Why focus on machinery vibration when there are several technologies for Machinery Improvement?
Machinery condition monitoring utilizes several important technologies. The most common are oil analysis, infrared analysis, ultrasound analysis and vibration analysis. Using these technologies to determine what is right or wrong with a machine has provided plants with a very good return on their investment. All of these technologies, including vibration analysis, are actually reactive.
“Reactive” maintenance is not a negative. In fact, a good portion of maintenance has to be reactive. However, when machinery improvement is desired, especially precision machinery improvement, our experience indicates that the greatest emphasis must be placed on proactive vibration-related procedures that focus on preventing machinery problems from occurring in the first place. While these procedures are easily accomplished by your own people, with your own instruments, and with very little additional effort, the financial benefits can be enormous.
In the course of our 36 years of world-wide experience with most types of process industries, Update has learned that 80 to 90 percent of machine problems originate from misalignment (coupling, sheaves/belts, etc.), rotor unbalance and improper bearing installation, all of which are vibration-related. Update certainly has to pay attention to the sources for rougher running machinery.
In addition, proper attention has to be paid on the practical approach as to resonance, phase analysis and other topics that could be taught easily to make machinery improvement “really happen.” Update focuses only on those topics that affect true machinery improvement in the shortest time, with the fastest and largest financial returns.
“Good machines” versus “precision” machines:
Most smooth running machinery can be classified as “good” or even “very good.” However, even the “good” running machines have large variations in the life of bearings, seals, production running time and final product quality. Clearly, there is much more to be gained, not by just identifying, analyzing and correcting the “bad” machines, but by getting even the so called “good” machines to run considerably smoother than ever expected when new.
Beyond monitoring and analysis toward precision-related machinery improvement:
Update has chosen to leave vibration-monitoring training to those who are best qualified to teach these subjects (usually the instrument manufacturers and other training organizations). Instead, what Update excels in is not only very practical, in-depth, vibration analyses and correction training, but also skills enhancement training designed to prevent machinery problems before they occur.
In-depth analyses and means for prevention have been Update’s focus for over 36 years. Although our initial goal was to get the machines to easily run as good as or better than ever expected when new, more recently, we have further adjusted our focus to expect a machinery running smoothness to be “good enough for a nuclear submarine.” This emphasis has produced by far the greatest financial savings in maintenance costs while significantly extending machinery production running time.