The best – and most cost-effective – way to ensure that equipment operates smoothly is to maintain or replace a component shortly before it fails. But how do you know when the right time has come? With many types of equipment, it is not possible to assess wear and tear, or even to measure it directly, because the worn parts are not accessible.
This is where indirect damage detection using regular measurement of the machine vibrations, followed by computer-supported evaluation, comes in. Measuring-systems of this type comprise fixed measuring points, a portable measurement sensor and a PC with special software.
Vibration analysis detects machine imbalance, machine offsets and bearing damage before damage occurs. Trend monitoring uses the shock pulse method to analyse high-frequency bearing vibrations. The results indicate the development of the characteristic condition parameters of the machine bearings.
Regular recording of these parameters makes it possible to detect bearing damage in the early stages and accurately assess the condition of the bearings. For example, it is possible to find out whether a bearing is adequately lubricated or is running dry. These advantages, together with its ease of use, have made the shock pulse method very popular in the maintenance world. Selected preventive measures, including alignment, balancing and changing the bearings make unexpected, uneconomic "first aid" measures a thing of the past.
Case study: Condition monitoring by a diagnostic service