5 Key Things to Consider when Using Ultrasound to Find Electrical Faults

April 18, 2017

  1. Most electrical cabinets are not hermetically sealed. Scan your ultrasound detector around the panel sides and ventholes to detect discharges like arcing, tracking, and corona.
  2. Not all electrical discharge faults produce heat. Use ultrasound solutions to hear what your infrared camera cannot see.
  3. Electrical discharge activity is amplified by high humidity. When performing ultrasonic scans at substations make note of the date and weather conditions.
  4. Ultrasound travels directionally through air compared with audible sound. When scanning from a distance therefore, it is important to inspect electrical systems from all sides.
  5. Corona discharge produces no heat on electrical systems below 240 kV so don’t rely entirely on infrared to find problems.
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Case Study: Aligning Large Sheaves at 40 feet with Easy-Laser® E710 System

April 11, 2017

Early last year Bob Dunn with I&E Central, Inc. was approached by a customer with a unique measurement challenge. They needed to align two sheaves, 1 meter in diameter, separated by 12 meters (about 40 feet). While there are a number of sheave alignment tools available in the market, they employ line lasers, and their maximum distances are about 10 feet. Beyond that, for this application there were physical barriers to projecting a beam right along the face or between the pulleys, so this required some application development.

They discussed with an associate and conceived a way to make this measurement using the standard detectors and programs on the Easy-Laser® E710 alignment system. The E710 is a high end shaft alignment system with point (rather than line) lasers and 2-axis detectors with a working distance of up to 20 meters (66 feet). It also includes some basic geometric programs including straightness.

The customer’s goal was to align the sheaves in both planes, “horizontal” and “vertical”, within 0.1°. Going back to college trigonometry, 0.1° expressed as a slope is 1.745 mils/inch or 1.745 mm/meter. We can easily measure and calculate that.

The two sheaves were vertically oriented on a long superstructure with beams and supports extending about 10” out from the faces of the sheaves.

Here is how they made the measurement:

They mounted one of the laser heads (the “transmitter”) on a magnetic base with a rotating head. This magnetic base was mounted on the superstructure of the machine near the center line of the stationary sheave, and aimed along the center line. (See the graphic associated with this document.) The detectors themselves were extended from the magnetic bases with pairs of 12″ rods so that we had a clear measurement line along the structure.

They bucked in our transmitter between points 1 and 7 (see graphic). We did not need to set to zero, we only needed the beam to hit the detector along the length of the measurement. Once bucked in, we used the straightness program and measured at points 1, 3, 5, and 7. Using points 1 and 3 as our reference line, the result indicated that the two sheaves were horizontally parallel within 0.05°, but were offset by about ½”.

Next they measured the vertical alignment. Without moving the laser transmitter, they swept the rotating head and measured the slope from point 2 to 4, as 6.028 mm/meter. Then they performed the same measurement between points 6 and 8 (the far sheave), measuring 6.022 mm/meter – nearly perfect alignment (0.0003°).

The E710 proved to be a flexible and powerful tool that can do much more than coupling alignment. This new customer is already identifying additional measurements for their new system.

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Ultrasound to the Rescue! A Case Study on How Ultrasound Prevented Motor Failure and more

April 4, 2017

As Published by Maintenance Technology Magazine March 2017 issue

Ultrasound ‘heard’ and confirmed electrical arcing in the termination-junction box of this vertical-turbine-pump-system’s motor.

 

When it comes to electrical systems, most failures can be attributed, in large part, to installation problems, water damage, insulation issues, or poor workmanship. Such failures pose a serious safety threat and have the ability to shut down operations entirely. Ultrasound technology is a proven way to deal with them. In short, this easily deployed predictive tool offers sites a means of identifying and, thus minimizing the impact of these problems.

Read the full case study and learn how Brian Franks from JetTech Mechanical located an electrical fault with the SDT270 ultrasound system at a major water municipality.

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12 Top Reasons for using Precision Laser Alignment

March 28, 2017
Doing correct machine alignment avoids costly breakdowns and unexpected downtime

Doing correct machine alignment avoids costly breakdowns and unexpected downtime

Reposted from EASY-LASER® blog

  1. FAST AND ACCURATE
    Laser alignment can be done ten times faster and much more accurately compared than with dial gauges or straight edge methods (depending on the user’s skill). A dial setup will not measure down to 0.001 mm – but a laser can!
  2. QUICK TO SET UP, EASY TO USE AND HIGHLY RELIABLE
    A laser alignment system is quick to set up, easy to use and much more reliable than old technology. The latter often requires extensive experience and sometimes complicated calculations to be used. For example, fixtures for dial gauges always sag a little, which affects the accuracy of the gauge’s displayed value. This does not occur with laser alignment.
  3. POSSIBILITY TO GENERATE REPORTS WITH RESULTS
    With a laser alignment system it is possible to generate PDF reports directly from the instrument. The computer handles targets and tolerances and makes it is easy to interpret the results. The possibility of documenting the results gives better control over the machines and greater assurance. Reports can be generated for “before” and “after” alignment.
  4. A TRUE REPRESENTATION OF MACHINE FRAME DISTORTION
    For soft foot issues, regardless of what is going on at the feet, you get a true representation of the movement between the rotating axes of the shafts you are aligning. Dial readings only tell you what’s happening at the feet—not a true representation of soft foot!
  5. THE SPEED AND PRECISION SAVE YOU MONEY
    The speed of use and the precision in alignment mean that investing in a laser-based shaft alignment system usually pays for itself within 3-6 months.
  6. A DISCIPLINED AND REPEATABLE PROCESS
    Laser alignment systems make the process of measurement and correction much more disciplined and repeatable. Straightedges and dial gauges are not sufficiently accurate for today’s modern machines. Using laser alignment always gives the same results regardless of who takes the measurements.
  7. EASY TO LEARN AND TO USE
    You don’t have to be a specialist to get the correct result. With a wireless display unit, you can follow the machine movement with live values at the points where you adjust the machine, not just where the dial gauges are mounted.image2
  8. EXPAND ALIGNMENTS AND MEASUREMENTS
    With the best laser alignment systems you can expand the types of alignments and measurements you can do. You will then be able to take care of all important steps of machine setup, for example base flatness and twist, and also measure straightness.
  9. POSSIBILITY TO MEASURE WITH A SMALL SHAFT ROTATION
    With laser alignment it is possible to measure even with a small shaft rotation, for example only 70 degrees. This solves the problem when piping and machine parts are in the way preventing a greater rotation.
  10. REDUCED ENERGY CONSUMPTION
    Laser alignment allows precise measurements that reduce your energy consumption in the long term. Poorly aligned machines require more energy to achieve the same results than well-aligned ones. Reduced energy consumption is not only good for your electricity bill, but of course also for the environment.
  11. ERROR-FREE AND HIGH-RESOLUTION TECHNOLOGY
    Old technology may have too low a resolution to measure accurately enough and may be subject to reading errors or sticking dial hands. Laser alignment systems are based on high-resolution non-contact technology and are free from such errors.
  12. ELIMINATION OF HARDWARE SAG AND SETUP MISTAKES
    With laser alignment you eliminate errors associated with old technologies such as bar sag, substandard dial bar and mistakes when installing up the indicator clamps.

 

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Having the Vibration Analysis Data Alone doesn’t Fix Anything

March 21, 2017

First and foremost vibration data setups must be properly configured to allow the correct results to be collected thus allowing the analyst to interpret the vibration data for defects. The defect findings should be presented in a manner that the personnel that are responsible for the repair of the equipment now have the necessary information to perform their intended function. The vibration data alone will not fix anything. A vibration database must have the proper setups, the vibration data must be collected correctly using the appropriate instrument, and analyzed by a properly trained and confident analyst. This allows for the root cause of the problem to be found as opposed to only replacing parts. It is very critical that the correct person becomes the vibration analyst. This person should have the desire and drive to become the best that they can become at that position. The analyst should also have support from upper management to allow them to focus on the one job. With the right people, right tools, and support you will have the meaningful data to drive and sustain valuable results and continuous improvement.

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