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Six Tips for Establishing An Effective Condition Based Monitoring Program in Your Facility.

Mon, 06/16/2008 - 12:40pm

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Increase Value And Production With These Easy-To-Follow Tips

By Alan Bandes?UE Systems, Inc.
Condition-based monitoring (CbM) is a maintenance process where the condition or health of plant equipment is monitored for the earliest signs of impending failure.

An effective CbM program does not have to be extremely complicated nor does it have to require a large investment of capital in order to effectively analyze the health of your equipment. There are six key tips to consider when implementing a CbM program in your plant. When followed, monetary value and production can increase as energy waste significantly reduces.
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Tip 1: Familiarize Yourself With The Basic Technology


Instrumentation used as part of the CbM process should provide critical and accurate data needed to optimize the scheduling of downtime, labor and materials, so productivity is increased while overall costs are reduced.
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The most commonly used technology for CbM is vibration analysis. Using Fourier algorithms, frequency and harmonics help locate the cause of the vibration that point the way to eliminating it.
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Another CbM technique is infrared thermography, involving the detection and measurement of infrared emissions as related to heat. Excessive heat is indicative of component failure, especially as in the degradation of electrical contacts and terminations and in the later stages of bearing failure.

Tip 2: Familiarize Yourself With Ultrasound Technologies


Vibration and infrared analysis are complemented by still another inspection technique - that of airborne/structure borne ultrasound. Ultrasound is produced by friction, ionization and turbulence, which is why ultrasonic instruments are so effective in testing mechanical, electrical and fluid systems. These instruments identify early warning of mechanical failure, locate arcing, tracking and corona in electrical gear and detect all types of leaks (usually pressurized or vacuum systems).
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With increasing energy consumption costing plants hundreds of thousands of dollars annually, ultrasound instruments can also locate faulty steam traps and compressed air leaks. Locating these leaks early and accurately correcting the problem can save plants countless dollars in downtime and energy waste.

Tip 3: Incorporate The Ability To View Sound


The ability to view sound as intensity levels while simultaneously listening to sound quality and to record anomalies for spectral analysis enhances monitoring effectiveness allowing inspectors to quickly identify changes in equipment and to determine a course of action.

Tip 4: Solve Your Lubrication Problems


Many maintenance departments are now switching to ultrasonic condition-based monitoring programs in combination with predictive maintenance procedures. Because friction is one of the major contributors to bearing failure, ultrasound monitoring identifies lack of lubrication in bearings and prevents over lubrication.
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Tip 5: Go Green and Save.

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In addition to adding to the benefit of monetary increase, by locating sources of energy waste through compressed air and steam leaks, the conservation of energy is a global health necessity. Whenever there is a reduction in the use of energy, there is a direct impact on the users carbon footprint. The reduction of carbon emissions can be directly linked to the reduction of steam and compressed air leakage. Now it is possible to not only reduce your energy bill, you can help improve the “greening” of our planet.
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Tip 6: Stay Informed

?Although there are several ways you can improve plant efficiencies today, the need for expert analysis and technology may be a necessary next step in eliminating the potential for machine failure and loss of profit. Staying connected to leaders in predictive maintenance is vital. Companies such as UE Systems, can be a source of expert connections offering various networking events throughout the year, striving to keep personnel within the maintenance field up-dated with the latest technologies and techniques.

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