Data collection in a computer aided machine like a CNC machine

January 20, 2015

Today’s manufacturing facilities increasingly depend on Computer Aided Machines (CAM) and robotics in their many processes. This highly technologically advanced machinery is designed with many failsafes and protection systems capable of shutting down the machine to maintain the integrity of the part being machined and the equipment itself.

As these machines typically run at very high speeds, it is of great importance to perform condition monitoring on their bearings, motors and gearboxes. Large amounts of debris and fluids can accumulate inside these machines during normal operation. This can complicate the use of a regular sensor and cable assembly to collect vibration data.

Consider using a small sensor with an integral cable and an armored jacket along with a vibration analyzer like the VIBXPERT or an online condition monitoring system such as VIBNODE. This combination of technology, sensor(s) and cable will allow your facility to reliably monitor the health of your CAM machines and maintain both performance and reliability.

Sensor with integrated cable


Centering a SOLAR Gas Turbine Shaft with SENSALIGN Laser Technology

January 13, 2015

SOLAR gas turbine centering tool with X-Y tracking

The centering tool for SOLAR TURBINES is based upon shaft travel in the vertical plane. As the top knob is turned, a plunger pushes the shaft from the top position all the way down to the bottom position. The tool allows the technician to count the number of turns of the top knob to determine the amount of travel of the shaft. Upon traversing the full extent of the travel range from top to bottom, the technician then applies only half the number of turns in the opposite direction to return the shaft to the center of its vertical travel range. Performing this task with the ROTALIGN ULTRA laser shaft alignment system allowed this job to be performed much more accurately. The laser/sensor combination takes the centering of the shaft to a new dimension by tracking not only the shaft’s vertical position but its horizontal position as well.

Solar Gas Turbine Shaft

SOLAR TURBINES Shaft Centering Mechanism
with ROTALIGN ULTRA’s SENSALIGN sensor installed on shaft




Equipment Criticality Ranking Tip

January 6, 2015
It is critical (pun intended) that you have a criticality ranking for your equipment.  This will help you properly direct maintenance and reliability efforts.  It is difficult to have granularity on the actual role equipment plays if the criticality scale is small (1-10).  It is best to use a higher scale with categories that comprise the overall ranking.  For example use a 100-scale with 10 categories and each one being 0-10.
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The 10 P’s of a successful Condition Monitoring program

December 30, 2014

Make sure that these P’s are part of your Condition Monitoring program in 2015:

  1. Proper understanding
  2. Proper employee training
  3. Proper implementation (applying the technology to the correct equipment)
  4. Proper setups (correct monitoring parameters)
  5. Proper monitoring intervals
  6. Proper standards
  7. Proper analysis
  8. Proper reporting
  9. Proper equipment follow-up (after-repair inspections, start-up inspections, etc.)
  10. Proper execution of the results (ensuring that the recommendations of the CM effort are implemented and completed

We look forward to serving your maintenance and reliability needs. Cheers to a Successful Year!

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Understanding the consequences that resonance has on equipment reliability

December 23, 2014

Equipment is being built lighter and cheaper. This means that resonance has become more of a reliability problem with equipment. Most engineers, CM analysts, mechanics and managers are not aware of how resonance may be affecting their equipment. Resonance frequencies will excite any vibration occurring at or near the same frequency. This can include misalignment, unbalance, bearing faults or other defect frequencies. This will cause your equipment to fail more quickly as well as other unwanted effects.

You should to be aware of and document the resonance frequencies affecting your equipment. Many methods can be used to determine the resonance frequencies in your equipment and a good vibration analyzer will have the resources to help you do so. Methods such as an impact test (bump test), negative averaging, startup, coast down, etc. can be used to identify resonance frequencies. Additionally, the vibration analyst should look for signs of resonance-related issues when doing routine equipment analysis. For example, always look at the amplitude ratios between horizontal and vertical vibration measurements. Ratios of 3 to 1 or higher (horizontal versus vertical) are an indication of resonance issues in the equipment being monitored.

What should you do once a resonance problem is known and the unwanted reliability consequences understood? It is important to keep equipment operational speeds away from these critical frequencies by at least 20-30 percent. Actions can be taken to shift these critical frequencies and minimize and/or eliminate their negative effect on your equipment reliability. The primary methods are:

  • Add Mass: Adding mass will lower the resonant frequency.
  • Add Stiffness: Adding stiffness raises the resonant frequency.
  • Damping: Dampens the vibration to keep it from becoming a destructive force

Make sure you understand the consequences that resonance has on your equipment. Not understanding and addressing equipment resonance will lead to unwanted and costly reliability issues.


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Midlands Technical College benefits from shaft and pulley alignment equipment donation

December 16, 2014

LUDECA’s donation of its laser alignment system to Midlands Technical College prepares students for the real world.

Shaft Alignment

  Pulley Alignment

Matthew Lester, an industrial training instructor for Midlands Technical College, was mindful of the good that would come from the donation of equipment from LUDECA, When Midlands Tech finally received the laser alignment systems and equipment, his dream of helping students prepare for their future jobs came true. Read the rest of the blog by Plant Services Magazine.

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