Every year millions of dollars are spent by industries to do routine maintenance, repair equipment or replace parts. Though routine maintenance can take care of a few problems before they occur, the overall approach is fairly reactive. Sometimes a maintenance may not be even required.
Predictive maintenance (PdM) involves finding problems in equipment before they can occur. This way damage to equipment is prevented, unnecessary maintenance is avoided, downtimes are reduced and on the whole, saves companies a lot of money. Here are the most popular preventive maintenance technologies in use today.
When an equipment emits more heat than usual it can indicate a malfunction. There could be hotspots that may be missed because they are not visible to the naked eye. Also, the hotspots could be in inaccessible areas. An infrared imager will help in visualizing and measuring temperatures. When used as a daily or weekly analysis tool, equipment failure can be avoided.
Frequencies that are beyond human hearing can be detected by ultrasonic detectors. These are very high frequencies that are emitted by worn out equipment parts like electrical equipment, valves, and bearings. Routine checks with these detectors can avoid damage.
3. Motor current
The power usage by electric motors can also be used to find problems in equipment. This is especially useful for equipment belts and couplings.
Vibration meters are used to detect changes in the vibration of an equipment and avoid potential problems. Whenever there is a change in the alignment or balance of machine parts, the vibration changes. There will also be differences in velocity and acceleration. When these are detected early equipment damage can be prevented.
Instead of changing lubricants at regular intervals, an oil analysis should be part of predictive maintenance in any industry. This will throw light on not only the need to change the oil but can also tell you if there is damage to the machinery. So instead of just changing the oil, you will also schedule necessary machine maintenance.