Monitoring the condition of slow speed bearings

August 16, 2016

Bearings are widely used in industrial applications and considered as crucial component. Bearing failures, when not detected in time, are responsible for unscheduled shutdown and expensive downtime. They may even lead to catastrophic breakdowns.

Slow speed bearing monitoring is a different story. When speaking about rotation speeds of less than 250 rpm the “normal” technologies, such as vibration or thermography, are usually blind to problems until it is too late. In slow speed bearing application early failure detection remains a notorious problem … for those who do not use ultrasound.


Monitoring the condition of slow speed bearings with ultrasound can reveal pitting, impacting, rubbing, and other mechanical defects well in advance of failure stage. Dynamic data is best analyzed in the time domain but it is important that a long enough time sample be captured. The golden rule is to capture 3 to 4 revolutions of the bearing.

So deciding how long is long enough is a matter of multiplying the number of shaft rotations (4) by the period (p). Period is the reciprocal of frequency or:
p = 1f

If you want to capture 4 rotations on a 15RPM bearing, therefore:

p = 10.25 * 4 = 16 seconds of data

To make data collection easy, the acquisition time parameter can be set up as part of your survey. So when you are creating your database in Ultranalysis Suite Software (UAS) simply enter 16 seconds.

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Avoid downtime by keeping your alignment system in good shape

August 9, 2016

Reposted from EASY-LASER®

There are many consequences resulting from having a poorly functioning measurement and alignment system. If there is an uncertainty concerning your laser system’s functionality, the measurement and alignment process could take longer than necessary. If the system isn’t in perfect working condition you might need to double check your results more than once. Wrong alignment on the production equipment caused by incorrect measurements can lead to problems with the machines, as well as compromised product quality. Check calibration of your laser system at the recommend intervals or sooner to guarantee good alignment, peace of mind, and ensure that you always have the latest firmware version installed.


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The Effects of Misalignment on Oil Quality

August 2, 2016

It can be argued that lubricants are the lifeblood of equipment. It is extremely difficult to assure equipment reliability when lubrication integrity is not maintained. The key is to keep the lubrication system clean, cool and dry.

According to the Arrhenius Rate Rule, every 18-degree (F) increase in oil temperature in operation reduces oil life by half. Excessive lubrication temperatures can lead to additive depletion, oxidation, varnishing, hazards, corrosion, increased frequency of oil changes and more. All of this leads to reduced equipment reliability and increased costs.

Reduced operating temperature is one of the many benefits associated with proper machinery alignment.  This in turn will help you reduce the operational temperature of the lubricants (lifeblood) within your equipment.  Best practice equipment reliability includes proper equipment alignment. Your best practice lubrication efforts should include making sure your equipment is operated within proper alignment tolerances. Doing so will help you maintain the “cool” required to ensure that the lifeblood of your equipment is protected.

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Creating reliable steam systems with ultrasound

July 26, 2016

July 2016 – Flow Control Magazine


Maintaining the health of the assets that make up a steam system brings benefits that are measured by cost reduction, improved product quality and decreased risk to safety. When employees undertake a project that delivers on goals like these, a fourth win is returned by default — improved reliability culture.

When steam system health is ignored, components degrade and efficiency erodes. Over time the system reaches a point where it is no longer able to deliver on its engineered purpose. The maintenance manager’s phone rings. Production needs a fix, and they need it fast. Now it is time to fight fires again.

Which scenario does an organization pursue? Should it pursue the reactive one or the calm, planned approach that sees problems before they emerge, reaps the benefits of cumulative cost savings, has impeccable safety records, and a culture of motivated and artistic employees eager to change their world?

Read the full article: Creating reliable steam systems with ultrasound to better understand the importance of monitoring the condition of a steam system to then act upon the data.

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LUDECA enhances Repair Service Center

July 20, 2016

To further enhance our Repair Center capabilities, we have made significant investments installing new ESD flooring and ceilings to the first and second floors of the facility. In addition, new calibration and repair systems have been added and all of our expert technicians have undergone further intensive training and are now outfitted with new ESD protective gear.

LUDECA is a factory-certified authorized Easy-Laser Repair Center ready to calibrate and repair all Easy-Laser systems and components, for fast turn-around of Easy-Laser products nationwide. We also repair and calibrate SDT ultrasound and Pruftechnik alignment and vibration systems in our-state-of-the art  Repair Center located in Doral, Florida. More information…

Ludeca Repair and Calibration

We look forward to serving your maintenance and reliability needs. Keep it running.

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Using SDT’s ultrasonic condition indicators for defect identification

July 19, 2016

Today’s more evolved ultrasound data collectors present results that take reliability practitioners beyond the single decibel. Using only an overall dB value may indicate something inside the machine has changed since last readings were taken. But it provides no additional insight to determine what type of defect may be present.

Moreover, a single dB only provides a useful trend if the inspector has control of the acquisition time during data collection. Acquisition time needs to be adjusted in concert with the speed of the machine. More time for low speed applications and less for high. The aim should be to capture a minimum of 2-3 full shaft rotations.

The SDT270 takes inspectors beyond the single decibel by presenting ultrasound data in terms of machine condition. We call them Condition Indicators and there are four (RMS, Max RMS, Peak, and Crest Factor (CF)) and are abbreviated as 4CI. Ultrasound identifies defects in machines when those defects produce one or more of the following phenomena: FRICTION, IMPACTING, or TURBULENCE (FIT).

Some examples:

  • A bearing that requires lubrication will present higher levels of friction. Therefore, an RMS danger alarm will be triggered at 8 dB and an RMS/CF alarm when severity increases.
  • A bent shaft produces higher levels of friction and therefore present danger and alert warnings with the RMS condition indicator.
  • Electrical defects such as arcing, tracking, and corona are first alarmed with the RMS condition indicator and severely alarmed with Max RMS and CF.
  • A faulty steam trap is detected with an elevation in Temperature and Max RMS.

Traditional ultrasound is useful for trending decibel levels that alert us when machine condition changes. Evolved ultrasound goes beyond the single decibel to recruit Condition Indicators that help inspectors determine the type of defect that is creating the alarm. SDT’s Four Condition Indicators demonstrate how ultrasound must be used for both defect alarm and identification.

SDT Troubleshooting Chart

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