The Condition Monitoring discipline involves monitoring an asset to identify any significant change in that asset or its components (for example heat, noise, vibration) which signals a potential defect that may impact that assets remaining useful life.
The goal of Condition Monitoring is to fully understand the actual condition of all critical assets and advise on maintenance/correction work prior to the loss of equipment function and the potential for loss of production.
Condition monitoring is a valuable tool in a reliability defect elimination program.
Condition Monitoring has direct and indirect savings to industry including:
- When companies improve reliability safety is improved. This is by reducing the number of maintenance tasks and emergency work, resulting in less exposure time.
- Assets that fail cost more to repair than assets that are managed via a Condition Based Maintenance program (CBM).
- There are many other opportunities to reduce costs but they all rely on improving reliability and performing maintenance based on the condition of the asset. This then leads to a defect elimination program.
Integrated Condition Monitoring Technologies.
Here are some ‘Pearls of Wisdom’ to consider when setting up a program and working with customers within your external or internal business:
- The most important part of any program is the person performing the data collection and analysis.
- The second most important part of any program is the training given to the person selected.
- 5 years of experience is not the same as 1 year of experience 5 times.
- The most important question you can ever ask is “why”.
- It is important to understand the values of the numbers you are using.
- Physics of the machine is really important.
- You can’t analyse what you don’t know or understand.
- A person may not be stupid, they may just not understand what you are saying.
- 1 times RPM is not always imbalance.
- There are no universal vibration severity limits.
- Absolute amplitude in the frequency domain is relatively useless. Don’t forget the time domain & phase.
- There are no ghost frequencies or unknown frequencies but only frequencies not enough analysed.
- Don’t ignore the potential benefits of chit chat in the crib/break room with the operators and maintenance teams. They know their machines!
- When all else fails, leave the air conditioning, and go examine the operating equipment. Go look, touch, feel, smell and listen to the machinery.