Frederick 's BLOG


Transfer The Data Not The Person - Condition Monitoring Program

It’s no secret that if Condition Monitoring (CM) practices aren’t implemented, machinery maintenance budgets will suffer. Constant emergency repairs negatively affect personnel morale, production throughput, and of course the bottom line! Although CM has proven to save thousands of dollars, many maintenance executives are still heavily performing reactive maintenance, waiting for a failure to occur before taking action. With increasing global demand, new environmental regulations, and stricter onboard guidelines, CM provides a competitive edge for all companies operating machinery on a daily basis. 

Take our customer for example…An industry-leading shipping company that decided to pursue a condition monitoring strategy through implementation of quarterly vibration data collection and analysis. This program includes the use of market-leading technology, well-established warning and alarm limits, detailed data collection routes, and strategically scheduled maintenance.

This program conveniently allows our customers to collect data themselves by utilizing a high speed, user-friendly data collector – providing fast, comprehensive data such as overall, spectral, time waveform, and shock pulse via parallel digital processing. Thereby minimizing travel expenses by transferring the data, not the person.

Shortly after initial implementation of the CM program, we identified an issue on data taken one day before suffering a catastrophic failure. The crew onboard collected data as planned. Unfortunately, before they were able to send it to us for analysis, the input pinion gear of a Z-Drive failed. They still sent us the data to analyze, retroactively, to see if we could have identified the root cause of failure. Upon reviewing the data, it became quite clear we would have been able to identify the issue – A cracked tooth in the gear. This unfortunate failure resulted in over a million dollars in emergency reactive repairs, not including the loss of a shipping contract. Had this CM initiative been implemented sooner, we would have been able to identify the problem long before the failure occurred, allowing sufficient time to plan a dry dock period, order the necessary parts, consolidate this repair with other maintenance tasks, and most importantly, retain their contract. 

By implementing the CM program, our customer will minimize future unplanned downtime and maximize value of the vessel’s critical assets. We’re anticipating a 45% cost savings over 5-years in data collection alone! Additionally, there will be twice the data collected, allowing for a clearer picture of machinery health. 

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