How Online Condition Monitoring Improves Equipment Maintenance

Plant operators can capture machine data to help predict when machines will fail or require maintenance by using automated, online condition monitoring. One energy company manually monitored rotating equipment at a power generation plant, sometimes taking more than 60,000 measurements per month. These manual diagnostic rounds were inconsistent due to human error or competing priorities. Plus, manual collection is costly. By adopting online condition monitoring tools, plants can monitor the condition of plant equipment. They can also set up alarms that signal when equipment is stressed or needs attention.

Recently products have been introduced to help companies gain insight into the health of their equipment. With years of experience in condition monitoring,

Plant operators can cost-effectively monitor both critical and ancillary rotating machinery, offering a holistic view of their plant equipment. The solution involves data management, data analysis, and systems management challenges that are common in big analog data applications. SensorWork is designing the system with the flexibility and open architecture to make evolving diagnostic requirements.

Condition monitoring is coming into its own as part of the technology renaissance in manufacturing. Plus, reductions in cost have made the technology available to a wider range of users. With trends such as the decreasing cost of sensors and higher performance ratio for price, we are seeing more adoption than we did in the past. Also, with the trend around big analog data, everyone is trying to solve the question of ‘what do you do with the data?’ In past people would only monitor critical parts and systems were disparate, but today there is a drive toward gaining more business value from condition monitoring.”

The companies most interested in condition monitoring still tend to be the companies with the most at risk. The companies that are most motivated to solve this are the ones that have the highest risk. That includes consumer packaged goods, discrete manufacturing at high volumes, or companies doing process manufacturing where downtime costs millions of pounds.