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Condition Monitoring

Condition Monitoring is an integral part of a condition based maintenance strategy or predictive maintenance approach being followed in various industries.

Condition monitoring starts with using permanently installed sensors to collect data in order to analyse changes in the performance or condition of a machine component while it is in operation.  Any deviation in the performance or condition of the component away from its standard parameters can be an indication of the early stages of wear and deterioration.  Condition monitoring not only describes the present state of a component, but also provides objective data which can be interpreted to predict remaining useful life while in operation.

Operators can then use this knowledge to schedule maintenance and repair a component before catastrophic failure occurs.  Condition monitoring can therefore play a vital role in avoiding unplanned shut downs and in calculating the life expectancy of a plant.

The following techniques can be used solely or in combination, to monitor the performance of machinery or a component whilst in operation or offline:

  • Vibration Analysis

  • Acoustic Emission Testing

  • Thermography

  • Visual Inspection

  • Wear debris analysis (Ferrography, Spectrography etc.).

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Condition Monitoring

TWI Resources

TWI has a dedicated group of highly skilled engineers and state-of-the-art equipment to undertake condition monitoring activities, a few of which are listed below:

  • Acoustic emission testing equipment from M/s Physical Acoustics
  • Fluke Ti 30 portable thermal imaging camera

  • LOT Oriel/Thermal wave imaging Inc system 

Benefits

  • Minimised maintenance costs

  • Improved risk management

  • Allows the use of full cycle capacity of a component

  • Optimised maintenance and service activities

  • Allows preventive action to be taken to avoid consequence of failure

  • Increased reliability and production

  • Assists in root cause analysis

  • Enhanced Safety

  • Eliminates unplanned shut downs up to 75%  in a typical plant with proper implementation

Applications

Some examples of the application of condition monitoring are:

  • Detecting and monitoring leaks, cavitation and flow
  • Pressure vessel, storage tanks, pipeline and piping

  • Air crafts and ageing vehicle

  • Evaluation of the overall operational condition of a wind turbine's machinery and rotating components (generator, gearbox bearings and main shaft)

  • Condition monitoring using vibration analysis for train door control system

  • Wireless railway condition monitoring

Related links 

For more information about TWI's NDT and asset reliability services, please contact us.