes every mechanical aspect of the plant with membership functions and if-then rules. The action associ-
regarding the process equipment and their interconnections), and ated with each partition is represented by the consequent part
PFD of the plant (Process Flow Diagram which denes operating (Abraham, 2005), Fig. 5.
conditions, material and compositions and ow quantities), are The output variable is dened as the Failure cause, and since
considered through the process simulation of the plant; (a typical the output is a discrete choice, the singleton membership function
A. Azadeh et al. / Expert Systems with Applications 37 (2010) 627639 633

Table 5
Data sheet of a stripper column bottoms centrifugal pump.

Centrifugal pump data sheet


Unit: Sulfonate
Item No: AR-GA-310 AB
Service: stripper column bottoms pump

Operating condition
Liquid Sulfonate
Pumping temp. 182 C Press. discharge 4.65 kg=cm2
Specic gravity 1.057 Suction 1.76 kg=cm2
Vapor press. 2.76 kg=cm2 Diff. 2.89 kg=cm2
Viscosity 0.8 cp Total head 2.73 m
Capacity: Nor. 463 m3 =h NPSH available 4.3 m
Des 545 m3 =h
Performance
RPM 1485 NPSH Required 4.2 m
Des. EFF. 72 % BHP 59.5 kW
Min. continuous ow 60 m3 =h Case temp. 192 C
Cooling water 35 C
Motor
Supplied by IEC Mounted by EBARA
Rated output 75 kW Pole 4
RPM 1500
Fig. 5. Partitioning of a two-dimensional space by using triangular membership
functions.

is employed for representation of the output variable (Qian et al., Output,


2007) (Fig. 10). Input 1, Failure cause
Q
Since, the premise and consequence of a fuzzy rule are repre- 1
1 2 3 4
sented by input fuzzy regions and output fuzzy regions, respec-
2
tively, a fuzzy rule could be represented through the linkage of Input 2, 5 6 7 8
Disch. Press. 3
input and output fuzzy regions. As a consequence can be shared 9 10 11 12
by a number of premises of fuzzy rules, this approach reduces 4
13 14 15 16 5
the number of consequences (Chak et al., 1998). The linkage of in-
put and output fuzzy regions for rules specied in Table 4, for two 6
input variables, is depicted in Fig. 6.
Moreover, the linkage of input and output fuzzy regions could Fig. 6. Linkage of the two-dimensional input fuzzy regions into output fuzzy
regions.
be expressed by the OR matrix. The entries of the OR matrix are
binary, the 0 represents that an input fuzzy region has no linkage
with the output fuzzy regions and vice versa the 1 represents Output fuzzy regions
that an input fuzzy region links an output fuzzy region (Chak
et al., 1998). The OR matrix of the input fuzzy regions and the out-
put fuzzy regions for rules specied in Table 4, for two input vari-
ables, is depicted in Fig. 7.
Input fuzzy
2.2.3. Inference engine regions
The purpose of the inference engine is to seek information and
relationships from the rule base, based on fuzzy concepts, to pro-
vide answers, predictions and suggestions in the way that a human
expert would do (Hornik & Bernadette, 1997; Jackson, 1999). Fuzzy
outputs are inferred by using fuzzy implication and rules of infer-
ence in fuzzy logic. The inferred fuzzy output of the system is the
aggregated result derived from all individual fuzzy rules. In the
Mamdani-type fuzzy inference system the generalized modus pon-
ens one level forward data-driven inference is employed as the fuz- Fig. 7. The OR matrix of the input fuzzy regions (for two inputs) and the output
zy implication inference rule (Chak et al., 1998): fuzzy regions.

Table 6
The fuzzy interpretation of the operating parameters (the normal, low,. . ., high operating range for the column stripper bottoms pump based on the preferred, allowable,
minimum and maximum operating conditions of each operating parameter).

Operating parameter Operating range


Very low Low Normal High Very high
Hydraulic Parameters Flow rate (Q) [0, 324.1] [324.1, 370.4] [370.4, 509.3] [509.3, 545]
Discharge press. [0, 4.56] [4.56, 4.72] [4.72, 5.33] [5.33, 5.36]
NPSHR [0, 3.1] [3.1, 4.8] [4.8, 5.2]
Mechanical parameters BHP [35, 49] [49, 50] [50, 65] [65, 70]
Efciency [0, 56] [56, 66] [66, 72.5]
Velocity [0, 4.5] [4.5, 11] [11, 40]
Temperature [150, 180] [180, 183] [183, 210]
634 A. Azadeh et al. / Expert Systems with Applications 37 (2010) 627639

Premise 1 : x isX; Using the minimum t-norm for each rule to derive the output
Premise 2 : if x is A; then y is B; 3 fuzzy set B0i :
Consequence : y is Y: lB0i y bi ^ lBi yj : 5

The Mamdani inference algorithm is as follows (Babuska, 1998): Taking the maximum (union) to aggregate the output fuzzy
sets:
Calculation of bi , the degree of fulllment of the antecedent
lB0 y max lB0i yj ; 6
for each rule i: i1;2;...K

where K is the number of rules, Ai and Bi are the fuzzy sets, x is ante-
bi lAi 1 x1 ^ lAi2 x2 ; 1  i  K: 4
cedents variable representing the input in the fuzzy system, y is the

Fig. 8. The manufacturer performance curve of the pump.


A. Azadeh et al. / Expert Systems with Applications 37 (2010) 627639 635

consequent variable related to the output of the fuzzy system, and 3. Implementation
B0 is the output fuzzy set resulted from the fuzzy inference
mechanism. The equipments being studied in this research are centrifugal
pumps (with the oil processing service) of an aromatic plant of a
petrochemical complex. In this section, the proposed fuzzy infer-
2.2.4. Defuzzication
ence approach is applied on a stripper column bottoms centrifugal
In the defuzzication process, the output fuzzy set resulted from
pump with the 250 * 200 UCWM type. The pump datasheet which
the fuzzy inference mechanism is mapped to a crisp value. There are
includes the equipment condition and operational parameters of
different methods for defuzzication (Broekhoven & Baets, 2008).
the pump is demonstrated in Table 5. And, the pumps performance
One of the common techniques for difuzzication is the maxima
curve, which is generated by tests performed by the pump manu-
method, which returns a point with the highest degree of member-
facturer, is depicted in Fig. 8; a typical pump curve which includes,
ship in the fuzzy output. But, in most practical cases there might
pump size, model number, speed, the impeller size and impeller
many points having the same maximum degree of membership in
version, and is basically a plot of pressure developed in feet of li-
the output fuzzy set, in these cases the smallest of maxima, the mean
quid pumped, versus the quantity of liquid pumped.
of maxima and the largest of maxima methods could be used. In this
study, due to discrete feature of the output variable (failure cause),
and descending order of the failure causes in the output space (based 3.1. Process simulation
on the probability of the failure causes), and the simplicity and speed
of maxima method in the calculation (Broekhoven & Baets, 2008; The process under study is the Sulfolane process in an Aromatic
Keshwani, Jones, Meyer, & Brand 2008), the smallest of maxima plant of a petrochemical complex. Products of the Aromatic plant
method is used as a defuzzication technique. are Benzene, mixed Xylenes, and C S + Raffainate. And the Sulfolane

Fig. 9. (a) Fuzzy membership functions of Q and Disch. Press.. (b) Fuzzy membership functions of NPSHR and BHP. (c) Fuzzy membership functions of Efciency and
Velocity. (d) Fuzzy membership function of Temperature.
636 A. Azadeh et al. / Expert Systems with Applications 37 (2010) 627639

Fig. 9 (continued)

process is used to recover high purity aromatics from hydrocarbon [0, 324.1] as very low, [324.1, 370.4] as low, [370, 509.3] as normal,
mixtures. and [509.3, 545] as high.
In order to dene the set points, the preferred, allowable, min-
imum and maximum operating ranges for each of the operating 3.2. Fuzzication
parameters of the pump, with regard to the P&ID of the plant (Pip-
ing and Instrumentation Diagram which denes every mechanical In this stage, the operating parameters of the pump monitored
aspect of the plant regarding the process equipment and their by the distributed control system (DCS) are the inputs of the pro-
interconnections), the Process Flow Diagram (PFD; which denes posed fuzzy inference approach. Therefore, based on the fuzzy
operating conditions, material and compositions and ow quanti- interpretation of the operating parameters discussed in the previ-
ties) of the plant is simulated by ASPEN HYSYS (a chemical process ous Section 3.1 (Table 6), as inputs of the fuzzy inference system,
simulation package). and with regard to the fact that the pump BEP (Best Efciency
Next, based on the pump datasheet, process simulation set Point at which the efciency is highest and all other points to
points, and the interpretation of the eld expert maintenance per- the left or right of the BEP have a lower efciency) is unique (Casas
sonnel, the preferred, allowable, minimum, and maximum operat- et al., 2004; Fonseca & Knapp, 2000), the triangular membership
ing ranges for each of the operating parameters of the pump (ow functions are used for the inputs. Therefore, all operating parame-
rate, discharge pressure, NPSHR, BHP, efciency, vibration, and ters are expressed as triangular fuzzy numbers so that their contri-
temperature), are dened and demonstrated in Table 6. In another bution to the development of a particular failure mode is
word, the specied ranges for each of the operating parameters are quantied as fuzzy numbers between 0 and 1, Fig. 9ad. Thus,
the fuzzy interpretation of these parameters. For example, for the since seven operating parameters are considered in this study,
ow rate the four following fuzzy ranges are dened: the the input space which is seven-dimensional is partitionized with
A. Azadeh et al. / Expert Systems with Applications 37 (2010) 627639 637

membership functions and if-then rules. The action associated efciency is in the [0,56] and velocity is in the [11, 40] and tem-
with each partition is represented by the consequent part perature is in the [183, 210]), then (pump is operating below the
(Abraham, 2005), Fig. 5. minimum recommended ow).
The output variable is dened as the Failure cause, and since
the output is a discrete choice, the singleton membership function Moreover, the rule viewer screen for vibration failure mode at
is employed for representation of the output variable (Rairez, low ows, which displays how the input and output variables are
Haber, Pena, & Rondriguez, 2004) (Fig. 10). used in the rules, is shown in Fig. 11.

3.4. Inference engine


3.3. Rule base
As it was mentioned in Section 2.2.3, in the proposed Mamdani-
In this study, the fuzzy logic toolbox of the MATLAB 7 is used to type fuzzy inference system the generalized modus ponens one le-
develop the fuzzy inference system. The linguistic rules are ex- vel forward data-driven inference is employed as the fuzzy impli-
tracted as it was discussed in Section 2.2.1. For example, the lin- cation inference rule (Abraham, 2005).
guistic rules extracted for the vibration failure mode (at low
ows), Table 4, with regard to the fuzzy interpretation of the oper- 3.5. Defuzzication
ating parameters, could be dened as follows:
As it was discussed in Section 2.2.4, in this study, due to discrete
Rule 1: If (Q is in the [0, 324.1] and Disch. Press. is in the [0, 4.56] feature of the output variable (failure cause), and descending order
and velocity is in the [11, 40] and temperature is in the of the failure causes in the output space (based on the probability
[183, 210]), then (Pump suction pipe is not completely lled of the failure causes), and the simplicity and speed of maxima
with liquid). method in the calculation (Broekhoven & Baets, 2008; Keshwani
Rule 2: If (Q is in the [0, 324.1] and BHP is in the [35, 49] and et al., 2008), the smallest of maxima method is used as a defuzzi-
efciency is in the [0, 56] and velocity is in the [11, 40] and tem- cation technique.
perature is in the [183, 210]), then (NPSH available is
insufcient). 3.6. Verication and validation
Rule 3: If (Q is in the [324.1, 370.4] and Disch. Press. is in the
[4.72, 5.33] and BHP is in the [49, 50] and efciency is in the To verify and validate the proposed fuzzy inference system, ten
[0, 56] and velocity is in the [11, 40]), then (pump is selected random failures of the pump under study, the stripper column bot-
with too high a suction specic speed). tom centrifugal pump, are selected from the previous eld failure
Rule 4: If (Q is in the [324.1, 370.4] and Disch. Press. is in the reports of the Leakage, Spurious stop and Vibration failure modes.
[5.33, 5.36]), then (impeller is selected with abnormally high Next, the operating parameters of these ten reports which are
head coefcient). monitored by the DCS are inserted as input variables in the pro-
Rule 5: If (Q is in the [0, 324.1] and Disch. Press. is in the posed fuzzy inference system. Then, the failure diagnoses of the
[4.72, 5.33] and BHP is in the [35, 49] and efciency is in proposed approach are compared with the failure reasons men-
the [0, 56] and velocity is in the [11, 40] and temperature is tioned in the previous failure reports (Table 7). As it is demon-
in the [183, 210]), then (pump is running against a closed strated in Table 7, the results show that the proposed fuzzy
discharge valve without opening a by-pass). inference system is well capable to diagnose the correct failure
Rule 6: If (Q is in the [324.1, 370.4] and Disch. Press. is in the causes of the ten random failure modes of the centrifugal pump
[0.4.56] and NPSHR is [4.8, 5.2] and BHP is in the [49, 50] and under study.

Fig. 10. Fuzzy membership function of the output variable, Failure cause.
638 A. Azadeh et al. / Expert Systems with Applications 37 (2010) 627639

Fig. 11. The rule viewer screen for the vibration failure mode at low ows, which displays how the input and output variables are used in the rules.

Table 7
Comparison of the failure diagnoses of the proposed fuzzy inference approach for ten random failures with the previous eld reports of failure reasons.

Failure mode No. Operating parameters


Q Disch. NPSHR BHP Efciency Velocity Temp. Failure reason Failure cause diagnosed by
(m3/ Press. (m) (kW) (%) (mm/s) (C) mentioned in the fuzzy inference system
h) (kg/ previous eld
cm3) reports
1. Mechanical seal 240 4.5 4 55 56 15.6 183 Mechanical seal Mechanical seal damage due to bent shaft
leakage damage
2. Abnormal 255 4.6 4.1 56 58 26.7 186 Misalignment Misalignment
vibration
3. Vibration 250 4.1 4.8 54.5 57 11.5 185 Cavitation Cavitation
4. Mechanical seal 365 4.6 4 58 65 18 187 Mechanical seal Mechanical seal damage due to rotor imbalance
leakage damage
5. Mechanical seal 260 4.55 4.15 56.8 60 14 188 Mechanical seal Mechanical seal damage due to incorrect type of
leakage damage mechanical seal for prevailing conditions
6. Abnormal high 270 3.1 4.1 56.5 64 4 190 Mechanical seal Mechanical seal path is plugged
temperature path is plugged
7. Spurious stop 385 3.5 4.1 58 66 16.8 189 Rubbing Rubbing
8. Vibration 290 3.9 4 56 62 21.2 186 Bearing problem Bearing problem due to excessive axial
thrust caused by excessive wear at internal clearances
9. Leakage 270 3.9 3.9 57.7 68 14.7 185 Shaft problem Shaft running off-center because of worn bearings
10. Packed box leaks 290 4.1 4.2 65 55 6 183 Mechanical seal Dirt or girt in sealing liquid
excessively dirty

4. Conclusion modes are illustrated in the paper, the proposed fuzzy rule-based
inference system shows acceptable performance in comparison
In this paper, due to nonlinear, time-varying behavior and with the failure reasons mentioned in previous eld failure
imprecise measurement information of the systems, a rule-based reports.
fuzzy inference system was proposed for failure diagnosis of cen- The implementation of the proposed approach in the petro-
trifugal pumps. In order to achieve the objective, the knowledge chemical industry would result in: (1) reduction of repair time
was acquired (linguistic rules were extracted) through the inter- by reducing the long time sometimes needed for human operators
active impact of the critical pump failure modes on the both to nd out the failure reason, (2) reduction of human error, (3) cre-
hydraulic and mechanical operating parameters including ow ation of expert knowledge which could be used for training (4)
rate, discharge pressure, NPSHR (Net Positive Suction Head reduction of unnecessary expenditures for upgrades by providing
Required), BHP (Brake Horse Power), efciency, vibration and the earlier diagnosis of the faults and nally, (5) by reduction of
temperature. And, through a fuzzy rule-based system with maintenance costs and improvement of maintenance policies will
linguistic variables and with a set of ifthen rules, the correct increase the reliability and safety of the system, which plays an
and timely diagnosis of pump problems are proposed. The pro- important role in the Oil and Petrochemical industry. In the further
posed approach was tested and applied to the centrifugal pumps studies, we are to implement neural network on the proposed fuz-
of an Aromatic plant in a petrochemical complex and as the zy inference system, in order to use the learning and prediction
results for a stripper column bottoms pump in the Sulfolane capability of neural network to improve the fuzzy rules and fuzzy
process, for the Leakage, Spurious stop and Vibration failure system intelligence.
A. Azadeh et al. / Expert Systems with Applications 37 (2010) 627639 639

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