For a long time PCMS has been offering multiple technologies to support customers in the best way to detect impending problems. PCMS believe by not aligning ourselves with single source supplier provides the greatest benefit to our customer base. PCMS prides itself on providing the correct tools and technologies for the application whether they are low or high cost items.

Therefore the reason for this “Multi Technology Approach” is that it is almost impossible to detect most mechanical problems without the use of different technologies:

  • Vibration Analysis is suitable for 60-70% of all equipment
  • Oil Analysis can be used in 40-60% of all rotating equipment–either as standalone technology or as a second opinion
  • Motor Diagnostics like Flux Analysis & Current Measurements can be applied to most AC-Motors with an installed size higher than +100kW
  • Thermography can be used to detect abnormal heating in AC-motors, bad lubrication, alignment problems and is a primary technology for electrical cabinets

Using a Multi Technology approach, most problems can be detected well before they become a problem. Vibration Analysis is considered as the backbone of any Condition Based monitoring program. Other equal valuable technologies can be introduced to optimise detection, like oil analysis, motor analysis, ultrasonic and others as complementary to Vibration Analysis. Combining different technologies increases the reliability and availability of any installation.

The top 5% represent the most critical assets. Typically these are compressors, turbines, boilers and generators. In a service engagement you identify and number them using a structured process. Each of these top level critical assets should be considered for performance monitoring.

The table below shows that a multi technology approach is key for a good and balanced condition monitoring program.

  • Gearboxes: Oil & Vibration
  • Engines: Oil & Vibration
  • Reciprocating Compressors: Oil & Vibration
  • AC-Motors: Vibration & Thermo
  • Hydraulic Systems: Oil & Ultrasoincs

Again installing multiple technologies increases the availability and will result in a more pro-active approach.

A bearing operates for most of its life in a damage free state. Only after some damage occurs can vibration and Stress Wave analysis begin detecting bearing fault frequencies. However, during this damage free stage, you can and should perform proactive maintenance using oil analysis to ensure that the lubricant is clean, dry and fit for use. This will prolong the life of the bearing by limiting or preventing the onset of damage. Oil and vibration analysis are complementary and synergistic. Together they provide a more complete and accurate view of equipment health.

The effective integration of oil analysis with Normal Vibration and PeakVue (Stresswave) for machine health monitoring provides much more than the sum of the parts. PeakVue analysis will detect corrosion after damage is present but oil analysis will detect the presence of contaminants which will lead to corrosion damage if left unchecked. Normal vibration, PeakVue and Oil analysis will be very supportive of each other in severe damage situations allowing confidence in severity assessment.

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