Great Condition Monitoring is More than Vibration on Rotating Machines

by | Aug 7, 2023 | Condition Monitoring, Predictive Maintenance, Vibration Analysis

We’ve said it all before, but it is always worth repeating:  great condition monitoring programs are built on a thorough understanding of your systems and machinery.  The choice of the condition monitoring technology or technologies must be based exclusively on the types of failures that can be reasonably expected.  The goal, of course, is to identify the root cause failure mechanisms in progress before irreversible damage has the chance of starting or identify damage that has started before it has a chance to develop into a functional failure.

This requires a gut-level understanding of the machines and systems in terms of:

  • The components the machine is made from
  • How it’s built and put together
  • How it’s supposed to run
  • Dependencies on or with other machines in the system

When these attributes are understood, then a person with strong mechanical experience will automatically understand:

  • The interactions among the components
  • The failure mechanisms that are likely to be experienced within the machine
  • How those failure mechanisms manifest themselves to us through the use of objective measurements and observations.

The real key here is the very last bullet point – understanding how failure mechanisms make themselves known to us.  While some techniques, like vibration monitoring, cover multiple potential mechanical failure mechanisms, vibration does not “see” everything that could possibly be going wrong within a machine or system.  Other techniques, like lubricant, thermographic, ultrasonic, or motor current signature analysis (to name just a few) do a great job identifying damage and failure mechanisms in progress that vibration alone just can’t.  This is why ATS is a multi-technology condition monitoring service provider.  Unlike specific technology product providers who try to do condition monitoring service work using just the technology they provide, the ATS Team understands machinery and systems at the gut level and applies the appropriate technology to support helping you improve your operational reliability through condition monitoring and evaluation.

Check out Vidtorial – Engineers Love Curves and Getting the Most Value from your Condition Monitoring Investment for more in-depth insight into the value of a multi-technology condition monitoring program.  Note that even if watching and listening to the Vidtorials may not always be convenient for you, the text of each one is available on our Blog pages.

Then contact us at 866.398.9778 or to discuss how we would take a multi-technology approach to help you improve your operational reliability through condition monitoring.


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