Condition Monitoring Systems

Machine condition monitoring does more than machine monitoring:

Condition monitoring of rotating machines by means of vibration measurements with portable equipment is very widely accepted. Due to advancing technical developments, continuous condition monitoring is becoming a realistic alternative.

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Machine condition monitoring does more than machine monitoring:

It is a technique that shows sufficiently long in advance that one or more defects are developing, so that you have enough time to organize a planned corrective action, without this resulting in significant production loss. At least that's the theory.

This requires a database with measurement data and an analysis tool to be able to compare condition parameters with each other on a trend basis. The main condition parameters for rotating machines are vibrations, including the high frequency vibrations for bearing condition. In some companies, condition monitoring is synonymous with bearing monitoring, without ever looking at the root cause (RCA – Root Cause Analysis).

The measurements necessary for this can be performed periodically with a portable instrument (“data collector”) or continuously with a permanent measuring system, which may already be partially present as machine monitoring.

 

The advantage of a data collector is that the required investment is low. What you get in return is often unclear: the measurements are only carried out per machine a few times a year, typically once a quarter. To be able to predict maintenance with 4 snapshots per year is a farce. A difference in speed and load can also occur between the snapshots. Ideally, these parameters are kept constant between measurements as much as possible, but this is not always possible. Furthermore, there are machine damages that develop in less than 3 months and are therefore undetectable. Well-known examples are certain bearing damage, insulation problems with electric motors and gearbox damage. The system then does not meet the high expectations and the technology becomes discredited.

The disadvantage of a permanent condition monitoring system is that the required investment is higher. There are many advantages to this. Nowadays, the trend is to record the measurement data intelligently, which means that measurements are taken under the same operating conditions (speed, load).

 

And that measurement data, if desired, are only saved if a change occurs. A further development is that the measurement data is stored on a secure external data server. This is also where the analysis tool runs, which can be accessed with any computer with a web browser and the required access rights. A good example of this is the MachinePerformance system with the OrangeBox®

Wireless sensor

The wireless system goes one step further with wireless communication between the sensor and the receiving gateway. The cabling costs are thus eliminated and because standard sensors are used, the costs per measuring point are very competitive.

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