5 questions you should ask while adopting a Machine Health Monitoring solution for your plant

In medical terms, monitoring is the observation and evaluation of an ailment, condition, or one/several medical parameters over time. It is performed by continuously assessing certain parameters by using a medical monitor or sensor (for example, by continuously measuring vital signs by a bedside monitor).

Similarly, we can define machine health monitoring as the process of monitoring a parameter of condition in machinery (vibration, temperature, etc.) to identify a noteworthy change which is indicative of a developing fault. The monitoring is possible with the help of modern smart edge sensors.

advantages-machine-health-monitoring

Before you start to adopt a machine health monitoring solution you need to evaluate the following questions.

What equipment do you want to monitor and how will you utilize this data?

The foremost important question is to start evaluating which equipment needs to be monitored. So the first step is to identify the equipment that is both critical to your operations and currently has a low level of visibility. Make a draft and visualize how you will use the data. How this data will help you evaluate the ROI post-implementation.

For example, a maintenance team manager of a tire manufacturing plant decided to monitor the cracker mill motor and gearbox. Cracker mills are key equipment in any tire industry, and breakdown in a cracker mill can cause havoc and major disruptions in production. It is essential to monitor this equipment for better performance and reliability of the plant. So the manager decided to use a smart sensor to monitor the vibration & temperature of the motor that drives the cracker mill.

The maintenance team manager wanted the team members to receive SMS alerts whenever a specific fault was identified and diagnosed to take corrective action immediately. By taking immediate action and minimizing downtime, they could keep production on schedule.

What information about your equipment do you want to collect?

You can collect a large set of data about your equipment, but you need to identify the information that helps you in better decision making. You can set up the system in various stages. This approach is usually more helpful than trying to build a complete complex system at one go.

The maintenance team manager chooses to monitor the vibration and temperature of the motor and gearbox, the parameters can give an insight of faults like imbalance, looseness, bearing problem, gear problem, misalignment.

Once the team builds the expertise on the new condition monitoring system, the maintenance team manager would like to add a few more sensors for more precise predictive maintenance.

Is your equipment indoors or outdoors?

This is a very important factor of consideration. Outdoor environments require more sturdy hardware that can work and withstand in a harsh environment like cold, hot, dry, windy weather. Generally for outdoor equipment, there are limited options for connecting the devices to the internet and deploying at varying harsh atmospheric conditions.

Do you have a continuous internet connection in the area of the equipment?

How your sensors connect with the internet affects the hardware available to you and its power consumption. Continuous Internet connection is an integral part of 24×7 monitoring. If there is no continuous internet, you can’t get all the info that indicated the important changes, you’ll miss out on some important alerts, important readings which could prove costlier.

Is there a power source near the equipment?

The power source is important for the operation of high-frequency monitoring sensors. If the sensor is battery operated, it needs continuous attention, a regular expense of battery replacement, and continuous battery level monitoring across multiple sensors. 

Once you decide on these questions thoroughly, you are ready to adopt a Machine Health Monitoring solution for your plant. 

Infinite Uptime is a global industrial edge solution provider for mechanical predictive maintenance in the engineering and process industries.

Infinite Uptime’s Industrial Data Enabler (IDE), a Made In India, patented edge-computing Vibration monitoring system for predictive analytics and maintenance remotely gathers tri-axial vibrations, noise, and temperature of any mechanical rotating equipment in real-time. It empowers the Maintenance team to monitor the machine uptime, reduce unplanned downtime, and combat impending equipment damage in advance. Moreover, the end-to-end solution with visual indicators ensures maximum machine-availability, decreased inventory of spares and maintenance costs, and complies with the guidelines on safety and physical distancing directed by the Government.  Not only does it help reduce maintenance fixed costs at a time where a reduction in costs and manpower is a dire need, but it also enhances social distancing by allowing remote monitoring of a plant without physical intervention.

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