March 11, 2021

Condition-Based Vibration Monitoring to Track System Health

Introduction: -

One of the technologies used to track equipment health is vibration monitoring. Vibration sensors give the maintenance team insight into conditions within key-assets that might lead to equipment failure, allowing them to head off the need for some major repairs. The vibration sensor is also called a piezoelectric sensor. These sensors are flexible devices, which measure various processes. This sensor uses the piezoelectric effects while measuring the changes within acceleration, pressure, temperature, and force otherwise strain by changing to an electrical charge.

Need: -

Vibration sensors play a vital role in predictive or preventative maintenance and condition monitoring for all forms of rotating shafts and machinery; this includes vibration & velocity sensors in pumps, fans, and motors. Data is collected locally or remotely using PLC, BMS, or 4-20mA input modules.

P-F interval describes the time between signs of a potential failure and when the functional failure occurs. From the following P-F diagram, based on the data collected through vibration sensors, we can analyses changes in components’ condition at an initial stage and hence prevent breakdown.

Working: -

A vibration sensor connects directly to an asset. Once placed, it will detect vibrations from that asset through various means. Sensors measure the changes of velocity of a given component. When attached to a piece of equipment, any vibrations will reflect a change which will cause the sensor to produce an electrical signal. The collected signal is analyzed to generate vibration data.

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Application of vibration sensing

Pumps: Pumps are one of the most necessary pieces of equipment for automation and the chemical industry. Hence to monitor the efficiency of pumps is crucial to monitor vibration data of working pumps. Vibration sensors help make sure the bearings, motors, and fans in pumps and condensers operate smoothly, providing advanced warning of potential issues if readings start to get a bit rough.

Motors, gearboxes, and belts: Any asset with a motor, gearbox, or belt system relies on rotating components, which means vibration monitoring can play a vital role in condition monitoring for those machines.

Rolling bearings: Most pieces of rotating equipment use rolling bearings to keep parts moving. Mixers, turbines, motors, and wheel axles make use of bearing to keep everything spinning smoothly. For better performance, rolling bearings need lubrication. If they go too long without the lubrication, they grind and wear out, causing extra vibration in the asset.

Benefits: -

Any business that uses heavy equipment in its daily operations can benefit from monitoring vibrations. Ninety percent of industrial machines can benefit from vibration monitoring. The advantages of doing so include the following:

Understand causes of damage: When a piece of equipment starts showing any sign of wear and tear, vibration analysis can help with root cause analysis (RCA). Monitoring vibrations within the asset can easily track down the root source of the vibrations and subsequent damage.

Monitor repair needs: While vibration monitoring can help with RCA, it truly shines when used in predictive maintenance. With vibration analysis, we can track vibration data in real-time, observe a dangerously high level of vibrations reflected in the data and propose the need to perform repair work on the connected asset.

Keep an overall health check on equipment: Condition monitoring relies heavily on sensors, including vibration sensors. By monitoring vibration data from essential assets, we can easily see their performance for a specific period.

Conditional monitoring with vibration sensors:

Monitoring vibrations in industrial automation and chemical systems can prevent minor imbalances in individual machines from developing into disruptions in the entire system.

Predictive maintenance: In Predictive Maintenance, we try to find the optimum between using components to their fullest. Also, ensuring that a repair happens before there is a breakdown. To obtain this optimum, we use vibration sensors to monitor an asset and its components. It will reduce costs and ensure high uptime. It can be a bearing or component that is generally rotating parts in the system.

Proactive maintenance: Proactive maintenance depends on rigorous machine inspection and condition monitoring. With the help of vibration data analysis, we can detect and eradicate failure by finding root causes in advance. Issues such as wrong lubricant, degraded lubricant, contaminated lubricant, mishandled repair, misalignment, unbalance, and operator error are addressed in advance. Thus, increase the life of the machinery involved.

Preventive maintenance: It is regularly performed on a piece of equipment to lessen the probability of it failing. It is performed while the equipment is in working condition that ensures it does not break down unexpectedly. Data/insights collected from the machine can be treated as a base for a further project as preventive measures that can be taken in advance.

Real-time alerts: As sensors collect data, a monitoring system will log that information and use it to anticipate when future problems may arise. When vibration data cross certain limits, the user can get an alert as soon as it happens. Tracking the vibration caused by bearing systems can alert maintenance teams to provide aid for the machine, preventing the cost of more expensive repairs later on.

Failure reports: Reports generated from the data help see how equipment is faring, track when failures occur and make informed decisions about future maintenance procedures. Users can plan maintenance exactly when it’s needed instead of performing it too soon or too late.

Easy monitoring: Using conditional monitoring with vibration monitoring allows users to keep a close eye on machines, making it easy to watch for potential issues and schedule needed maintenance tasks.

Conclusion: -

Condition-based vibration monitoring delivers accurate measurements at continuous intervals, helping customers under the most demanding circumstances to improve the reliability, performance, and profitability of their manufacturing and process systems.

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