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Machinery Failure Analysis and Troubleshooting - 4th Edition - ISBN: 9780123860453, 9780123860460

Machinery Failure Analysis and Troubleshooting

4th Edition

Practical Machinery Management for Process Plants

Authors: Heinz P. Bloch Fred K. Geitner
eBook ISBN: 9780123860460
Hardcover ISBN: 9780123860453
Imprint: Butterworth-Heinemann
Published Date: 27th August 2012
Page Count: 760
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Solve the machinery failure problems costing you time and money with this classic, comprehensive guide to analysis and troubleshooting

  • Provides detailed, complete and accurate information on anticipating risk of component failure and avoiding equipment downtime
  • Includes numerous photographs of failed parts to ensure you are familiar with the visual evidence you need to recognize
  • Covers proven approaches to failure definition and offers failure identification and analysis methods that can be applied to virtually all problem situations
  • Demonstrates with examples how the progress and results of failure analysis and troubleshooting efforts can be documented and monitored

Failures of machinery in a plant setting can have wide-ranging consequences and in order to stay competitive, corporations across all industries must optimize the efficiency and reliability of their machinery.

Machinery Failure Analysis and Troubleshooting is a trusted, established reference in the field, authored by two well-known authorities on failure and reliability. Structured to teach failure identification and analysis methods that can be applied to almost all problem situations, this eagerly awaited update takes in the wealth of technological advances and changes in approach seen since the last edition published more than a decade ago.

Covering both the engineering detail and management theory, Machinery Failure Analysis and Troubleshooting provides a robust go-to reference and training resource for all engineers and managers working in manufacturing and process plants.

Key Features

  • Provides detailed, complete and accurate information on anticipating risk of component failure and avoiding equipment downtime
  • Presents documented failure case studies and analyzes the procedures employed to define events that led to component or systems failure
  • Includes numerous photographs of failed parts to ensure readers are familiar with the visual evidence they need to recognize


Engineers involved with the design, maintenance, and reliability of production machinery. Equipment Engineers, Reliability Engineers and Mechanical Engineers who have responsibility for improving equipment performance

Table of Contents




Chapter 1. The Failure Analysis and Troubleshooting System

Troubleshooting as an Extension of Failure Analysis

Causes of Machinery Failures

Root Causes of Machinery Failure


Chapter 2. Metallurgical Failure Analysis

Types of Failures

Metallurgical Failure Analysis Methodology

Failure Analysis of Bolted Joints

Shaft Failures

The Case of the Boiler Fan Turbine

Analysis of Surface-Change Failures

Analyzing Wear Failures∗

Preventive Action Planning Avoids Corrosion Failure∗

Case Studies



Chapter 3. Machinery Component Failure Analysis

Bearings in Distress

Rolling-Element Bearing Failures and Their Causes∗

Patterns of Load Paths and Their Meaning in Bearing Damage

Troubleshooting Bearings

Journal and Tilt-Pad Thrust Bearings∗

Gear Failure Analysis

Preliminary Considerations∗

Analytical Evaluation of Gear Theoretical Capability

Metallurgical Evaluation

General Mechanical Design


Defects Induced by Other Train Components



Surface Fatigue

Failures from the Manufacturing Process


Lubricated Flexible/Coupling Failure Analysis

Gear-Coupling Failure Analysis

Gear-Coupling Failure Mechanisms

Determining the Cause of Mechanical Seal Distress

Troubleshooting and Seal-Failure Analysis

Summary of Mechanical Seal Failure Analysis

Avoiding Common Causes of O-ring Failures∗

Failure Without Visible Evidence on Seal

Compression Set

Lubricant Considerations

Lubrication Failure Analysis

Why Lube Oil Should Be Purified

Six Lube-Oil Analyses Are Required

Periodic Sampling and Conditioning Routines Implemented

Calculated Benefit-to-Cost Ratio

Wear-Particle Analysis∗

Grease Failure Analysis

Magnetism in Turbomachinery∗


Chapter 4. Machinery Troubleshooting

Competing Approaches

The Professional Problem Solver’s (PPS) Approach

The Matrix Approach to Machinery Troubleshooting

Troubleshooting Pumps

Making Good Choices

Troubleshooting Centrifugal Compressors, Blowers, and Fans

Troubleshooting Reciprocating Compressors

Troubleshooting Engines

Troubleshooting Steam Turbines

Troubleshooting Gas Turbines

Troubleshooting Electric Motors

Electrical Motor Bearing Failures∗

Troubleshooting the Process

Apply Proven Machinery Problem Solving Strategies


Chapter 5. Vibration Analysis

Machine History

Machine Characteristics

Interpretation of Collected Data

Aerodynamic Flow-Induced Vibrations

Establishing Safe Operating Limits for Machinery




Chapter 6. Generalized Machinery Problem-Solving Sequence

Situation Analysis

Cause Analysis

Action Planning and Generation

Planning for Change


Chapter 7. Statistical Approaches in Machinery Problem Solving

Machinery Failure Modes and Maintenance Strategies

Quantifying Reliability Performance to Meet Process Safety Expectations∗

Chapter 8. Formalized Failure Reporting as a Teaching Tool

Examining the Sample Reports

The Case of the High-Speed, Low-Flow Pump Failure


Chapter 9. The “Seven Cause Category Approach” to Root-Cause Failure Analysis

Checklists and Failure Statistics Can be Helpful

Systematic Approaches Always Valuable

Faulty Design Causes Premature Bearing Failures

Fabrication and Processing Errors Can Prove Costly

Operations Errors Can Cause Pumps to Malfunction

Maintenance Omissions Can Cause Loss of Life

Awareness of Off-Design and Unintended Service Conditions Needed to Prevent Failures∗

Reduced Life and Catastrophic Failure of Electric Motor Bearings


Chapter 10. A Principle Based Problem Solving Process∗

Traditional Problem-Solving Strategies

Linear Thinking



Root Cause Myth

Principles of Causation

Seven Steps to Effective Problem Solving


Continuous Improvement—The Essence of Quality

Additional Resources


Chapter 11. Knowledge-Based Systems for Machinery Failure Diagnosis

Examples of Knowledge-Based Systems

Identification and Selection of Knowledge-Based System Applications∗

Project Implementation

Expert-System Questionnaire


Chapter 12. Training and Organizing for Successful Failure Analysis and Troubleshooting

Available Choices and When to Make Them

Why Shared Learning and a Measure of Specialization are Important

Specific Steps in the Training and Learning Process

Favorable Results Anticipated

Professional Growth: The Next Step

Organizing for Failure Analysis and Troubleshooting

Setting Up a Centrifugal Pump Failure Reduction Program

Definition of Approach and Goals

Action Steps Outlined

Development of Checklists and Procedures

Program Results and Conclusions


APPENDIX A: Databases, Surveys and mean-time-between-failure expectations derived from literature and from authors’ observations

APPENDIX B: Probability Plotting of Life Data∗

APPENDIX C: Glossary of Problem-Solving and Decision-Making Terms

APPENDIX D: Gear Nomenclature

Subject Index


No. of pages:
© Butterworth-Heinemann 2012
27th August 2012
eBook ISBN:
Hardcover ISBN:

About the Authors

Heinz P. Bloch

A consulting engineer residing in Montgomery, texas, Heinz. P. Bloch has held machinery-oriented staff and line positions with Exxon affiliates in the United States, Italy, Spain, England, The Netherlands, and Japan. His career spanned several decades prior to his 1986 retirement as Exxon Chemical's regional machinery specialist for the USA. Since his retirement from Exxon, he has been in demand throughout the world as a consultant and trainer in the areas of failure avoidance, root cause failure identification, and reliability improvement. Mr. Bloch is the author/co-author of thirteen books and over 200 other publications on subjects related to machinery reliability and failure avoidance. He is the Reliability and Equipment Editor of Hydrocarbon Processing magazine and has served as chair of the annual conference program for Hydrocarbon Processing's Process Plant Reliability Conference for a number of years.

Affiliations and Expertise

Consulting Engineer, Montgomery, TX, USA

Fred K. Geitner

Fred K. Geitner is a registered Professional Engineer in the Province of Ontario, Canada, engaged in process machinery consulting. He retired from Imperial Oil with 20 years of service as an engineer.

Affiliations and Expertise

Professional Engineer, Ontario, Canada

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