Condition monitoring is the process of monitoring a parameter of condition in machinery,  such that a significant change is indicative of a developing failure. Ironically most Condition Monitoring Programs often fail and here are some reasons why:

• Inappropriate use of “Low Tech”  or “Low Priced” condition monitoring (CM) technologies
• CM technologies are purchased and results are magically expected to appear
• Use of “Part-Time” personnel for CM efforts
• Insufficient (or no) training provided initially and continually
• Do not establish certification criteria for employees
• Insufficient “LOA” (level of awareness) training to plant employees so that they understand the importance of CM efforts
• Failure to create sufficient collection schedules (routes)
• Apply CM technologies to a limited amount of plant equipment or the wrong equipment
• Over dependent upon a single CM technology
• Improper or outdated alarming criteria
• Improper utilization of the CM technology and software
• Improper database setup
• Poor documentation, reporting, and communication of the results
• No metrics to provide feedback
• No follow-up inspections on repaired equipment
• No acceptance inspections on new equipment, lubricants, etc.

When Condition Monitoring programs fail, equipment reliability fails too. Don’t let your program become another statistic or “flavor of the month”. Use proactive tools like Reliability Centered Maintenance or other techniques to develop a basis for the Condition Monitoring strategies you deploy. Work to ensure that the reasons listed above don’t become your reasons for failure. If you need help, please let us know because we measure our success on your success. What other items would you suggest to achieve and sustain success?

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, by Trent Phillips