Moving Beyond our Human Senses to Detect Changes in Machinery Condition

October 17, 2013

UPTIME • October/November 2013

“Many different tools have been used over the years to detect changes in machinery condition. The human hand, eye, and ear have been the oldest tools used to detect conditional changes in machines. It is important to understand the value and limitations of our human senses.”

Most machines give some indication that a potential component failure is about to occur that will lead to a functional failure.  Our goal should be to identify, monitor and correct components that are failing before they create a functional failure that will prevent the machine from performing as intended.  Condition Monitoring is a primary tool used for this process.  For example, a bearing defect is an example of a potential failure.  The bearing would be monitored for degradation and replaced before it completely fails, preventing the machine from performing its intended function (functional failure.)

It could be argued that God created the first condition monitoring instrument when he created man.  Our main senses are touch, sound, sight, taste and smell.  Additionally, humans have other senses that can detect balance, heat, pain, etc.  All of these senses can provide very valuable data about the environment around us and the equipment we work with each day.  Therefore, the human being is the first CM instrument to be used—versatile in application and proven to be very a beneficial tool.

Download my entire article Moving Beyond our Human Senses

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