From pumps to compressors, turbines to gearboxes, equipment reliability is vital to maintain a competitive advantage. Layer in the exceptionally high downtime costs of certain units that can exceed $1MM a day, the harsh operating environment (typically outside), and the long turnaround cycles that can extend to 3-5 years and it all adds up to a significant challenge.
- Mark Barnes
Anyone who has worked for a large multinational company for ten years or more has worked through some type of economic crisis that resulted in their company announcing severe cuts in spending or employee layoffs. Each time a company experiences this, we tend to kick back hold our collective breath, say a few prayers for our careers, and then proceed to watch in amazement as the progress we made in improving processes is dismantled in reactionary management.
- Chris Pepin
- Progressive Reliability
The use of Variable Frequency Drives (VFDs) to control AC motors has increased dramatically in recent years due to their energy savings, low operating cost, and high performance. However, the challenge with VFDs lies in the destructive electrical currents (voltages) that are induced along the rotating motor shaft and discharged to the frame through the bearings, leaving damage to the bearing surfaces known as Electrical Discharge Machining, or EDM.
- Ken Starry
- IVC Technologies
There are many ways to evaluate an IEPE (Integrated Electronic PiezoElectric) sensor, or accelerometer, either on its own merits or in comparison to similar competitive models found on the market. The most obvious is a paper comparison, using the spec sheet as a guide. Other options include acquiring the contending sensors and putting them to the test or obtaining word-of-mouth inputs, each of which will likely result in a different conclusion. The most common starting point, however, is a spec sheet appraisal.
- Peter Eitnier
- Wilcoxon Sensing Technologies
What is a thermal image?
Thermal images are created by converting thermal radiation into a visible light image that we as humans can interpret. One important point to remember about thermal imaging is that it is a non-contact measurement of radiated energy in a very narrow wavelength band.
- PJ Cloete
- AVT Reliability
Variable frequency drives (VFDs) have become a preferred method of process control for electric motor driven equipment ranging from vertical water pumps to centrifugal air fans. The following is a basic discussion of risks of using a VFD with direct driven centrifugal fans and methods of mitigating those risks to maintain equipment reliability.
- David Sheffler
- IVC Technologies
As predictive maintenance teams in industrial facilities strive for a more complete picture of their equipment’s health, high frequency vibration measurements have become a crucial addition to identify faults such as motor and pump bearing defects and gear tooth inconsistencies in high-speed gearboxes. As a result, there is an upsurge in demand for vibration sensors with a high frequency response.
- Meredith Christman
- PCB Piezotronics
Studies show that 50 to 70% of all equipment failures can be directly traced to a lubrication-related issue, most of which can be found with oil analysis.
A small number of semiconductor manufacturers have overcome the noise, bandwidth and g-Range shortcomings commonly associated with MEMS sensors used in Condition-based Monitoring (CbM) by producing several medium and high-performance MEMS vibration sensors with the latter being comparable to piezo accelerometers.
- Chris Murphy
- Analog Devices, Inc