Facilities apply different management strategies with condition monitoring spare equipment. Some facilities do not routinely operate spare equipment until the primary equipment has failed. Others operate primary and spare equipment for equal amounts of time. It is critical that the management scheme ensures that both primary and spare equipment are equally operational upon demand.

As a condition monitoring analyst, it is vital that you periodically analyze the condition of both the primary and spare machines. This will most likely require asking an operator to start both machines so a conditional assessment can be made. Management should ensure that both machines are made available to the reliability team as may be required and verify that conditional assessments are routinely completed on both.

What happens if the primary equipment becomes non-operational for some reason and the spare equipment has an unknown defect that prevents its operation as well? The outcome is not usually positive! It is important to maintain the reliability of both primary and spare equipment. Collecting periodic condition monitoring data on both will help ensure availability when required.

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, by Trent Phillips CRL CMRP - Novelis