Faults in electrical machines are often the result of bearing degradation. As we know, those small metal balls are a vital component of any machine and need to be properly maintained. Early detection of a fault could be the difference between a machine that runs smoothly for its expected lifespan and a machine that constantly breaks down.
Detecting a fault in a metal sphere is unfortunately not an easy task. Which is why a process called ‘condition monitoring’ was designed. Condition monitoring is a process of monitoring certain conditions, and their parameters, within a machine, to determine any significant changes that could indicate a potential fault. Simply, a series of tests that analyse key indicators such as vibration, temperature, acoustic emission or wear debris.
Since faults in machine bearings are so difficult to detect, it’s incredibly important that condition monitoring is done on a regular basis. With vibration tests, it’s now possible to see if the internal structure of a bearing is beginning to weaken or fail, while ultrasound scans can be used to indicate whether the overall structure of the bearing is holding up under pressure.
For some, condition monitoring may seem like a costly, time-consuming exercise for a component that’s essentially cheap to replace and easy to source. Keep in mind that most machines use a fair amount of bearings to function correctly and replacing them will add up over time. Faulty bearings could also lead to more significant and costly machine failures, reducing the life of your machine and increasing unnecessary downtime.
The effectiveness of the condition-monitoring process has been proven to extend the life of your machine, reduce unplanned downtime, optimize maintenance schedules, lower inventory and maintenance costs, and improve production. If any of these points are important to the success of your business then you need to make sure that you’re keeping an eye on your machine bearings.
At Bearing Centre, we offer a range of On-Site Services that include condition monitoring and maintenance, as well as hands-on, practical training for our customers.