A profitable plant is reliable, safe and a cost-effectively maintained plant.
The Seasoned Analyst
CBM Conference 2019 UK
I presented at my first Conference, and it was the first CBM Conference in the UK. It was well worth attending as I got to discuss various challenges in the condition monitoring and reliability sector, and the most common discussion point was buying from senior management and how to continually highlight the benefits of a condition monitoring program.
In addition there were vendors there demonstrating the latest advancements in condition motioning technology from vibration online and walk around, thermal imaging safety, ultrasound new high sampling rates time waveform analysis to motor electrical condition monitoring.
A profitable plant is reliable, safe and a cost-effectively maintained plant.
I often am lucky enough to use different vibration technologies and this post is a great example of how a vibration analysis program can protect the business using the SPM HD Enveloping technique. This post is with thanks to assistance from Dean Whiteside.
As part of a routine vibration data collection program a change in condition was noted at the fan motor vibration levels. Vibration monitoring frequencies were increased to daily as the defect deteriorated. This enabled planning and a controlled change out of the motor.
On inspection of the vibration data, bearing outer raceway (BPFO) damage was diagnosed at the drive end motor bearing. This was clearly evident in the SPM HD Enveloping.
Figure 1 shows the Acceleration RMS trend from the motor drive end (DE) bearing location. This shows the steep increase in the impacting levels with an exponential increase in the final days of monitoring.
SPM HD Enveloping Data:
Figure 2 shows the SPM HD Envelope spectrum from the motor drive end bearing. This technique shows a clear impact at 3.09 Orders that matches the defect frequency for the bearing fitted. There are many harmonics indicating a very impactive signal.
Summary of vibration:
There is a clear distinct defect in bearing outer raceway, at these levels this would confirm a spalling to the raceway.
Due to the risk of failure, a new motor was sourced and placed on-site encase of instant catastrophic failure. The risks was discussed with production and was deemed too high to the process and a plan was put in place for a controlled stop. But prior to this date there was an unexpected line stop, and as the motor was all prepared on site, the motor was changed during this downtime.
Vibration data after controlled change-out:
Figure 3 are the SPM HD Enveloping spectra from before and after motor change out. The top plot showed the clear bearing damage and now with the replacement motor there are no bearing defect signals present.
Figure 4 is the Acceleration trend from the motor drive end bearing location. This trend shows the increasing and then the lowest record level with the new motor installed.
Bearing Inspection: After sectioning and cleaning
inspection, it was found as expected, a large visible defect in the loadzone of
the bearing outer raceway. Motor Drive End Bearing FAG 6316-C3
Image 1 is the drive end bearing sectioned.
Image 2 is the defect located in the loadzone of the outer raceway.
Notice the flat bottom of the spalled area and the “neat” cracks around it. These are cracks that have come to the surface and in time, more material will break away.
Image 3 is the defect located in the loadzone of the outer raceway.
Particle over roll as the bearing comes out of the load zone.
ISO 15243:2004: 5.1.2 Subsurface initiated fatigue. Primary causes of Subsurface initiated fatigue are repeated stress changes and material structural changes. This leads to microcracks under the surface, crack propagation and then spalling.
The bearing is damaged as soon as spalling occurs. Spalling gradually increases and gives rise to noise and vibration levels in the machine. This machine was stopped and repaired before the bearing collapsed. The period from initial spalling to failure depends on the type of machine and its operating conditions.
What is sub surface fatigue? In a rotating bearing, cyclic stress changes occur beneath the contact surfaces of the raceways and rolling elements. Consider the rotating inner ring of a radial bearing with a radial load acting on it. As the ring rotates, one particular point on the raceway enters the load zone and continues through an area to reach a maximum load (stress) before it exits the load zone.
During each revolution, as that one point on the raceway enters and exits the load zone, compressive and shear stresses occur. Depending on the load, temperature and the number of stress cycles over a period of time, there is a build-up of residual stresses that cause the material to change from a randomly oriented grain structure to fracture planes.
In these planes, so-called subsurface microcracks develop beneath the surface at the weakest location, around the zone of maximum shear stress, typically at a depth of 0,1 to 0,5 mm. The depth depends on the load, material, cleanliness, temperature and the microstructure of the steel. The crack finally propagates to the surface and spalling occurs.
This is another example of how vibration technology
and knowing system health and risk of failure enables data driven decisions to
benefit the business. The motor was replaced when the line was down due to an
unplanned shutdown, with no additional downtime occurred.
If this motor had failed without any planning this would have lost product and reduced profit. In addition these actions have protected the customers, supply chain and brand our reputation.
This blog is to remind everyone that ‘this is the way we have allays done it’ doesn’t wash and also how important using the correct lubrication and lubricant cleanliness is!
This share has two questions;
What the highest Acceleration levels you have recorded on a fan rotating at around 1498 RPM?
Which bearing do you put as the fixed bearing on a fan shaft?
I appreciate the Accelerometer was only technically good for 50g’s but we had a reading of 116.28g’s Peak to Peak. Can you beat that?
requested to inspect a fan due to repeat failures of the fan bearings.
This fan process cold air, it is direct driven at 1498RPM and has two 22222 straight bore double row spherical roller bearings.
The fan NDE (Non-drive end / fan end) bearing was set as the fixed located bearing. The DE bearing at the coupling was set as the float bearing.
This fan had
been in operation for 17 days.
Data was collected with a 100mV/g Accelerometer with a flat rare earth magnet.
The vibration data indicated that the motor to fan shaft alignment was good and there were no issues with the Velocity imbalance levels.
There was however extremely high Acceleration levels indicating excessive damage to the outer raceway together with an indication of poor lubricant condition.
Vibration Acceleration Data:
Figure 1 is the Acceleration Time Waveform from the Fan NDE (Fan end bearing). This shows the very high impacting levels with a -52.59g’s peak to +63.69g’s peak.
Figure 2 is the Autocorrelation of the Acceleration Time Waveform. This shows that all this activity is being generated mostly from the bearing outer raceway.
Figure 3 is the Acceleration Spectrum. This again shows that all this activity is being generated from the bearing outer raceway.
Vibration PeakVue Data:
Figure 4 is the PeakVue Acceleration Time waveform. This shows very high general impacting up to 34.9g’s Peak.
Figure 5 is
the Autocorrelation of the PeakVue Time Waveform. This shows that all this activity
is being generated from the bearing outer raceway.
Figure 6 is
the PeakVue Spectrum. This shows that all this activity is being generated from
the bearing outer raceway.
Figure 7 is the Velocity Spectrum. This confirms that this is a late stage defect and that this energy is from the bearing outer raceway.
On visual inspection it was found as expected the grease looked oxidised in a poor state and there was a high area of damage to the bearing outer raceway – noticeably on one side of the rollers. Damage to this side of the raceway would have been caused by axial thrust from the fan shaft and motor.
Image 8: This
is on removal of the bearing caps. This shows the oxidised poor condition lubricant.
Images 9 to
12: These are further images of the grease condition.
Image 13: This shows the two tracks for the rolling elements on the outer raceway, and that it was highly loaded to one side.
and 15: These are close-ups of the defected area.
Summary and Questions:
the lubricant used we know this is not suitable for this application and that
it will displace/separate and then oxidise.
But the question is what caused the high thrusting to the one side of the raceway, is it related to what is the fixed and free bearing? Is it true to say that due to the NDE (fan end) being the fixed bearing that expansion from the motor/ fan shaft would load up one side of the raceway?
A profitable plant is reliable, safe and a cost-effectively maintained plant
I have been privileged and blessed to have experienced varied fields of Vibration Analysis, Condition Monitoring and Reliability, and had the opportunity to study under some of the great mentors and trainers in these discipline. I feel it is always good to share knowledge and learnings to help others who want to progress and to promote our discipline.
Often people discuss what makes a good vibration analyst? – electrical or mechanical background – degree or apprenticeship level, certification or experience……….. Then when we find an issue we always get asked “How long will it last?”, and our answer to this question, I feel, greatly depends on our experience and training.
In the discussions I have had with many other people, we have all spoken ‘Pearls of Wisdom’. The 14 statements below I feel are very important in the way we operate in our discipline.
1) The most important part of any program is the person performing the data collection and analysis.
2) The second most important part of any program is the training and mentoring given to the person selected.
3) 5 years of experience is not the same as 1 year of experience 5 times.
4) The most important question you can ever ask is “why”.
5) It is important to understand the values of the numbers you are using.
6) Physics of the machine is really important.
7) You can’t analyse what you don’t know or understand.
8) A person may not be stupid, they may just not understand what you are saying.
9) 1 times RPM is not always unbalance.
10) There are no universal vibration severity limits.
11) Absolute amplitude in the frequency domain is relatively useless. Don’t forget the time domain & phase.
12) There are no ghost frequencies or unknown frequencies but only frequencies not analysed enough.
13) Don’t ignore the potential benefits of chit chat in the crib/break room with the operators and maintenance teams. They know their machines!
14) When all else fails, leave the air conditioning, and go examine the operating equipment. Go look, touch, feel, smell and listen to the machinery.
Please share and if you have anymore ‘Pearls of Wisdom’ let everyone know.
Slow speed bearing defect detected though vibration analysis (Case Study of a ≈ 20RPM Bearing Defect)
What is Condition Monitoring?
Condition Monitoring techniques use instrumentation to take regular or
continuous measurements of condition parameters, in order to determine the
physical state of an item or system without disturbing its normal operation.
Condition Monitoring is basically applicable to components whose condition deteriorates with time. The objective of the Condition Monitoring technique is therefore to provide information with respect to the actual condition of the system and any change in that condition.
This information is required to schedule
conditional maintenance tasks, on an as needed basis instead of relying on
predetermined times. The selection of the Condition Monitoring technique(s)
usually depend on the behaviour of the failures, type of equipment used and
finally on economic and safety consequences.
This case study shows that when you collect the correct data parameters, vibration analysis can be invaluable in early detected of slow rotating bearings to enable a controlled change out prior to disruption to production.
The main benefits of applying an effective condition based maintenance programme are that repairs can be scheduled during non-peak times, machine productivity and service life are enhanced, and repair costs due to a loss of production time are eliminated. Safety is improved – Maintenance costs managed – Reliability reduces Maintenance costs
Case History Background
asked if we could offer a solution to detect when a rolling element bearing was
failing prior to catastrophic failure. The clients concerns was not the cost of
the bearing but the cost of the disruption to the production schedule if the
bearing failed during a production run. The client was unsure what would detect
the bearing issues as the bearing only rotates at around 20 RPM and it is in a
This is a
slurry pot in a dusty foundry environment, the slurry pot is approximately 1.5meters
in diameter and 2 meters in height. The bearing installed is an INA U250433 four
point contact bearing. The outer raceway is stationary and the slurry pot is
connected to the inner raceway that rotates.
We set up
various sampling rates, various number of sample and utilised different filters.
Data was collected using a magnetically mounted 100mV/g accelerometer. Velocity,
Acceleration and PeakVue data was stored for analysis in the frequency and time
data that clearly indicated a defect was the PeakVue Time Waveform.
The PeakVue time waveforms above are from the initial trial, and this compares the suspect failed bearing and a bearing that is expected to be good.
The above PeakVue
spectrum is from the suspect bearing on the trial data. This data shows a mound
of activity at 24.50 orders, and this activity is sidebanded by 1 orders. The theoretical
overrolloing defect frequency for the rotating inner race way is 24.47. This indicates
that we have an inner raceway defect.
We selected the slurry pot with the damaged bearing and requested the bearing to be change out and removed for inspection.
PeakVue time waveform comparisons show the before (in red) and the after with
the new bearing fitted (in blue). This data confirms the new bearing has been
fitted correctly and has no early defects. This also confirms that the bearing
indeed had a defect.
the bearing cage elements had fatigued and failed, there is also a lot of
spalling to the inner and outer raceway most probably due to subsurface and
surface initiated fatigue.
ISO 15243: 5.4.2 Subsurface initiated fatigue
that this bearing had reached its end of life, the cyclic stress changes
occurring beneath the contact surfaces had initiated subsurface micro cracks
this would have been in part of the bearing at the maximum shear stress. We are
at the point where the crack has propagated to the surface and spalling has
started to occur.
ISO 15243: 5.1.3 Surface Initiated Fatigue
initiated fatigue basically comes from damage to the rolling contact surface
asperities. This is generally caused by inadequate lubrication.
Damage to Retainers
damage to retainers can be due to Poor lubrication, Excessive heat (plastic
retainer in particular) and Excessive moment load.
Once the bearing was split the outer races were
moved to allow the rolling elements and cage pockets to be inspected as a
whole. On inspection there are many areas of bearing cage failure.
Inner raceway, on the load side, has various stages
of spalling all the way around with one area of heavy spalling.
The outer raceway has less of spalling but again
there is one area of higher spalling.
The rolling elements display damage from over-roll
of the spalled inner and outer raceways
The inspection confirmed that by utilising the correct data collection parameters a slow speed bearing defect can be detected in this working environment. We were successful in determining a failed bearing prior to catastrophic failure
MIRCE Science is a theory for predicting expected functionability performance for a functionable system type. Accuracy of the predictions is governed by the degree of the scientific understanding of the physical mechanisms, and human rules, that govern the motion of functionable system types though MIRCE Space. The main objective of this paper is to address vibration monitoring as one of the possible mechanisms that governs motion of a gearbox through functionability states, which are contained in MIRCE Space. In general, and to illustrate this process through a case study related to heavy gearbox used in Plastics Manufacturing industry, conducted by the author with vibration data collected on site by Ian Graham.
The author wishes to acknowledge the support received from Dr Knezevic, MIRCE Akademy, Exeter, UK, while preparing this paper. As the “father” of MIRCE Science, Dr Knezevic, has inspired me to view how every day Condition Based Monitoring can have a significant impact on functionability performance of the whole system. Consequently, I can now understand how many companies are performing Condition Based Monitoring but are not linking this to the business performance of the whole organisation/company. MIRCE Science is the body of knowledge that bring together these two very different but related disciplines, for the ultimate benefit of the user.
This month’s blog is slightly different from the usual ones we post. This month is more of an opinion regarding data dogs. We are seeing more equipment suppliers selling VA equipment that they promote as “anyone can use” and you know need to know or have experience to use. That the software will diagnose for you. Or even, just collect the data upload to the cloud and we will tell you if you have any issues.
I feel there are places for this type of program but one thing I dislike is companies sending “data dogs” to collect the data. These are cheap labour sent to press a button and collect the vibration data as fast as they can. This type of VA often gives this service a bad name as they miss diagnose, miss defects or the person in the office performing the analysis just gives the ‘wall chart analysis’ of its either misalignment, imbalance, looseness or resonance.
So much can be gained by a competent engineer or technician attending the asset to collect the vibration data. Most of your analysis should be performed at the machine, not in the air conditioned office!
We also find that there are many facilities/companies that are on the start of their reliability journey that require a person on site to promote and ensure the job is done and followed though correctly.
The images below back up this point. A great friend of mine, James Pearce, was performing a quarry motor VA survey and while at a motor he sensed an abnormal noise, he tracked it down to the GTU take up conveyor pulley. The GTU is not on the vibration program but when you have an experienced engineer or technician collecting the data walking the plant they also use their other senses to ensure plant reliability.
James reported this to site that had a controlled shut down of the quarry immediately to replace the pulley bearings. Site confirmed that they would have not inspected this pulley and it would have catastrophically failed causing a lot of additional hard work. This controlled shutdown cost 3 hours of production. But this saved replacing the pulley shaft as there was no damage to the shaft. If this was left to totally fail this would have cost 9-11 hours production downtime at 2,000 Tons per hour. There is also the possibility that the pulley could have failed in a way that caused damage to the conveyor belt incurring more down time and a lot more costs.
And here is the video!
You can see the bearing there – this should not be glowing red. This bearing had totally failed!
So remember that 5 years of experience is not the same as 1 years of experience 5 times and you can’t analyse what you don’t know or understand.
Ultrasound trending and Vibration Analysis working together.
This is a good example of how condition monitoring technologies work well as integrated technologies.
Through routine in house overall ultrasonic dB trending a change in condition was noted from one of the motor bearings and this was an increasing trend. I was called to verify the asset condition through vibration analysis.
Removal of the motor on condition of the bearing enabled a control change-out and a more cost efficient repair rather than running to failure.
The cause of the elevated Ultrasonic levels and the vibration defect frequencies was false Brinelling to the drive end bearing.
In addition there appears to be grease compatibility problems result from either mixing incompatible greases, or from ingress of other contaminate, Dry powers absorb the oil causing the grease to thicken.
From inspection the primary failure mode as per ISO 15243:2004 is 220.127.116.11 False Brinelling, there is also a secondary failure mode as per ISO 15243:2004 of 5.2.2 Abrasive Wear due to inadequate lubrication.
False Brinelling occurs in the contact area due to micromovements and/or resilience of the elastic contact under cyclic vibrations. Depending on the intensity of the vibrations, lubrication conditions and load, a combination of corrosion and wear can occur, forming shallow depressions in the raceway. In the case of a stationary bearing, the depressions appear at rolling element pitch.
In many cases, it is possible to discern rust at the bottom of the depressions. This is caused by oxidation of the detached particles, which have a large area in relation to their volume, as a result of their exposure to air.
Key Points are:
rolling element / raceway contact areas
micromovements / elastic deformation
corrosion/wear shiny or reddish depressions
when stationary: at rolling element pitch
when rotating: parallel “flutes”
Abrasive wear. Most of the time, real abrasive wear occurs due to inadequate lubrication or the ingress of solid contaminants. Abrasive wear is generally characterised by dull surfaces. Abrasive wear is a degenerative process that eventually destroys the microgeometry of a bearing because wear particles further reduce the lubricant’s effectiveness. Abrasive particles can quickly wear down the raceways of rings and rolling elements, as well as cage pockets. Under poor lubrication conditions, the cage may be the first component to wear.
Bearing Inspection: Motor Drive End Bearing – FAG X-life NU324-E-TVP2-C3
Image 1 is of the poor grease condition from the bearing.
Image 2 is an image of the false Brinelling indetention on the inner raceway.
Image 3 is a microscopic image of a false Brinelling depression on the inner raceway. Rust at the bottom of the depressions. This is caused by oxidation of the detached particles
Image 4 is a microscopic image of the inner raceway showing the over roll of particles.
Image 5 is an image of the outer raceway in the load zone showing the false Brinelling. This is only present in the load zone.
Image 6 is a microscopic image of a false Brinelling depression on the outer raceway.
Image 7 is a microscopic image of a rolling element. Here you can see the flat spot from the false Brinelling. In addition the ring that is around the inner and outer raceway is due to over roll of particles and poor lubrication condition. Flat spot from the false Brinelling Ring of over roll of particles
The comparison below show Fan 1 (in blue) and Fan 2 (in green). This highlights the very high destructive levels of the drive end bearing and that it was close to failure.
The PeakVue spectrum plot below confirmed that it was a bearing defect and highest at the outer raceway.