Ultrasonic Signature can Provide early Warning of Mechanical Failure

February 21, 2017

Rotating equipment produces a sound (ultrasonic) signature during operation. This signature can be measured and trended over time. As the machine components begin to fail a change in the ultrasonic signature will occur. The change in sound level can be used to alarm that could be related to lubrication or bearing damage. A key factor to using an ultrasound tool successfully to determine machine health is collecting the measurements at the same location every time. The first step is to identify a measurement test point for each bearing to be monitored. One method for data collection is to use a magnet that should be attached to a metal pad epoxied to the measurement location. The use of a magnet and mounting pad will allow for repeatable and consistent data for accurate trending and alarming. If access to measurement locations is restricted, then a sensor can be permanently installed so that measurements can be taken remotely. Ultrasound is an extremely valuable tool which can be used to detect bearing problems with slow speed applications.

Ultrasound is an important part of any reliability based condition monitoring program and can provide early warning of mechanical failure. This early warning can lead to reduced downtime and increased plant reliability.

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Easy-Laser® AB Wins Global Design Award for XT11 Alignment Computer

February 14, 2017

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Reposted from EASY-LASER® blog

Easy-Laser® has been awarded the iF DESIGN AWARD 2017 for their design of a display unit for laser-based measurement equipment.

The display unit, XT11, won the Industry/Skilled Trades category and is part of a completely new concept within laser alignment, which was launched last year.

Rustan Karlsson, Head of Marketing at Easy-Laser®, states: “The award is an acknowledgement of the hard work that we have put into our next generation of products to make them even more user-friendly and attractive, in a way that is right for our users and our brand. Within our industry, it is like winning an Oscar!”

He continues: “The work really started three years ago, when our design office, Shift Design & Strategy, identified what Easy-Laser® stands for and developed a design guide. Together with our own engineers, they defined what has now been acknowledged by the iF DESIGN AWARD. It feels great to have won it, especially with the product launches ahead of us.”

The iF DESIGN AWARD is one of the world’s most prestigious competitions. The entries are assessed by a jury of 58 professional designers from around the world. This year’s competition was tough, with over 5500 entries from 59 countries.

Learn more and download the brochure of the award-winning Easy-Laser® XT11 display unit featured in the XT440 shaft alignment system.

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The Importance of Strobe Lights when Performing Vibration Analysis

February 7, 2017

Strobe lights are an inexpensive tool typically used to determine the operational speed of equipment. Strobe lights should be readily available to vibration analysts and maintenance mechanics. A strobe can be used as a proactive tool for many things. For example, visual inspection of belt damage (slippage, wear, etc), coupling damage, loose components and much more can be identified with this handy tool, while the equipment is running. Don’t overlook the value a strobe light can provide beyond just the simple determination of operational speed of a machine. But keep two things in mind: SAFETY must be first and foremost in your mind at all times when using a strobe light. Since a strobe can appear to “stop motion” on moving components, the temptation to touch the object you are looking at can be strong at times. Avoid this temptation and always stay focused on what you are doing. Also, people prone to epileptic seizures triggered by flashing lights should avoid exposure to strobe light.

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Simple Ultrasound Condition Indicators for Lube Techs

January 31, 2017

The basic concept of CBM (Condition Based Maintenance) is to monitor the condition (CM) of a machine over time and use conditional data to predict the need for maintenance to take action (PdM). Let’s apply this concept to re-lubrication of rolling element bearings.
Using an SDT ultrasound instrument (simple or advanced), lube-techs collect data which indicates the current condition of the bearing. What are some of the Condition Indicators collected by SDT? Simple “STATIC” Condition Indicators. Ultrasound STATIC data provides an instantaneous snapshot about bearing condition.

  • RMS – The average of the ultrasound signal over the duration of the measurement time
  • Max RMS – The highest RMS signal observed over the duration of the measurement time
  • Peak – The highest amplitude observed over the duration of the measurement time
  • Crest Factor – A linear ratio between the Peak and the RMS (CF=Peak/RMS)

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Use the RMS condition indicator to determine lubrication intervals and guide you while slowly applying grease to a bearing. For example:

  • Correctly greased: RMS = 35.2 dBµV
  • Under-greased: RMS = 45.8 dBµV

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Parallel-align Rolls with Easy-Laser E970 System for Reliability

January 24, 2017

The Easy-Laser E970 laser roll alignment system is a well-established product proven to be effective in many parallel roll alignment applications such as in printing presses, steel, aluminum and paper mills. We recently completed a roll alignment at a stainless steel roll slitting facility.

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Setting the system up was fast and easy, from establishing a reference roll to creating new benchmarks.  Rolls were measured for both level and skew.

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Corrections were done on-site with live monitoring.  The system was able to accurately measure traditionally challenging rolls with unusual surfaces, including rewinder rolls and non-magnetic rolls, such as the guide roll with a rubber surface.

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The asset owner requested that the slitters and guides be checked and asked whether that was possible.  The versatility of this system allowed for such an operation.  By profiling the laser to a reference roll, the slitters were checked for alignment and the required adjustments were made.

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The job was scoped for two days, yet the entire job with slitter alignment was completed in less than one day.  This provided the time to complete a roll alignment on an entirely separate finishing operation.

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The proof of good parallel roll alignment lies in the results, after running the machine: the laser aligned rolls produce consistent material thicknesses to tolerance, thereby saving tens of thousands of dollars of potentially wasted money in scrap product, not to mention if a roll had to be scrapped for this process.  The E970 is an accurate performer whose versatility is straightforward by all measures™

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