February 2011 • WORLD CEMENT

Robert Schmaus, Prüftechnik Condition Monitoring GmbH, Germany, outlines the benefits of applying online condition monitoring systems.

What is condition monitoring?

Condition monitoring is the process of monitoring machinery health or machinery condition, such that a significant change is indicative of a developing failure. It allows maintenance to be scheduled, or other actions to be taken to avoid the consequences of failure before the failure occurs. The main goal of condition monitoring, therefore, is to improve plant production capacity and make the process more profitable. Different maintenance strategies have been adopted by maintenance personnel – starting from pure ‘breakdown maintenance’ (run the machine until breakdown without intervention), preventive or time-based maintenance(scheduled maintenance stops), to predictive maintenance. Having adopted a predictive maintenance strategy- in a plant, maintenance stops for interventions required are scheduled according to machine conditions and not by mere periodical interventions, as is the case in time-based maintenance. Predictive maintenance enables operators to take advantage of the lifetime of machine components and minimizes required spare parts stock, as repairs are effectuated according to the condition of machines and not on a periodical basis. As developing failures can be detected in time, consequential damages are avoided. Improved machine reliability minimizes interruptions to the production process.

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, by Ana Maria Delgado, CRL