With the advent of better vibration measurement tools at reduced costs, may companies have implemented vibration monitoring programs to protect their machinery and ensure production does not suffer. In the past, it was common to run a machine until failure occurred; the biggest setback with this method is that secondary damage to other machines could result if a problem was not fixed in time, and production would unexpectedly come to a halt.
As maintenance practices evolved, some places now schedule regular maintenance intervals to overhaul their equipment based on the longterm probability that a machine will eventually fail. This can be beneficial because repairs can be done at a convenient time, but in some cases overhauls can lead to premature failure of equipment because machinery typically has break-in period where the chances of failure are higher.
The third strategy for maintenance involves condition monitoring, where equipment is monitored on a regular basis; repairs are carried out whenever a machine’s condition becomes worse. This can be taken one step further by doing a thorough analysis to determine the root cause of failures to prevent them from reoccurring. This is perhaps the best maintenance strategy, although it can be expensive to implement.
Choosing a maintenance strategy can vary for every machine, depending on how critical it is to prevent failure. In some cases it may be better to run a particular machine until it fails, because the cost condition monitoring can be excessive and the benefits are marginal.
Vibration monitoring is an important part of condition monitoring practices. Measuring and analyzing vibration for a machine on a regular basis can detect some of the following faults:
- Bearing damage
- Mechanical looseness
- Misalignment of components
- Problems with gears and belts
- Electrical faults
Utilizing vibration monitoring can play an important role in maintenance practices if performed correctly. Proper vibration monitoring can only be achieved if the following steps are taken:
- Taking vibration readings with the proper equipment using the proper settings
- Measuring vibration at the appropriate locations on equipment to get the most useful data
- Taking repeatable measurements each time vibration data is collected
- Using the correct analysis methods to determine faults
Without taking the steps above, it may not be useful to implement vibration monitoring as part of a maintenance strategy. Companies have train their employees, or hire capable people to perform these duties in order to have successful outcomes.
Perpetual Industries’ XYO Balancer can play an important role in reducing maintenance costs for companies by reducing vibration in rotating equipment to prevent premature wear and increase the longterm life of the machine.