Metrix Upgrades Vibration Instrumentation at Power Plant

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A power company in the Midwest USA recently evaluated multiple vendor solutions for upgrade of their existing vibration instrumentation on one of their unit’s main steam turbine generators, induced draft fans, and boiler feed pump trains. Having already invested in transitioning the power plant from a coal to gas-fired boiler, and with significant life left in the unit, improved vibration monitoring capabilities were justified to ensure reliable operations.

Metrix worked with the end user, system integrator, and their machinery protection and condition monitoring system partner to provide the Metrix Digital Proximity System (DPS). It upgraded the existing proximity probe systems and retrofitted the boiler feed pump trains to monitor vibration, position, and phase.

Although the steam turbine generator and induced draft fans had previously been retrofitted with proximity probe systems, they had been installed for 20 years. Replacements were becoming more challenging to come by, and often carried long lead times. In the case of the boiler feed pump trains, neither the motors or pumps had existing proximity probe systems. As a result, retrofit was necessary to achieve best practice monitoring. A variety of probe system configurations were required, including various case diameters and lengths, electrical lengths, linear ranges and in some cases, Metrix’s TightView applications.

With a large number of probe configurations, all existing transducer systems were upgraded without the need for additional brackets or adaptation to probe mounting provisions. As the system is configurable, it allowed for field configuration changes in the case of the boiler feed pump phase triggers which enabled DPS Drivers, originally configured for 80 mils of linear range, to be increased to 160 mils of linear range. Without this field configurability, they would have to be reordered.


Through a close working relationship with the end user, system integrator and monitoring system partner, Metrix delivered the instrumentation on time at a competitive price. Metrix stayed out of critical path during the unit overhaul and deployed reliable instrumentation that will be leveraged to protect and monitor the health of the end user’s machinery for years to come.