Mechanical equipment monitoring is the most important factor to ensure the reliability of any plant. Availability, or uptime, is the percentage of time a machine has been working and available for production. Uptime is calculated by calculating the minutes of uptime divided by the total number of minutes for the specified period.
Industries depend on their equipment to achieve production and dispatches on time. It means it is extremely important to be aware of when a critical piece of machinery may not run as scheduled. Studies on the process industry’s performance suggest that machine uptime as a percent of scheduled uptime is approximately 67 percent at process plants. That means machines are not available for one-third of the time that they are required with one-quarter of downtime resulting from major mechanical breakdowns.
There are various methods for monitoring mechanical equipment to reduce unplanned downtime:
- Planning the scheduled maintenance as per standard recommendation
- Using various sensors installed on the machine to alert of impending failure
- Using smart technology-enabled sensors that send data to the cloud and you can view the data in mobile or dashboard instantaneously, remotely
- Using preventive maintenance tasks based on condition monitoring
- Using a wide variety of technology-enabled monitoring devices, and introducing computer systems in an integrated fashion such as CMMS (computerized maintenance management systems)
Monitoring solutions configured for mechanical equipment monitoring allows organizations to know the overall equipment availability and current state of their equipment. Smart sensors mounted on machines sense the real-time mechanical parameters like vibrations, temperature, and acoustics from the machine. In a way, we can say all the most probable conditions that are likely to cause equipment damage or failures, can be captured today by smart sensors on these machines. Vibration analysis is the most promising diagnostic tool based on condition-based monitoring, for which smart sensors can be employed.
Spectrum analysis is used to measure the various contributing frequencies in vibration data. To determine the condition of the motor, the vibration severity is compared with the standard severity table. Fast Fourier Transform (FFT) spectrum analysis is used extensively to develop a unique predictive analytics technique for monitoring the condition of the machines and identify root causes for impending failures.
The end-users get relevant information from FFT analytics which points to the action recommended for a diagnosed fault. They get alerts on email/SMS for any violation of the limit. They can view reports and the FFT spectrum of fault frequencies. With the adverse situation of global pandemic happening across the world, knowing the exact problem of the equipment responsible for lower production from remote locations is the real challenge. The available solutions in the market are using a cost-efficient smart sensor solution that empowers to remotely monitor the equipment.
When data is required to verify compliance, it is readily and instantly available when needed, minimizing production delays, and ensuring work can carry on as expected.
In recent years, remote monitoring has transformed the manufacturing industry, driving cost benefits, and creating new standards of efficiency that resonate from the factory floor to the customer’s door.
Infinite Uptime’s Industrial Data Enabler (IDE), a 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.