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Predictive Maintenance Technologies

With today's growing desire for greater productivity, manufacturing processes and equipment are being subjected to increased demands for additional capacity, testing accepted limitations. As a result, the diagnostic capabilities of predictive maintenance have also increased, opening new areas of responsiveness and diagnostic performance. The following represent some of the most reliable and preferred technologies available for comprehensive analysis.

Lubrication/Oil Analysis
Surveys have shown that over half of all industrial breakdowns are the result of improper lubrication, including under-lubrication, over-lubrication or use of the wrong lubrication. Oil analysis, one of the oldest methods of predictive maintenance, is used to define three basic conditions. These include:

  1. Condition of the oil
  2. Condition of the lubrication system
  3. The condition of the machine itself

Performed and trended over time, oil analysis can pinpoint improperly performed maintenance, operational practices, and incidents of contamination such as the addition of an improper lubricant.

Machine Condition Monitoring
Sound analysis, one of the oldest and widely employed systems of detecting equipment failure, is best performed on a day-to-day basis by someone familiar with the equipment. Sound analysis is simply detecting something abnormal; if the sound becomes audible, it generally indicates a component is beginning to malfunction and should be further inspected.

Vibration analysis is often used to determine the operating condition of rotating equipment by identifying potential problems before they cause serious failures and unscheduled downtime. This type of analysis can be used to detect deteriorating or defective bearings, mechanical looseness, and worn or broken gears. It can also pinpoint misalignment or imbalance before it can cause bearing or shaft deterioration.

Ultrasonic analysis enables technicians to identify and locate such potential problems as bearing deterioration and leaks of compressed air or hydraulic fluid. This type of analysis can also identify poor maintenance practices and machines that are operating beyond their original design limitations.

Thermographic analysis provides visual images that represent variations in IR radiance of surface objects. This type of analysis has been proven as an effective predictive maintenance tool because mechanical or electrical breakdowns are often preceded by changes in operating temperatures.

Infrared Analysis has the ability to detect an object's IR emissions, and translate into a visual image. It does not have the capability to analyze and quantify specific temperature values.

Consult with your supplier to help maintain your compressed air system properly.