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Strategies to Optimize Condition Monitoring

Not too long ago the equipment you needed to monitor all of your assets was expensive and difficult to operate, especially from one location. As technology has advanced, all of that has changed to encompass your most important assets from onsite to remote. The cost to operate the monitoring equipment has also gone down, as well as the know-how needed to understand it. While each plant is different, many strategies to optimize condition monitoring are available to optimize each plants’ operations through timely and accurate data.

What is Condition Monitoring?

In short, condition monitoring is the practice of constantly monitoring your assets in order to determine slowdowns or even failures. The data provided by condition monitoring allows you to detect abnormalities in equipment performance. Therefore, you are able to repair any issues, perform any needed maintenance, and avoid catastrophic failures. But only the right condition monitoring equipment and configurations can help you do this.

Cost Effective Condition Monitoring

One of the main reasons plants hesitate investing in condition monitoring was the initial cost. Specifically, the costs of running wiring to sensors to monitoring equipment was extremely high in both price tag and possible down time. Fortunately, the field has expanded to include wireless sensors that operate similar to Bluetooth. They are easier to install and have made condition monitoring more inexpensive and efficient than ever. Wireless sensors may be easily integrated into a control system and combined with modern software. Best of all, many of these sensors can be installed by your workforce, as well as operated under all sorts of conditions.

Condition Monitoring Must Haves

Each operation is different. However, there are many data points in which your condition monitoring should regularly provide data.

  1. Analysis of Oil – Just like a car, oil is the lifeblood of most equipment, and you should know of any contamination, temperature fluctuations, and wear.
  2. Vibration – Excessive or minimal vibration is one of the leading indicators of an issue with an asset and should be monitored regularly.
  3. Temperature – Like the above, excessively high or low temperatures are indicative of a serious issue with an asset. As a bonus, many sensors offer infrared thermography to show where the “hot spots” are.
  4. Motor Circuit Analysis – This data focuses on electric motors and data such as performance of the rotors, belts, couplings, power usage, electric imbalances, and many others. This data can be used to both predict a failure and increase energy e
  5. Advanced Data – Your operation may need realtime data on all sorts of advanced areas such as radiographic, ultrasonic, or laser Radiography allows you to view the interior of an asset without opening it or even stopping it. Ultrasonic analysis gives you advanced sound data, to confirm whether or not an asset just sounds off or is off. Laser interferometry identify defects like cavities and corrosion on or below the surface.

We also like to recommend electrical analysis for most, if not all, operations. First of all, electrical analysis allows you to see which assets consume the most power, how much, and of course, if they are consuming too much. This data can help you save big just on energy efficient strategies alone. However, electrical analysis is also essential for safety. Many plant fires are electrical and advanced analysis can provide actionable data including megohmmeter data, insulation tests, analysis of current and voltage, battery testing, surge testing, and others.

Houston Dynamic Supply Assistance with Condition Monitoring

Is your condition monitoring sending you data that concerns you? We at HDS are experts in testing and servicing all sorts of rotating equipment from centrifuges to compressors to gear boxes and more. We can accurately diagnose your assets and provide precision machining, disassembly, and much more to get your assets back in good working condition.