While documenting the IT system, I came across an article written in 1981. It explains how TRI improved the reliability of existing variable speed fluid drives.
Test, redesign, rebuild: Fluid-drive study concepts point way to upgrade equipment
Improvement of overall reliability demands scrutiny even of machinery that gives relatively little trouble. Learn how a program for large variable-speed boiler-feed-pump drives improved an already dependable element; even more important, how you can extend to your components the principles involved
By Dr. Melbourne F Giberson, P.E., Turbo Research Inc
The road to operating reliability in the central station is a difficult one, littered with breakdowns of equipment that went part of the way before a disappointing premature outage. The steam generator, the feed pump, the main turbine are a few of the major elements that have required searching and costly attention. Improvement in reliability is already clear for several categories of large machines, indicating that the goals are attainable.
For some of the humbler components, however, there has been scarcely a start toward constructive and cooperative work to widen the intervals between unforeseen outages. This work will have to be done if unit and station reliability and availability are to draw maximum benefit from the efforts on major elements. Perhaps new studies being planned can derive help from a series of programs covering shaft-driven fluid drives for boiler feed pumps.
These programs, for work done over a six-year period, resulted in modification recommendations to upgrade equipment that had by and large been satisfactory but was thought to be capable of some improvement. Keep; in mind that program details for other equipment will change. It is the program philosophy and the open cooperation among manufacturer, utility, and consultant that should be part of any new study of reliability enhancement.