Machinery Failure Analysis and Troubleshooting

Machinery Failure Analysis and Troubleshooting

Practical Machinery Management for Process Plants

4th Edition - August 27, 2012

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  • Authors: Heinz P. Bloch, Fred K. Geitner
  • eBook ISBN: 9780123860460
  • Hardcover ISBN: 9780123860453

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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

  • Dedication



    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

Product details

  • No. of pages: 760
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Butterworth-Heinemann 2012
  • Published: August 27, 2012
  • Imprint: Butterworth-Heinemann
  • eBook ISBN: 9780123860460
  • Hardcover ISBN: 9780123860453

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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  • Christo W. Fri Jul 15 2022

    Machinery Failure Analysis and Troubleshooting

    I read this book a few years ago and decided recently to buy it. A comprehensive guide on failures and resolving problems, a must read for engineers in the maintenance fleet of plant and machines!