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Case study

SSE and Beran's collaborative approach to machinery health monitoring

How SSE Thermal used site engineers, continuous online vibration and condition monitoring systems with specialist remote diagnostic engineers support


Date: 13 June 2024
Authors: Mal Stein, Senior Reliability Condition Monitoring Engineer, SSE Thermal, Duncan Affleck, Global Sales and Business Development Manager, Beran

This study emphasises the critical role of site walk-downs performed by engineers and the integration of continuous monitoring systems, enhancing the reliability and safety of machinery through proactive maintenance strategies.

External view of SSE Thermal Power Station at Peterhead

The challenges

Identifying minor changes

  • Operational changes: Changing operational patterns result in a change in machine behaviour and maintenance strategy.
  • Decarbonisation impact: The shift to renewable energy sources required more operational flexibility from gas turbines.
  • Intermittent issues: An intermittent "hum" in the generator noise was identified, indicating potential mechanical issues.
SSE Thermal engineers monitoring machinery health

The benefits

Enhanced monitoring

  • Continuous surveillance: Beran PlantProtech™ Analysers provided 24/7 monitoring of vibration signals.
  • Remote diagnostics: Specialist engineers could remotely assess machinery health and advise on the next steps.

Proactive maintenance

  • Early detection: Alerts and alarms were set up to detect minor changes before they escalated.
  • Comprehensive data: Integration of vibration data with process parameters offered deeper insights into machinery conditions.
Female engineer on SSE Power Station at Peterhead

The fix

Real-time solutions

Practical implementation

  • Adjustments made: Looseness within the generator stator frame was corrected.
  • Continuous monitoring: Temporary sensors remained installed for ongoing monitoring.
Group of engineers in hard hats and hi viz on SSE Thermal Power Station in Peterhead


Effective machinery health monitoring relies on a collaborative approach, integrating site inspections with advanced continuous monitoring systems. This partnership between site engineers, diagnostic specialists, and instrumentation providers ensures early detection and prompt resolution of potential issues, maintaining safe and reliable operations while optimising maintenance costs.


For a comprehensive understanding of this case study and the technical details involved, download the full paper below.

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SSE Thermal Power Station Peterhead
Group of engineers in hard hats and hi viz on SSE Thermal Power Station in Peterhead
Female engineer on SSE Power Station at Peterhead
SSE Thermal engineers monitoring machinery health