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Predictive Maintenance: The Use of Vibration Analysis

maintenance and operations, predictive maintenance, vibration analysis, bearings

This is Chris Matt, Managing Editor of Print & E-Media with Maintenance Solutions magazine. Today's tip is vibration monitoring and analysis.

All rotating equipment vibrates, but as components begin to fail or reach the end of their serviceable life, they begin to vibrate more and in unique ways. Ongoing monitoring of equipment allows technicians to identify these indicators of wear and future damage well before the damage becomes total failure.

When technicians use condition monitoring correctly, it can result in significant cost savings compared to traditional maintenance approaches. Vibration monitoring and analysis allow technicians to detect problems and make the repair-or-replace decision before complete failure for such key components as:

  • bearings
  • machine or component unbalances
  • misalignments
  • gears
  • electrical issues
  • bent shafts
  • loose fasteners, bolts, and mounts
  • and, finally, impeller issues.
Although not typically considered predictive maintenance, lubrication training and certification is critical. This assures the organization that technicians are storing, handling, and applying lubricants properly. This also minimizes or eliminates the possibility of contamination issues.

Too few organizations receive the benefits of lubrication. Those benefits include:

  • reduced energy use through reduced friction
  • lower overall lubrication costs
  • lower maintenance and repair costs
  • fewer consequential losses due to downtime
  • savings in investments due to higher utilization ratios and greater equipment efficiency
  • labor savings
  • and savings from extended equipment life.

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