Frederick 's BLOG


Understanding Condition Monitoring: The Backbone of Predictive Maintenance

When it comes to predictive maintenance, the proactive approach stands on a reliable foundation...condition monitoring. This practice involves real-time tracking of equipment health to preempt failures, optimize performance, and extend asset lifespan. At AME, we recognize the crucial role of condition monitoring in allowing our customers to stay ahead of maintenance challenges and ensure operational continuity.

When industrial plants want to ensure their machinery's efficiency, a smart move is to set up a condition monitoring program focusing on pump vibrations. By analyzing vibrations early on using advanced sensors and/or periodic measurements, machinery operators can catch pump issues like wear or misalignment before they escalate. This approach allows for timely fixes, avoiding major breakdowns and extending equipment lifespan.

In the maritime world where reliability is so important while out at sea, a solid condition monitoring plan involves using wireless vibration sensors on crucial mechanical parts, or quarterly vibration data collection trips to track changes, but if the vessel is less available, at the very least a bi-annual or annual analysis. These sensors or trips keep tabs on machinery vibrations in real time. By interpreting this data, vessel operators can spot potential problems like worn bearings or misalignment, allowing to intervene when needed, to prevent downtime and maintain operational efficiency and safety.

Take our customer for example, a leading shipping company, adopted a quarterly CM program that involves vibration data collection and analysis. Following the program's launch, a critical issue was detected in data acquired just before a catastrophic failure—a Z-Drive's input pinion gear had failed. Despite data was being collected as planned, the gear failure occurred before the analysis could be performed. Upon analysis, a cracked tooth in the gear was identified, a problem that could have been previously addressed. This failure led to extensive emergency repairs costing over a million dollars and the loss of a valuable shipping contract for our costumer. Implementing this condition monitoring program earlier would have allowed for proactive identification of issues, enabling strategic planning, part procurement, and contract retention.

By implementing custom condition monitoring programs like the example mentioned above, AME helps our industrial and maritime customers proactively manage equipment health, streamline maintenance schedules, and enhance reliability. Condition monitoring as a tool can help us move towards a future where maintenance is predictive, downtime is minimized, and performance is optimized.


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