Thanks to the preventive monitoring implemented at a Safran Power Units production site, OSMOS averted the need for the operator to carry out major, costly reinforcement work before setting up a new piece of equipment
In summer 2020, Safran Power Units, a world leader in gas turbines, planned to install a new 3D laser machine. Because that equipment weighed 10 metric tons, it was absolutely essential that the mechanical behavior of the floor slabs, beams and posts be checked, to ensure the structure would remain stable with that added load. The facility manager chose OSMOS to obtain the necessary information about the existing structures’ mechanical behavior and verify that the new machine would not cause any damage over time.
OSMOS was tasked with installing instrumentation on those parts of the building that would be the most heavily strained by the weight of the new equipment, from a preventive perspective. That instrumentation was first used to perform load testing, to assess the flooring’s real load-bearing capacity. That step consisted of weighting two separate spots, corresponding to the machine’s main contact points, and gradually reproducing the distribution of weight with continuous monitoring, until the actual equipment weight was reached. After that test, the instrumentation was left in place for two months, to track any chnages to the structure's actual mechanical behavior and identify the effects generated by installing the new machine.
In the long term, will the machine’s weight affect the structure’s mechanical behavior?
The data from the load test and the subsequent two months of monitoring showed that the structure was in a stable state of equilibrium. This allowed OSMOS to affirm that installation of the 3D laser machine would pose no risks to the building's integrity and that, as a result, no reinforcement work would be required. That being said, had the measurements demonstrated any insufficiencies in the floor slabs, they would have been able to pinpoint the structure’s shortfalls, in order to define the necessary consolidation measures.
Thnaks to this study, OSMOS was able to give Safran Power Units clear, precise answers about the real mechanical behavior of its existing structures, with a short turnaround time. OSMOS’s analyses enabled the industrial operator to bypass the need for additional studies and for the major work that was originally expected in order to reinforce the structure, work that would actually have been needless. The monitoring was extremely useful to the client, which was able to protect its investment and meet its delivery times. The study also led to the creation of measurement guidelines specific to instrumented structures, for the verification of their actual behavior in response to new loads and to guarantee the machine’s operability.
Preventive monitoring is ongoing, and OSMOS is preparing to launch the next step in the project: the establishment of a forecast for the 3D laser machine’s operations. This new phase will aim to monitor the structure’s mechanical behavior under the dynamic stress induced by the equipment’s activation.