The most expensive moments
Downtime is always expensive in the industry, but unpredictable production interruptions are particularly costly. They are often caused by unexpected equipment failures, and the situation is even more difficult if the necessary spare parts or service personnel are not immediately available. Unexpectedly failed device can also damage other parts of the process and pose occupational safety risks.
It is these problems that are addressed by SSG’s proactive condition monitoring service.
All equipment will fail sooner or later, but proactive condition monitoring will systematically monitor equipment operation and identify expected defects in a timely manner. Thus, condition monitoring not only improves production efficiency, but also reduces maintenance costs. When the weakest links in a chain are identified, the strongest ones also become known. This allows maintenance resources, such as personnel and spare parts, to be optimally sized and directed to the right targets at the right time.
Examples of foreseeable defects:
- condition of bearings
- alignment errors
- mechanical looseness
- gear damage
- lubrication problems
- heating of equipment
- defective electrical components
SSG’s condition monitoring service covers the entire lifecycle of the production line and its parts. It starts with an inventory of production equipment and their condition. The survey measures the vibration levels of rotating equipment, such as electric motors, pumps, and gears, among other things. The levels are stored in a database and used as references for measurements at a later stage. Together with the customer, route measurement plans are also drawn up for the production line, instructing how and when the different devices are monitored.
The lifecycle of new process equipment begins with an acceptance inspection in accordance with the PSK standard. The inspection ensures that the equipment are intact and that the alignments and other installation work have been carried out correctly. The vibration levels of the new devices are also stored as references.
In accordance with the route measurement plans drawn up with the customer, the vibrations of the various equipment in the production plant are measured at specified intervals and the results are stored in a measurement database. Vibration measurements are performed with a portable Microlog vibration analyzer. If it is difficult to reach the device to be measured, a fixed sensor can be installed, and the measurement signal can be routed to a more suitable location with a cable.
Vibration measurement provides accurate information on the condition of rotating equipment. Each rotating component oscillates at its own natural frequency, and its’ change indicates a failure of the device at an early stage. For example, when the bearing manufacturer, its type, and rotational speed are known, the vibration measurement reveals whether the failure is at the inner or outer perimeter of the bearing or whether the holder or rolling member is damaged. This information can be used to determine the criticality of the fault.
In addition to vibration measurements, the devices can also be examined with a thermal camera, stroboscope, or stethoscope, depending on the situation. The thermal camera is a versatile inspection tool that can be used to identify bearing damage or faulty electrical connections and components, among other things. The stroboscope facilitates the inspection of rotating parts; its light beam can be synchronized with the speed of rotation, thus allowing the object to be visually inspected while the device is running. The stethoscope, in turn, can be used to listen to, or sense, the functioning of devices. This is a quick way to pick up failed items, for example, before a scheduled outage; and if the need arises, accurate measurements can be made with a Microlog vibration analyzer.