CM Methods

Condition monitoring and diagnostic technology 

Acoustic Emission
The mechanical degradation of machinery is accompanied by various processes, which are driven at a microscopic level by transients that release stored elastic energy in a localised region. Each of these events launches an elastic wave that propagates throughout the surrounding material. Acoustic Emission (AE) is a technology based on listening to the high frequency component of these structure borne sounds (typically between 25 kHz and 1 MHz). When machinery operates, the possible sources of AE include impacts, friction, particulate crushing and metal removal. The intensity and quantity of these sources generally increases as degradation progresses. READ MORE >>>

Infrared ThermographyInfrared thermography is the technique that uses an infrared imaging and measurement camera to “see” and “measure” invisible infrared energy being emitted from an object. Thermal, or infrared, energy is energy that is not visible to the human eye because its wavelength is too long for the sensors in our eyes to detect. It is the part of the electromagnetic spectrum that we perceive as heat. Unlike visible light, in the infrared spectrum everything with a temperature above absolute zero emits infrared electromagnetic energy. Even cold objects such as ice cubes emit infrared radiation. The higher the temperature of the object, the greater the infrared radiation emitted. The infrared camera allows us to see what our eyes cannot! READ MORE >>>

Vibration Analysis
Vibration monitoring is the oldest type of machine monitoring technique and is the detection of the oscillation of a surface or structure up to a frequency of approximately 25 kHz. Vibration is detected and measured by using transducers to convert vibration energy into an electrical signal. The parameters measured are displacement, velocity and acceleration. Potentially all reciprocating and rotating machinery with moving parts can generate vibration and hence can benefit from vibration monitoring. READ MORE >>>

Ultrasound Technology
Ultrasound can be very simply defined as any sound with a frequency above 20 kHz, which is above the highest frequency a young adult can detect. This is a wide frequency range; medical ultrasound instruments often use ultrasound in the megahertz region, whereas the typical frequency range used by predictive maintenance ultrasound systems is much lower, normally in the 30-40 kHz region. READ MORE >>>

Lubrication AnalysisThis method is used in systems employing petroleum-based or synthetic fluids such as lubricants or working media (hydraulic systems) and is based on analysing the condition of the fluid and the wear debris entering the circulating fluid system. The analysis of the fluid condition identifies the changes in the properties of the fluid and ingress of contaminants for example dirt, water or oxidised fluid products. This enables the analyst to predict the onset of wear of particular components. Wear debris analysis studies the wear metals present in the fluid to predict the type of wear, for example sliding wear or fatigue, it’s likely cause and severity; allowing a reasonable prognosis to be made. READ MORE >>>

Electrical Condition Monitoring Techniques
Electrical condition monitoring has been used for decades for monitoring the condition of specific items of electrical equipment, but in the more recent past it has been recognised that techniques based on electrical parameters can be used much more widely, including for monitoring the mechanical condition of rotating equipment. These techniques are particularly applicable for equipment that is inaccessible (for example borehole pumps or submerged pumps) or on which it is difficult to use techniques such as vibration analysis (for example jacketed equipment with no direct line of sight into bearing housings). Electrical techniques can also, of course, provide information on the electrical parameters of the equipment, including load, energy consumption and the quality of the electricity supply, all of which can be useful information. READ MORE >>>