Troubleshooting and Failure Analysis

BETA responds rapidly to field emergencies, quickly assesses problems and makes immediate corrections when possible. We also recommend improvements to avoid future problems, and can provide supervision or turnkey support to implement improvements


  • independent advice required to assess machinery related problems
  • major failure (broken piston, rods, gearbox, shaft, distance piece, etc.)
  • misalignment
  • structural problems
  • improper skid and foundation design
  • excessive pulsations in piping systems
  • supervision or turnkey support needed to implement improvements

Representative Experience

  • Centrifugal Compressor Investigation: A large gas plant was concerned about bearing life in a main centrifugal compressor and the ability to run for another year before a scheduled maintenance shutdown. BETA evaluated the vibrations, and vibration and lube oil analysis history and recommended continued operation with some additional monitoring. The unit ran the year and was then overhauled on a planned basis.
  • Multi-unit site evaluation (Texas Gas Injection Facility): BETA conducted a field evaluation of an older gas injection facility with ten large compressors that had a history of vibration concerns. The field analysis recommended a number of repairs and modifications to pipe supports, compressor foundations and scrubber bases. Those recommendations resulted in a better mechanical condition. BETA also conducted a design pulsation study to reduce acoustic forces. The overall project resulted in much improved reliability.


   Cracked Piston
Cracked piston
 Conrod through engine block
The cracked piston to the left caused the conrod failure (which came through the engine block).
  • Paper Mill speed trial: A large scale paper mill was interested in speeding up production. BETA instrumented the paper machine with 88 channels of vibration and was able to identify a number of problem areas during a speed trial. BETA worked with the client and paper machine OEM to come to practical solutions and has since successfully run to the higher speeds.
  • Water Treatment: A waste water treatment plant had large VFD vertical centrifugal pumps that regularly tripped on high vibration. BETA conducted a thorough field analysis and was able to identify a combination of torsional and lateral mechanical natural frequencies that were excited by blade pass frequencies at certain run speeds. A recommendation to change the number of vanes on the impellers was made. The client locked out the problematic speed ranges until the modifications were completed.
  • Crankshaft failures (Russia): Several fixed speed reciprocating compressor suffered crankshaft failures in Russia. BETA outfitted the packager’s representative with instrumentation and training and remotely diagnosed a torsional natural frequency problem. BETA’s design group conducted a design study and successful modification was completed in a cost effective and timely manner.

Diagnostic and Troubleshooting Tools

  • Up to 88 channels of data capture for complex troubleshooting assignments
  • Multiple DI Analyzers
  • 16 channel analyzer geared for rotating equipment
  • Data profiling software
  • Performance Assessment software

Contact our field service staff to discuss your situation.
BETA has experts in Houston and Calgary to support your troubleshooting requirements. We can also support you through our Remote Data Analysis service.

BETA Advantages

  • Independent third party assessments
  • Extensive experience – based on over 40 years of troubleshooting
  • Expert witness to machinery failure investigations available (insurance claims, litigation)






 gearbox analysis

Compressor troubleshooting


 Damaged bearing

Damaged bearing


Broken plunger pumb 

Broken plunger pump