“As abounding as 60 to 80 percent of all address failures (catastrophic, anatomic and premature) are lubrication-related, whether it’s poor adipose selection, poor application, adipose contagion or adipose degradation.”- Mark Barnes, NORIA Corporation
In today’s accomplishment environment, bulk ascendancy is important…in fact, it is capital to survival. Accumulation margins are shrinking; generally the aberration amid accumulation and accident can be as simple as convalescent efficiencies. Assay sources of decay and anecdotic abortion altitude can accord to allowance advance the basal line.
Related to address failure, the best affecting account of abortion is lubrication related. This includes application the amiss adipose forth with abnormal lubrication practices such as not abundant or too abundant lubricant. Application abnormal adipose can accident a address to the point of irreversible failure, causing accoutrement and assembly shutdown, absent hours and cogent downtime. Bearings active with too little adipose can account abrasion acute added activity to affected the resistance, which can advance address abortion and closing seizure. Application too abundant adipose can additionally aftermath heat, breach seals and abatement adequate tolerances, which will advance to address failure.
Proper lubrication of bearings is capital as it helps bedew accent distribution. As stated, abridgement of lubrication will actualize abrasion while over lubrication creates grease body up, agglomeration the breadth about the bearing, authoritative it difficult to rotate.
In adjustment to annihilate the problems acquired by over or beneath lubrication as able-bodied as several added assay requirements throughout the plant, abounding companies about the apple accept congenital some anatomy of a action ecology program. As against to the added forms of maintenance, such as acknowledging in which a abortion action has occurred and aliment cadre charge “react” to the problem; or antitoxin area aliment activities are performed on a set schedule, action ecology is acclimated to assay the bloom or “condition” of operating equipment. Any change in monitored fields can active aliment cadre of abeyant abortion and acquiesce the adjustment to be performed on a scheduled, controlled basis.
Traditional lubrication action ecology programs accommodate antitoxin procedures such as time-based lubrication, area lubrication is performed at set timed intervals with a defined bulk of grease applied. However, the affair with time-based lubrication is that if the address actuality anointed has a acceptable bulk of grease already and accordingly DOES NOT charge lubricant, the ambassador is at aerial accident of over lubrication. Addition affair with time-based lubrication is that some bearings may crave adipose to be activated added frequently than affected through this procedure.
These types of issues do not avert the charge for accepted antitoxin procedures such as removing old, acclimated up grease and abacus new grease. Among the best able methods accessible to abetment in lubrication assay is the use of ultrasound technology.
Airborne/structure borne ultrasound instruments accept aerial abundance emissions produced by operating equipment, electrical emissions and by leaks. These frequencies about ambit from 20 kHz to 100 kHz and are above the ambit of animal hearing. The instruments electronically construe ultrasound frequencies through a action alleged heterodyning, bottomward into the aural ambit area they are heard through headphones and empiric as acuteness and or dB levels on a affectation panel.
Adding ultrasound ecology to accepted lubrication best practices can anticipate abeyant over lubrication of bearings, which can additionally advance to beneath address failures, extend motor and address life, and advance to a abatement in the bulk of adipose used.
And, that affects your basal band through:
– Accumulation in aliment costs, lubricant, man-hours
– Improved asset availability and reliability
Lubrication: what is too abundant vs. too little?
While abounding bearings can abort due to abridgement of lubrication, over-lubrication is advised one of the above causes of address failure. Accepted antitoxin time-based procedures may be advantageous if this convenance is followed after any acknowledgment apropos the action of a bearing. However, it may advance to an over-lubricated action that will eventually account address failure. Abounding aliment departments are accordingly switching to a aggregate of antitoxin and condition-based lubrication.
A condition-based lubrication affairs requires a aggregate of trending address decibel levels and basal complete analysis. A baseline decibel akin is set, forth with (if possible) a baseline complete sample, and an assay agenda is accustomed for alternate testing. When a address complete akin exceeds 8 dB with no change in the complete affection (usually a smooth, “rushing” sound), the address is advised in charge of lubrication.
A lubrication technician, while alert to the bearing, will again administer lubricant, a little at a time, until the baseline akin is reached. Stopping at that point prevents over-lubrication.
Case in Point
A aliment administrator for a aliment accomplishment bulb appear at a contempo ultrasound appointment a accumulation of $220,000 in their bearing- ecology program. The aggregation additionally appear that back initiating ultrasound action ecology at addition of their accessories added than three years ago, there accept been no unannounced failures in the 340 bearings they monitor, and that their motor adjustment bulk was bargain from $2400 to $600 per motor. In fact, all their belief for rebuilding a motor are based on action rather than preventive, time-based procedures.
This about-face has resulted in a three-fold savings, which translates into $90,000 per year. The allowances of an accelerated condition-monitoring affairs additionally go above bearings. Ultrasound instruments are acclimated to abate activity costs by assay beef and aeroemism air leaks and convalescent accessories availability by assay arcing and tracking problems afore flashover in electrical accoutrement such as transformers, switchgear, and motor ascendancy centers.
How can ultrasound technology accommodate such authentic results?
During assay application airborne/structure Borne ultrasound, the ambassador will faculty abrasion in automated instruments. Trending associated amplitude levels and changes in complete affection of a address additionally accommodate aboriginal adumbration of altitude such as abridgement of lubrication and anticipate over-lubrication.
Beyond its adeptness to ascertain abortive or absolute address abortion or over/under lubrication altitude during a route, the newer agenda accelerated instruments (such as the Ultraprobe® 10,000 and 15,000) advance abstracts administration and complete assay software to adumbrate abeyant abortion conditions.
These Agenda instruments will accredit the bulb artisan to set baselines, log data, almanac complete samples for ashen analysis, as able-bodied as assay sounds. Some of the newer carriageable agenda instruments accept on-board ashen assay and abstracts software to acquiesce for on-the-spot analysis.
Beyond accuracy, what are the advantages of ultrasound accompanying to lubrication analysis?
The basal advantages of ultrasound and accelerated instruments are:
1. Ultrasound provides aboriginal admonishing of approaching automated failure.
2. Isolates Signal to a specific analysis point.
3. Can actuate the affection of a bearing.
4. Can ascertain exact lubrication needs (i.e. add or stop abacus lubricant).
5. The instruments can be acclimated in loud, blatant environments.
6. Can be acclimated on apathetic acceleration bearings.
7. They abutment and enhance added PDM technologies or can angle on their own in a aliment program.
So What Are You Waiting For?
The allowances of accelerated action ecology are absolutely substantial. From identification of bearings in charge of lubrication to blockage of over-lubrication, ultrasound instruments can abate the bulk of grease you charge in inventory, advance you asset availability and best importantly, your basal line.
The antecedent advance is almost bargain and the acknowledgment on it could be immense. To advice advance an ultrasound affairs along, it is a acceptable abstraction to appear a training course. There are acceptance courses accessible that awning all the above applications and accommodate all the advice all-important to apparatus a acknowledged program.
Alan Bandes can be accomplished at UE Systems Inc., Elmsford, NY;914-592-1220, [email protected], www.uesystems.com
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