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Compressed air is the fourth most commonly used source of energy in industry. Walk through any facility and see miles of pipe transporting this house-made energy source to its point of use. On this journey its fate is undecided. Will it arrive to deliver the intended value? Or is it lost along the way?

Why Do We Tolerate Leaks?
On average, 40% of compressed air goes to satisfying the false demand of leaks. Why do we tolerate this waste in an otherwise efficient economy? Lots of reasons.

  1. Low Safety Risk?—Compressed air Leaks are rarely considered a risk. Odorless and colorless, they don’t make a mess on the floor, and we can’t hear them over plant noise.
  2. Lack of Education—Many believe compressed air is free. Yet a leak costs a thousand times more than lights that are left on.
  3. Complacency—The reliability culture does not always extend to the compressor room. Energy efficiency must be written into an organization’s aims and objectives.

Facts and Figures Don’t Lie.
Air is free. Compressed air is not. It requires another energy source to compress it. How much energy? Here’s the cost breakdown of a typical compressor system:

  • 13% CAPEX
  • 12% Maintenance
  • 75% Energy
    A small compressed air leak can cost $2,000+/year. Consider that hundreds of leaks may exist in your facility. What are you waiting for?

Leak-Management Solution
Manage your leaks with ultrasound. Their turbulent flow produces sounds that generate peaks in the 35kHz to 40kHz range—exactly where SDT’s ultrasound detectors are engineered to perform. SDT pinpoints leaks at their source, regardless of background noise.

Use our Airborne Ultrasound Leak Management: Find-and-Fix Leaks, and start reducing waste plus save money!

Download our Leak Surveyors Handbook to learn more!

by Yolanda Lopez

For rotating machines, it is necessary to reduce friction most of the time to increase efficiency, decrease power losses and support loads. The element of choice is the well known team of bearing and lubricant. Bearings, in their different configurations, are one of the most efficient ways to reduce friction between a stationary and a rotational part of a mechanism.

Two broad classes of bearings exist: plain bearings and rolling contact bearings. Which type of bearing is used depends on several factors related to the design of the machine and its process. Sometimes both types are used in the same machine doing different jobs. For this article, the focus is on plain bearings.

Choosing the best technology to monitor friction and condition in plain bearings is a challenge. Due to the physical characteristics of plain bearings, using vibration analysis (VA) is more effective for rolling contact bearings and less so for plain bearings. Ultrasound (US) is trending more frequently for condition monitoring of rolling contact bearings and it also shows promise for plain bearings. Understanding the physical differences between the two bearing categories is critical for developing condition monitoring strategies for plain bearings using ultrasound.

Read on to find out more about plain bearing types, failure modes and how to monitor.

by Ana Maria Delgado, CRL

May 2017 – Processing Magazine

This validated condition monitoring technology is versatile and inexpensive with a low learning curve.


Solving asset reliability issues becomes stymied when leadership is ambivalent about the benefits of adopting multiple technologies for condition monitoring (CM). When they do adopt them, they quickly learn technologies alone are not enough without the manpower to deploy them. One colleague stoically relayed his frustration when he said, “There are never enough of us (manpower), but there are more of them (problems) every day.”

Monitoring asset condition cannot be carried out effectively with only one CM technology, yet many maintenance departments rely predominantly on data from “just vibration” or “just oil analysis,” for example. More than one failure mode threatens asset health, and not every symptom is detectable by the same method. Some organizations have a strong vibration program but not anything more. Others may see clearly with infrared thermal imaging but lack a good oil analysis solution. A broader focus nets greater results.

Implementing several CM technologies is practical but often restricted by available manpower, budget and lack of conviction from all departments. If this is your plant’s reality, perhaps start with the most versatile technology — the one that detects the most defects — with the shortest learning curve. Choose ultrasound first and build a program on that foundation.
Read my entire article to learn about Benefits of Ultrasound, Reliability & Operational Excellence and Where is Ultrasound Useful?

by Allan Rienstra - SDT Ultrasound Solutions

Going “green” and saving energy are two separate ideals that merge by circumstance, and focus on a campaign with huge potential wins. This battle starts in the air compressor room (supply side) and branches throughout the facility (distribution) to wherever air is needed (demand side). Along the way there are leaks, wasted dollars spent and energy consumed, all the while enlarging your carbon footprint. Take a look at these compelling reasons to tighten your compressed air system:

  1. Compressed air production is the 2nd or 3rd highest source of energy consumption in most companies.
  2. On average, air compressors account for 18% of all industrial electrical consumption in European manufacturing plants. Some suggest that compressed air costs account for as much as 30% of a manufacturing plant’s electricity bill.
  3. For every kWh spent on compressed air, an additional 0.8 kg of CO2 per month is spewed into our atmosphere.
  4. 75% of the total cost of your compressed air system goes to your electricity provider. The other 25% is accounted for by capital costs and ongoing maintenance.
  5. On average, only 43% of compressed air produced gets used to satisfy real demand.
  6. On average, 34% of compressed air produced is wasted to leaks.
  7. The remainder is consumed by wasteful applications and artificial demand.

Compressed air leak

by Allan Rienstra - SDT Ultrasound Solutions

LUDECA is excited to announce two new partnerships: In order to improve and diversify our product offerings, we developed an exclusive partnership with the prestigious Swedish manufacturer, EASY-LASER, to promote and sell the next generation of precise, easy-to-use laser systems for solutions that evolve with our industry. Secondly, we have partnered with the global ultrasound technology leader, SDT Ultrasound Solutions, to bring our customers yet another best-in-class product line for leak and fault detection, and optimized bearing lubrication.
These partnerships will equip the most forward-thinking Solutions Provider with the most forward-thinking products available. For our customers, this means that they can rely on a best-in-class approach to alignment, vibration, ultrasound and condition monitoring systems built upon decades of industry leading knowledge, experience and technology.
As our company evolves, so will our Service Center. Located in Doral, Florida, we now calibrate and service EASY-LASER and SDT Products and continue to perform NIST traceable calibrations and service for Pruftechnik alignment and vibration products. Our principal goal is to support you, our customer.
In addition to our new EASY-LASER and SDT products, we still sell alignment and condition monitoring systems by Pruftechnik. We also provide technical support and training for any system which you purchase from us as well as loaners, equipment rentals and field services. As an SMRP and MSAT approved provider, all of our 3- and 4-day training courses are mapped to the SMRP’s Equipment Reliability Body of Knowledge and UPTIME® ELEMENTS™ for continuing education credits.
LUDECA Who We Are video
We look forward to serving your maintenance and reliability needs. Keep it running.

by Ana Maria Delgado, CRL

Combine vibration monitoring and ultrasound for more cost-effective predictive maintenance
The best overall machinery monitoring program is one that utilizes multiple,  integrated monitoring technologies.
In brief:

  • The best overall machinery monitoring program is one that utilizes multiple, integrated monitoring technologies that are well-suited to detect expected failures modes.
  • One goal of PdM is to determine how much time is left before a machine will fail, so plans can be made to minimize downtime and damage while still getting the most useful life from the machine.
  • An application where ultrasound and vibration work well together is a mechanical inspection.

Reliability-centered maintenance programs are most effective and most profitable when a variety of appropriate technologies and tools are used to complement one another. Vibration analysis and ultrasound are as complementary as two sides of the same coin. Ultrasound is a useful monitoring tool, capable of detecting failing rolling element bearings and over- and under-lubrication conditions. The best overall machinery monitoring program is one that utilizes multiple, integrated monitoring technologies that are well-suited to detect expected failures modes. For low-risk machines, vibration analysis can be performed by a mechanic or operator using a vibration data collector or vibration meter. For machines of higher criticality, a certified vibration analyst should use advanced vibration data collection and analysis hardware and software.
Read my comments in this valuable PLANT SERVICES article.

by Trent Phillips

Ultrasound instruments listen for high frequency sounds that are not heard in the range of normal human hearing. Typical applications include compressed air & gas leak detection,  electrical inspection,  and condition monitoring applications.
Ultrasound technology can easily be implemented into established maintenance & reliability programs that are currently using other technologies such as vibration analysis & infrared. The best M&R programs are ones that do not rely on one single technology, but multiple technologies. Here are some tips to assist you:
Best Practices for Mechanical Inspection
• Initial ultrasound data should include both decibel readings and sound files
• Once baseline has been established, decibel readings are recorded
• Set alarm levels
• Record both decibel readings and sound files when an alarm is reached
Best Practices for Electrical Inspection
• Infrared scans are typically done by an outside service provider annually, or semiannually. In between annual infrared scans, use ultrasound to periodically listen for conditions.
• Only relying on infrared increases the chances of missing conditions not detected by infrared
• The best method of diagnosing electrical issues with ultrasound is through the use of recorded ultrasounds
Thanks to Adrian Messer with UE Systems, Inc. for sharing these tips with us.

by Ana Maria Delgado, CRL