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Condition Monitoring Explained

Most plant managers will have heard of predictive maintenance as a way to maximise the service life of industrial machinery, but gearboxes suppliers know that condition monitoring takes this approach to the next level.

Whether it is something necessary for a particular plant or site will depend on how much machinery is involved, how complex the machinery is and the operational demands placed upon the machinery. There will be some smaller plants with fewer or simpler machines that will probably be fine enough with standard maintenance, though you will still run the risk of needing gearbox repair services every now and then. Larger plants however, with their more complex and operationally rigorous machinery, can absolutely benefit from having a condition monitoring system installed.

So what exactly is condition monitoring and how does it work? Let’s find out!

How Condition Monitoring Works

Conditioning monitoring uses machine sensor data to measure vibrations and other parameters that can determine the performance level and general health of an application in real-time. It will also use machine monitoring software to assess the data and provide updates and reports on an application’s operational health.

Using such a maintenance system allows plant technicians to constantly and remotely monitor the health of every single component in a machine. The condition monitoring software will send an alert to the technicians when a change is detected in the machine’s performance, such as an increase in vibrational activity in a certain area of the application. The technicians immediately know where the issue is and can assess the situation to see what can be done.

Benefits of Condition Monitoring

Condition monitoring keeps plant technicians and other personnel safer by allowing them to remotely monitor the machinery instead of having to get right in there to check on a potentially faulty part.

Plant managers are also able to avoid machinery downtime due to a parts failure. In addition, planned downtime for general maintenance is easier to organise as you will know in advance about any issues that need addressing.

Ultimately, condition monitoring can help a larger firm using lots of machines save a significant amount of money. This is from avoiding unplanned downtime, to maximising the efficiency and productivity of the machinery. There is the initial cost of installation to consider, of course, but this should be earned back in savings over time.

As mentioned previously, it probably isn’t worth installing a condition monitoring system if your plant is small and relatively simple, unless you want to avoid using the likes of gearbox repair services for the occasional parts failure. But larger plants should really be looking into this maintenance method due to the significant advantages it offers.

If you require gearbox repair services or need a particular industrial machinery part from a specific manufacturer, then contact YB Components who are the UK’s leading parts and gearboxes suppliers who keep local stocks ready to ship out fast and free all over the UK and the rest of the world.