Machine condition monitoring techniques

What Is Condition Monitoring?

Hands-on condition monitoring is essential for maximum bearing service life and machine health. To help ensure long bearing service life, it is important to determine the condition of machinery and bearings while in operation. Good predictive maintenance will help reduce machine downtime and decrease overall maintenance costs.

What is the purpose of condition monitoring?

Condition monitoring is a key component of managing the maintenance and operability activities in a modern operating and maintenance organization for nuclear and sophisticated power plants.

In essence, condition monitoring aids in maintaining the efficiency and safety of plant operations. The corresponding decision contexts are represented as process models in order to create a framework for comprehending issues and solutions linked to the use of condition monitoring data in strategic and operational maintenance decision-making.

The following condition monitoring products are the essential monitoring tools that no industrial manufacturing plant should be without: 

Temperature Monitoring

Thermometers

Thermometers are essential for accurate temperature measurement of general equipment.

Since the dawn of the industrial age, operators and technicians know that abnormal temperatures often indicate that something is wrong with the machine.

Thermometers can help find and then measure these hotspots, allowing for further analysis. 

SKF has a variety of thermometers and thermocouple probes to complement your condition monitoring or predictive maintenance program by assessing and reporting on temperature. 

  1. General-purpose thermometers
  2. Contact thermometers
  3. Infrared thermometers
  4. Contact and infrared thermometers
  5. Dual laser infrared and contact thermometers
  6. K-type thermocouple probes

Thermal camera

A thermal camera enables you to detect hot spots before they cause trouble

Using an SKF Thermal Camera is a proactive way to help you detect problems before they occur, increasing uptime and improving safety. They allow you to be able to visualize potential problems, invisible to the naked eye, by presenting a picture of the heat distribution of an asset.

The thermal image, presented on a large LCD screen, shows you where the temperature is either too hot or too cold allowing you to pinpoint potential problems fast.

  • Thermal camera TKTI 21
  • Thermal camera TKTI 31

 Speed Monitoring

Digital tachometer

Pinpoint accuracy combined with measurement versatility

The SKF TKRT 10 is a fast and accurate tachometer utilizing laser or contact to measure rotational and linear speeds. Equipped with a laser and a range of contact adapters, it is a versatile instrument and suits many different applications

  • Wide speed measurement range: up to 99 999 r/min for laser measurement and 20 000 r/min using contact adapters
  • Measurement modes include; rotational speed, total revolutions, frequency, surface speed and length in both metric and imperial units
  • A laser can be used for safe and quick, non-contact rotational speed measurements at distances up to 0.5 m (20 in.)
  • A large back-lit LCD display enables easy reading in almost all light conditions
  • The angular range of ±45° to target helps facilitate easy measuring
  • Up to 10 readings can be stored for later reference
  • Compact design; one-hand operated instrument
  • Supplied in carrying case for protection and portability 

Multi-functional digital tachometer

The Multi-functional digital tachometer TKRT 20 is a user–friendly and accurate digital tachometer utilising laser or contact for measuring rotational and linear speed. Equipped with a laser and contact adaptor, it offers excellent speed measurement versatility in five different modes. 

  • With this digital tachometer the user can select to measure:
    – rpm, rps, m, ft or yards per minute or second,
    – length or revolution counting, or
    – time interval
  • The wide speed range and the various measurement modes make the TKRT 20 suitable for measuring speed in many applications
  • A large angular range of ± 80° to target facilitates easy measuring in areas where straight-line access is difficult
  • The large inverting LCD display facilitates easy reading even when pointing the unit down into the machinery
  • Compact design; one-hand operated instrument
  • Supplied in carrying case for protection and portability 
  • The digital tachometer TKRT 20 can also be equipped with a remote laser sensor, which is optionally available

Visual

Endoscopes

Fast and easy inspection with video function

SKF Endoscopes TKES 10 series are first-line inspection tools that can be used for the internal inspection of machinery. They help minimise the need to disassemble machinery for inspection, saving time and money.

The compact display unit, with a 3.5” backlit screen, allows images and video to be saved and recalled, or to be downloaded and shared with others.

Three different models cater to most needs and are equipped with powerful variable LED lighting allowing inspections in dark locations.

  • A high-resolution miniature camera, with up to 2™ digital zoom, gives a clear and sharp full-screen image.
  • Available with a 1 meter (3.3 ft) insertion tube in three different variants; flexible, semi-rigid or with an articulating tip.
  • A small tip diameter of 5,8 mm (0.23 in.), with a wide field of view, allows easy access to most applications.
  • Supplied with a side view adapter allowing inspection of applications such as pipe walls.
  • Powerful magnets, and a tripod mount on the back of the display unit, allow the display unit to be used “hands-free”.
  • Up to 50 000 photos or 120 minutes of video can be stored on the SD memory card supplied.
  • Longer flexible and semi-rigid insertion tubes are available as accessories. 
  • Supplied in a sturdy carrying case complete with all necessary cables, universal mains charger and cleaning kit. 

Sound

Stethoscopes

Easily pinpoints bearing and machine noise

The SKF Electronic Stethoscope TMST 3 is a high-quality, sensitive instrument enabling the determination of troublesome machine parts by the detection of machine noises or vibrations. 

TMST 3 includes a headset, two different length probes (70 and 220 mm) and a pre-recorded audio CD demonstrating the most commonly encountered troublesome machine noise, all supplied complete in a sturdy carrying case.

  • Excellent sound quality helps to reliably identify the possible cause of the noise
  • User friendly and easy to operate, no special training required
  • The lightweight ergonomic design makes it easy to operate with one hand
  • Excellent quality headset for optimum sound quality even in very high-noise environments
  • Pre-recorded demonstration CD and output for analogue recording help facilitate analysis and comparison
  • Supplied with two probes, 70 and 220 mm (2,8 and 8,7 in) enabling reach almost anywhere
  • Adjustable digital volume control up to 32 levels to reach the desired volume

Ultrasonic leak detector

Quick and easy detection of air leaks

Any compressed air system can experience leaks, which amplify the load on compressors and increase costs. The TKSU 10 helps users to easily find leaks from a distance, even in noisy industrial environments, via its ultrasound measurement sensor.

The built-in LED display assists the user in adjusting sensitivity and shows the measured ultrasound noise from leaking air, allowing the quantification of leaks and prioritization of repairs. 

The TKSU 10 is designed for use in all industries utilizing compressed air, and it is particularly recommended for paper and chemical industries, as well as workshops with air-driven power tools. 

  • Easy to use; no training required
  • Leak detection from a distance in noisy industrial environments
  • The Colour LED display assists in adjusting sensitivity settings and shows measurement values
  • Reduces energy and maintenance costs via leak identification and repair 
  • Lightweight, handheld device with industrial headset included
  • Independently adjustable sensor sensitivity and headset volume
  • A flexible probe helps find leaks in difficult-to-access locations
  • The headset features a neckband design to wear with a protective helmet 

Vibration

Basic handheld vibration sensor 

Now both novice users and experts can easily, quickly, and accurately check the condition of rotating equipment throughout your facility.

Equipping your maintenance and operations personnel with this rugged, ergonomic and easy-to-use instrument can provide early warning of potential machine problems before a costly failure occurs.

Features
  • Quick and easy to set up and use, measurements are shown on a bright display viewable in low light to direct sunlight. Free online training is also available.
  • Lightweight, compact, and ergonomically designed, the SKF Machine Condition Advisor fits neatly at the belt line, in a pocket or in a tool kit. Exceptionally durable, the unit is rated IP 54 for use in industrial environments.
  • Alert and Danger prompts provide increased diagnostic confidence.
  • Measuring velocity, enveloped acceleration and temperature simultaneously saves time.
  • Efficient, economical and environmentally friendly, the rechargeable SKF Machine Condition Advisor operates for 10 hours on a single charge.
  • Flexible enough to work with standard 100 mV/g constant current accelerometers, an optional external sensor can be used for hard-to-reach locations and for more repeatable and accurate measurement results.

Multiple measurements with a single device

The SKF Machine Condition Advisor provides an overall “velocity” vibration reading that measures vibration signals from the machine and automatically compares them to pre-programmed International Organization for Standardization (ISO) guidelines.

An “Alert” or “Danger” alarm displays when measurements exceed those guidelines. Simultaneously an “enveloped acceleration” measurement is taken and compared to established bearing vibration guidelines to verify conformity or indicate potential bearing damage.

The SKF Machine Condition Advisor also measures temperature using an infrared sensor to indicate uncharacteristic heat.

Accuracy, flexibility and confidence 

When performing measurements, the SKF Machine Condition Advisor’s acceleration sensor input signal is processed to produce two different measurements for each POINT on the machinery – overall velocity and enveloped acceleration.

At the same time, the SKF Machine Condition Advisor’s non-contact infrared sensor measures the surface temperature of the measurement location and simultaneously displays all three measurement values.

Depending on the SKF Machine Condition Advisor’s System setting, the front-panel LCD simultaneously displays:

  • Metric or Imperial units
  • Velocity in mm/s RMS or in./s derived Peak
  • The temperature in Celsius or Fahrenheit
  • Acceleration enveloping readings in gE 

Quick Collect Sensor

The SKF QuickCollect sensor is an easy-to-use Bluetooth-enabled handheld sensor that connects to apps that work with both iOS and Android tablets and smartphones (and iOS smart watch). Combining vibration and temperature sensing, overall data can be viewed on the spot in real-time or pushed to the cloud for future analysis. 

This SKF QuickCollect sensor is ideal for service, reliability, operations, or maintenance personnel as part of a walk-around data collection program.

Features
  • Velocity, acceleration enveloping, and temperature measurements
  • Bluetooth communication with tablets, smartphones, smartwatches
  • Easy to use sensor and apps
  • Easy to understand indications of machine condition
  • Rugged industrial design – Drop test 1,8 m (6 ft.), water and dust resistant (IP65)
  • Suitable for use in hazardous environments (ATEX Zone 1, Class 1, Div 1) (pending)
  • Rechargeable lithium battery (8 hours normal usage)
  • Option to connect, store and share data on the Cloud
  • Option to connect directly to SKF Remote Diagnostic Services
  • Connects to apps that work with both iOS and Android tablets and smartphones (and iOS smart watch).
Benefits
  • Gets you started quickly
  • Can be used with minimum training and experience
  • Identify developing rotating machinery issues before they become problems
  • Connect directly to expert advice when you need it
  • Expand functionality via apps to grow and complement your existing maintenance program

Measurements taken by the sensor are shown on your mobile device, which displays velocity, acceleration, and temperature as shown below. Each reading displays a current overall measurement, including alarm status, minimum and maximum values, and alert and danger thresholds 

 Static vibration sensor

The SKF Machine Condition Indicator is an economical vibration sensor and indicator for monitoring non-critical machines. It is ideal for machinery with constant operating conditions not previously monitored in plants.

The device can be compared to the “check engine” light in a car. What the “check engine” light does for the car, the SKF Machine Condition Indicator does for industrial machinery.

Internal sensors measure velocity, enveloped acceleration (bearing or gear impulsive vibration) and machine surface temperature. 

The included magnetic read-key is used to activate the SKF Machine Condition Indicator, change operating modes, set vibration baselines and acknowledge alarms. 

The unit features three LEDs to indicate the machine and bearing condition. Once the unit is illuminated, it alerts the predictive maintenance technician to do a root cause analysis on the machine.

In addition, it features a barcode with a serial number for machine identification purposes and easy incorporation into an Operator Driven Reliability (ODR) program, maintenance routes or scheduled check-ups. 

Electrical discharge detector

Detect electrical discharges in electric motor bearings

The SKF Electrical Discharge Detector Pen (EDD Pen) is a simple to use hand-held instrument for detecting electrical discharges in electric motor bearings.

Electrical discharges are a result of motor shaft voltages discharging to earth through the bearing, causing electrical erosion, lubricant degradation and ultimately bearing failure. 

Electric motors are more vulnerable to suffering electrical erosion in bearings when controlled by a Variable Frequency Drive.

When incorporated into a predictive maintenance programme, the EDD Pen can help detect bearings more susceptible to failure, and significantly prevent unplanned machine downtime. 

  • A unique remote solution allows operation at a distance from the motors. This helps protect the user from touching machinery in motion
  • SKF technology*
  • No special training required
  • Capable of detecting electrical discharges on a time base of 10 seconds, 30 seconds or indefinite
  • LED Backlit screen, allows use in dark environments
  • IP 55 can be used in most industrial environments
  • Supplied standard with batteries, a spare antenna and language-free Instructions for use in a carrying case

 To help you achieve this goal, SKF has developed a wide range of instruments for analyzing the critical environmental conditions that have an impact on bearing and machine performance. GREENPEG as an authorized SKF distributor and SKF partner in Nigeria is positioned to support you with SKF products and SKF condition monitoring services to reduce downtime and extend the lifetime of your equipment.

 

Improving Energy Efficiency in Wastewater Treatment Plants

A wastewater treatment plant separates solids from the liquid and consists of two basic stages: primary treatment and secondary treatment.

In the primary treatment stage, larger solids are removed from wastewater by settling.

Secondary treatment is a biological process for further removal of the remaining suspended and dissolved solids through a biological process of adding microorganisms to the wastewater. This process is accomplished in an aeration basin.

The purpose of this white paper is to contribute to a better understanding of how to improve energy efficiency in wastewater facilities, it is known for a fact that one of the biggest expenses in wastewater treatment operations is the cost of energy to run the blowers and compressors that produce air for the aeration basins. Improvements in energy efficiency allow the same work to be done with less energy.

The figures most often cited are that 40 to 50 per cent of a wastewater plant’s total energy usage can be attributed to the aeration process. By measuring the system’s air flows with an accurate, repeatable Dissolved Oxygen sensor, the aeration process can be better controlled to optimize the process and minimise plant energy costs. Especially with the increasing costs of energy which is a major concern of plant operators. Typically, treatment plants have a high potential for energy savings.

 Dissolved Oxygen Measurement is a means to improve energy efficiency

 The organic wastes entering a wastewater treatment plant are broken-down using biomass. The biomass must be kept alive by maintaining the proper dissolved oxygen concentration throughout the treatment process.

 The ability to maintain the proper concentration of Dissolved Oxygen in an aeration basin is necessary to keep microorganisms alive for a breakdown of the organic waste.

A precondition for effective measures is built around the knowledge about the process characteristics of the individual plant sections.

Sewage that flows into a treatment plant is sent to a Primary clarifier tank to remove the garbage and sludge. Thereafter, it is routed to an Aeration basin where biomass is added and oxygen is blown into the mixture to agitate it. The microorganisms in the biomass thrive on oxygen and cause the organic substances in the sludge to proliferate and the generated solids to be precipitated.

In the absence of enough dissolved oxygen, at least some of the biomass will die, and the organic wastes will not be properly treated. Contrarily, when there is too much-dissolved oxygen, usually from over aerating, the wastewater treatment plant is needlessly wasting costly energy.

Monitoring dissolved oxygen is an essential part of the activated sludge process. It assists in ensuring that there is sufficient dissolved oxygen in the process for the biological activity to take place, and helps to optimize energy usage through controlled air addition.

Maintaining a proper level of dissolved oxygen can only be accomplished by using an online instrument such as the Endress+Hauser On-line Dissolved Oxygen (DO) sensor that will accurately and continuously measure the dissolved oxygen concentration at various stages throughout the treatment process.

Equipping the aeration basin with online DO measurement automates the aeration system to maintain the correct amount of DO. With the presence of the Dissolved Oxygen sensor and the monitoring system in the Aeration tank:

  • Oxygen levels are controlled by comparing the measured oxygen concentration and the oxygen set-point
  • Optimized blower usage for reduced energy consumption which leads to a significant reduction in energy costs for the wastewater treatment plant

 

 Greenpeg Engineering is one of the leading industrial, distribution and service companies in Nigeria that aims to revolutionize the industry through offerings in unrivalled product bouquet and engineered industrial solutions, applied by seasoned engineers with first-class technical know-how.

Our industrial services cut across industries such as Food & Beverages, Oil & Gas, Primary (mining, metals, cement), Power & Energy, Chemicals, Petrochemicals, Water & Wastewater, Life Sciences, Pulp & Paper and Renewable Energy industries.

 

13 Things to Consider Before Choosing Your PLC 

The importance of programmable logic controllers (PLC) across the manufacturing industry cannot be overemphasized. If there is one thing you should know: these mini-computers relevance goes beyond the manufacturing industry. They are now used in power, automobiles, and many more industries. Many companies manufacture quality and top-notch PLCs, such as Schneider Electric.

If there is one thing you might be curious about, it is your PLC selection criteria. You might be curious about what you need to consider when picking your own PLC. 

You do not need to worry anymore, and we will discuss the perfect plc selection criteria for you. We will also give you the things you need to consider when selecting your plc.

Things to Consider when Choosing your PLC

Regarding PLC selection criteria, you will have to consider many things. Below is a list of the things you should consider when choosing your PLC.

Size

This is the first thing you need to consider if you are looking for a PLC selection criteria for your business. You should pay a lot of attention to the size of the plc. PLC comes in different sizes, and you should pick the one that is just okay for the purpose you need it for.

Regarding size as a plc selection criteria, you must ask yourself several questions. ” How big do I want my PLC? What are the functions the size can accommodate? Based on the location of the PLC, do I need a large or a small-sized PLC? All these questions play a vital role in PLC selection criteria.

You need to consider the size, especially if you move the plc from one place to another.

CPU Speed

It would be best if you considered this. It would be best to consider this when considering the plc selection criteria. You need to consider the CPU speed and how fast you want your plc to process information or give outputs.

There are different PLCs in the market today, each with a different CPU speed. The CPU speed largely influences the functions of the plc. If you need the plc for a large-scale business such as power transmission, you need a plc with a fast CPU speed.

Memory Capacity

Just as there are different types of plc regarding sizes and CPU speed, you should also know that there are various PLCs regarding memory capacity. Memory capacity is something you should consider necessary when you are looking at a plc selection criteria.

Does the plc I won’t have enough memory in its RAM and ROM? Do I need to get external storage to the plc? Is there enough space in the plc? It would be best if you asked yourself all these questions regarding the plc selection criteria.

Redundancy

When it comes to PLCs, some exhibit some level of redundancy; there are also some whose processing speed is much faster than the pieces of equipment connected.

You have to consider the redundancy rate regarding the plc selection criteria. What is the redundancy rate? Does the rate have to be reduced or enhanced? It would be best to consider all of these when choosing your plc.

Communication Technique

Another thing you must consider critical when looking at different plc selection criteria. It would be best if you took your time to know the plc communication technique or communication processes. 

How does the input method work? Which device or equipment does it communicate with? What are the communication protocols? All these questions are pretty necessary when it comes to communication protocols as a plc selection criteria.

INPUT/OUTPUT (I/O)

PLCs come with different I/Os, and you should pay a lot of attention to them when you want to buy one for yourself. Regarding the PLC selection criteria, the I/O is relevant as it affects the mode of your operation.

You need to know how many devices or equipment you plc will or can control. You also need to confirm if any requirement is necessary for it to function with remote I/O interfaces.

Power Method

You should also consider the power method regarding the PLC selection criteria. You need to confirm if the plc has an inbuilt power source or if it has an external power source.

Some people prefer PLCs with an inbuilt power source, and others prefer an external power source when it comes to PLCs. Regardless of the one you like, do well to check the type of power source it uses when it comes to PLC selection criteria.

Compatibility

If you want to get your plc, you need to ascertain the compatibility of the plc. You need to know if the plc will be built from scratch. If it is being made from scratch, will it be uniquely created just for the purpose you want to use it for, or can you use it for other purposes?

Will the plc be able to interface with existing software or hardware? Are they compatible with just any device? All these questions are things you need to ask regarding compatibility as a plc selection criteria.

Scalability

When it comes to production, the output hardly remains static. This is why you need to consider scalability regarding PLC selection criteria. If the business needs expansion, can the PLC accommodate the expansion?

Can the plc accommodate new devices being added to it? If there is a need to reduce or scale down, can the plc be reprogrammed to do such? Scalability is essential when it comes to plc selection criteria. 

This is because you can determine the amount of output you need for the production process as long as the plc is scalable.

External Environment

The external environment where the PLC will be placed is one thing that plays a vital role in plc selection criteria. Some settings are relatively harsh, and you would likely need particular casing types if you use PLCs in such an environment.

It would be best if you asked yourself the environment you will be using the plc. You also need to ask if your plc will need any protective gear or more once you look at the background.

Tasks / Actions

Some advanced PLCs can often perform individual actions such as robotics, safety, etc. If you want your plc to perform these actions, you must consider the tasks it can do when choosing a place selection criteria.

Although, the more advanced the action, the greater the cost. It would be best if you considered the exact purpose or reason for getting the plc.

If you want a simple or basic plc, you will not enjoy things such as motion control and a host of other things. However, If you’re going to enjoy motion control and other things, you must consider it when looking at the plc selection criteria.

Reliability

Nobody likes to get something that would stop working after a couple of months, and you need to consider the reliability and durability of the Plc the moment you are looking at the selection criteria.

Will be plc last for a long time? What is the workload? Is there any guarantee or warranty? What happens if it develops a fault? 

All these questions must be asked when looking at the plc selection criteria. The durability of the Plc will go a long way in determining how valuable the plc can be over a long time. 

It doesn’t just determine the usefulness; it also determines how well you get the value of your money.

Cost

This is the most important thing to consider when choosing a plc selection criteria. It would be best if you thought about the cost of the plc you would like to get for yourself.

If there is one thing that is obvious about PLCs, it is that they come at various prices. Your budget will decide the plc you can buy regarding PLC selection criteria.

If a brand new plc is too expensive for you, you can choose a fairly used one. However, they usually do not come with any guarantee. Regarding PLC selection criteria, the cost of the plc is the first thing or measure that should be on your list.

How Long Does a PLC Last?

PLCs are long-lasting and can easily continue functioning for up to 20 years or even longer, provided they are correctly maintained and occasionally upgraded. Let’s have a look at how.

Make sure that you keep it neat and clean.

The dust produced as a byproduct of industrial processes may contain corrosive or conductive components. To avoid potentially hazardous buildup, dust and particles should be removed regularly using bottled air.

Put the PLC away and inspect the air filters in the ventilation system.

Install the PLC in an enclosure that has a low level of dust. You can prevent it from overheating by often replacing the ventilation filters and ensuring that air can flow freely throughout the enclosure.

Verify your various power sources.

Be certain that the power source you are using does not result in any short circuits or surges of energy and that there is a steady flow of power. In places with significant vibration levels, it is important to check that all sockets, plugs, and terminal strips are connected safely and securely.

Put an end to the shaking.

Verify that the screws and bolts that are used to secure the I/O modules, as well as the PLC system itself, are in place. Check that they are in good shape and fastened securely enough to avoid rattling.

Protect against EMI and RFI interference.

Both electromagnetic interference (EMI) and radio frequency interference (RFI) have the potential to disrupt the operation of a programmable logic controller (PLC). Shield your PLC or position it, so it is not near any sources of interference.

Conclusion

When it comes to plc selection criteria, there are a lot of things you should consider. These things ranging from cost to size and a lot more will help you determine the type of plc you should get for yourself.

All the selection criteria you should consider have been discussed in this article. With a simple read-through, you will get all the necessary information.