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Modified date 2023/06/16

Is condition monitoring even worth it?

Corrosion on a roller bearing

Quite clear answer: It depends. Strictly speaking, the airbag in the car is an absolute bad investment if you don't have an accident. Nevertheless, it is now standard equipment. Because he is worth it to us. It's like insurance. In the event of an accident, the risk of injury is significantly lower than without.

It's the same with condition monitoring. What is it worth to us, a few weeks before a drivetrain fails, to know that it will fail? It clearly depends on the damage potential.

  • Costs from consequential damages,
  • Costs for repair and replacement parts,
  • Production downtime costs,
  • Possibly the loss of image towards customers because you are late with the delivery of your products.

Drives that can be changed in a short time are often considered less worthy of monitoring. For drives with an output of a few hundred kilowatts, the procurement of spare parts can sometimes take several months. If you don't have redundant production lines, it is often difficult to cushion the failure of a production plant.

Of course, one has to counter this with the fact that mechanical drives are very reliable today. Failures are rather rare. But they exist. And they often occur randomly, not just after five or eight years, but sometimes right at the start of a drivetrains's lifespan. This is due to the causes of damage. Influences from the production process and external influences on drives are not always known at the design stage. In addition, there is a huge range of possible manufacturing, assembly and maintenance errors.

Condition monitoring based on spectra from vibration signals makes it possible to detect incipient damage, often several months before the inevitable failure of a drivetrain. As a rule, there is then a lot of time to procure the damaged drive element in an orderly process, to plan personnel, repair tools and the production interruption and finally to carry out the repair. On the other hand, if you wait until total failure, a lot more is broken.

With the online condition monitoring system Peakanalyzer, GfM offers a comprehensive, very reliable system that is worth using on large or non-redundant or particularly important drives. For many small drives, GfM offers the PeakStore5, a hand-held device that the maintenance technician can use, for example, to run from machine to machine once a month and collect vibration data. You can learn how to use the systems or hire the GfM. We would be happy to provide you with a monitoring concept specially tailored to your drives.

Archive - 2022

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