Implementing a condition monitoring system: Guidelines and Questions for selecting the right technology partner
Please allow us to congratulate you on your presence here. We are congratulating you because…
You might be surprised, excited, and curious in different ways by the techniques here.
Some will surprise you because they have been, seemingly, around ever since the earliest days of the industrial revolution.
A few of them will sound exciting, particularly due to the possibilities offered by the fourth industrial revolution.
You will get curious by a few because, since you are here, we are assuming that you are an intelligent person who loves to find out about ways of doing things like condition monitoring!
We will try to give you a list of techniques, with very brief descriptions, that is as comprehensive and exhaustive as it can be:
Performance deviation analysis
As traditional a technique as it gets. This method primarily relies on the operator’s sensory faculties and experience. It can start from looking at the quality of production output and tracking defects in output all the way back to the component. As you can see, it is heavily dependent on careful record-keeping and the operator’s experience.
Vibration analysis and diagnostics
Primarily used for rotating equipment, this technique is the most widely used machine condition monitoring technique, according to Markets and Markets. With modern vibration sensors, it has become easier to monitor vibration anomalies that arise due to machines rotating at high speeds over a length of time.
Also a very old technique, lubricant analysis gives valuable insights into asset wear and lubricant quality deterioration over time due to factors like the presence of water. The number and size of particles due to common problems like overheating and erosion can give a comprehensive picture of machine health to a maintenance team for devising predictive maintenance plans.
Acoustic emission analysis
As its name suggests, this technique involves monitoring machine sound frequencies for fault detection and identifying faults’ sources. Acoustic sensors can monitor sound frequencies even when they are not audible to human ears and are particularly useful for leak detection in gas or liquid pipelines.
Infrared thermography analysis
This technique involves the usage of infrared cameras to detect thermal radiation patterns emitted by machines for detecting faults. Heat anomalies or temperature differences can inform operators about lack of lubrication, misalignment, bad calibration, mechanical stresses, and most obviously, overheating!
This technique uses ultrasonic monitoring sensors for providing early warning about component failures that are normally away from the operator’s presence (like subsurface corrosions) or lost in a plant’s working noise. This technique can almost be applied to all processes because it can detect minute friction deviations which might normally be missed by vibration analysis or infrared analysis.
Electrical parameters deviations
This technique can highlight degradations in electrical systems by identifying deviations in electrical parameters like resistance, induction, frequencies, etc. through means as simple as motor current readings on ammeters and as sophisticated as sensors providing real-time data to condition monitoring application’s dashboards.
This technique is important for identifying surface and subsurface faults. It involves detecting laser-generated interference patterns recorded through interferometers to highlight issues like corrosion, fissures, and cracks.
Motor Current Analysis
This technique involves a series of computerized voltage or current-based tests to perform an overall motor health check and detect possible failures. Imbalances in electrical parameters and deteriorating insulation are the primary focus areas in Motor Current Analysis as they the usual suspects in motor failures.
We have briefly discussed some of the most important condition monitoring techniques. However, and we cannot stress it enough, whichever techniques look relevant and exciting to you, have to be done with the right technology partner. We have prepared some guidelines for you that can help you in deciding about a condition monitoring system implementation partner. We hope you make a great decision!
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