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Machinery Inspection

Condition and Monitoring

Condition monitoring is the process of monitoring a parameter of condition in machinery, such that a significant change is indicative of a developing failure. It is a major component of predictive maintenance.

Measurements are required of physical quantities: temperature, pressure, flow, speed, displacement, according to the plant item. Absolute accuracy is rarely necessary, but repeatable data is needed. Calibrated test instruments are usually needed, but some success has been achieved in plant with DCS (Distributed Control Systems).

Performance analysis is often closely related to energy efficiency The use of conditional monitoring allows maintenance to be scheduled, or other actions to be taken to avoid the consequences of failure, before the failure occurs. Nevertheless, a deviation from a reference value (e.g. temperature or vibration behavior) must occur to identify impeding damages.

Predictive Maintenance does not predict failure. Machines with defects are more at risk of failure than defect free machines. Once a defect has been identified, the failure process has already commenced and CM systems can only measure the deterioration of the condition. Intervention in the early stages of deterioration is usually much more cost effective than allowing the machinery to fail.

Condition monitoring has a unique benefit in that the actual load, and subsequent heat dissipation that represents normal service can be seen and conditions that would shorten normal lifespan can be addressed before repeated failures occur.