From Screwdrivers to Testers: Vibration Analysis Comes of Age

Most machines have rotating parts and those rotating parts vibrate. Measuring how and how much those parts vibrate can tell you a lot about the health of a machine. Whether it’s the rumble of worn bearings or the shaking, shimmying, or thumping of loose, misaligned, or unbalanced parts, machines have a tale to tell those who are willing and able to listen. Continue reading

Opening the Envelope on Bearing Vibration

A sophisticated signal processing technique can help to pinpoint bearing failure at an early stage. Chris Hansford, Managing Director at Hansford Sensors, explains.

Experienced operators can often tell if a machine is not working properly, on the basis that is does not ‘sound right’. The same principle can be applied – using modern electronics – to identify the exact cause of the problem. Continue reading

Normalization of Deviance and the Perception of Defects

How can anyone walk by a defect right there, day in and day out and in their face, and do nothing?

Ever walk into a room, look around and conclude that all is well. But then, someone picks up papers, a briefcase, or some other object from the floor, right where you were about to walk. You hadn’t seen it. Your vision is fine, so how could you have missed it? It makes you wonder how many other little things you missed in other places, too. Continue reading

How Does a Component Fail

The next step that we talked about was really to say, example, how did the component fail…the grid coupling.  This is something that a lot of times, once we start doing this, for a grid coupling, if we set up a PM for this you can probably step straight to what kind of inspections would you do and you guys could tell me in three minutes and they’re probably pretty much right on.  But I’m using something simple because I didn’t know who’s going to be in the class and what kind of technical skills you guys have. But using something simple and showing you the steps of how we break this down.  I think if we say how would you inspect a coupling that’s going on the run or doing what kind inspections do we need to do and shut down.  I think you guys can tell me that.  I’ll show you steps anyways so you can see the thinking process using something fairly simple.

Condition Monitoring in the 21st Century

Introduction

While the National Manager for one of Australia’s largest Condition Monitoring service providers, I initiated a strategic review of the Condition Monitoring marketplace in order to identify and assess the changes occurring within the industry, and the opportunities and threats that these changes represented to our organisation. Unfortunately, the review was not completed before I left that organisation, but this paper reflects the findings from that review at the time that I left, supplemented by further research and consultation with key players in the industry.

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The Reliability Impact Within the P-F Curve

When looking at the P-F reliability curve, there are two main categories of maintenance reliability action where resources may be focused: the P-F region and the I-P region.

The P-F region (see Figure 1) is the portion that typically receives most of the attention. Since the equipment defect or failure has already begun, this region is about detecting and predicting equipment failure modes so repairs can be made in a planned manner. Continue reading

MEMS Accelerometer Performance Comes of Age

In the June/July 2016 Uptime article, “Condition Monitoring and MEMS Accelerometers: What You Need to Know,” several attributes of microelectromechanical system (MEMS) accelerometers were presented that make the technology compelling for condition monitoring applications. This article reviews data demonstrating the state of MEMS technology development and performance levels by comparing it to a commercially available piezoelectric (PZT) condition monitoring accelerometer.

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Vibration Analysis: What Does It Mean?

Interpreting the vibration signature of plant equipment.

Vibration analysis, properly done, allows the user to evaluate the condition of equipment and avoid failures. Maintenance personnel can minimize unplanned downtime by scheduling needed repairs during normal maintenance shutdowns. How can you interpret — at a glance — the comprehensive spectrum information available? In layman’s terms, here is how to interpret the vibration signature of rotating equipment. You can learn to recognize misalignment, a defective bearing, bent or loose parts — and tell them apart.

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Hydraulic Systems Hack! Preventative Maintenance Checklist

by Matt Mohelnitzky

Plain and simple: there’s a lot that goes into a preventative maintenance program for hydraulic systems. While it’s a discipline that’s very basic and uncomplicated when you boil it down, there are many tests that need to be performed and plenty of steps where something can be done incorrectly, so it’s critical to the health of your machine that all are done regularly and properly. In order to do this, it’s important that both the system and hydraulic fluid are taken care of, as your fluid and systems are completely interdependent.

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Internal Clearance & Its Effect on Bearing Fatigue Life

by Miles Woodard and Ryan Thomas

End users must include bearing clearance as an integral part of designing or building a pump.

Internal clearance is one of the most important factors affecting bearing performance within pump applications. The bearing’s internal clearance is the relative movement of the outer and inner rings when they are lightly pushing in opposite directions. Movement in the diametrical direction is defined as radial clearance. Movement in the shaft’s direction is axial clearance.
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