Rod Drop Monitoring, Does It Really Work?.
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In 1994, the Twenty-Third Turbomachinery Symposium featured the first session of Discussion Group 12, “Reciprocating Compressors.” Each year since its inception, there has been one consistent discussion topic brought up year after year. As the discussion group leader puts the topic up on the flip chart, it is typically listed as “Rod drop monitoring, does it really work?” or something very similar. As the topic is discussed, the room is usually split, almost precisely in half. One group details the problems they have had, and how rod drop monitoring has been ineffective. The other half describes the tremendous saves they have experienced and how drop monitoring has revolutionized their reciprocating compressor maintenance program. The intent of this paper is to describe the measurement, the basic assumptions that must be met, and the issues that can make the difference between a system that really works, and one that is ineffective. A discussion of some basic research into rod dynamic motion is presented in an effort to help those who make this measurement understand what obstacles they may face. The important aspects of an effective system are described. Finally, a series of case histories will be presented that show instances where the system really did work, as well as instances were problems occurred and how they were addressed.
Schultheis, Steven M.; Howard, Brian F. (2000). Rod Drop Monitoring, Does It Really Work?.. Texas A&M University. Turbomachinery Laboratories. Available electronically from