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September 22, 2023

Protect Your Equipment with Condition Monitoring

Avoiding failures and unplanned downtime

What if the power to avoid costly failures and unplanned downtime were in your hands? You could detect problems before they happen to ensure mission-critical equipment continues running as expected.

A condition monitoring (CM) program provides you with this very power. It collects data from a targeted machine during operation and looks for changes in that machine data that suggest a component failure. Flagging problems before they happen allows you to schedule and perform maintenance as needed and before failure - a much more affordable and efficient option than a machine shutdown.

What is condition monitoring?

In a nutshell, it's a maintenance approach that has transitioned from "nice to have" to "must have" as plant managers operate in an increasingly competitive marketplace. Condition monitoring predicts the health and safety of your equipment using sensors that record data in real-time. The sensors then feed into state-of-the-art monitoring software. Each machine is monitored individually, but collectively, the feedback provides a holistic, plant-wide and enterprise view of your operations.

How It Works

Vero®, our all-in-one CM solution, works to continually assess the health and performance of your equipment. As an end-to-end system, it allows you to create a more robust predictive maintenance strategy to improve operational decisions and increase productivity throughout the plant. Here's how Vero® works:

  • Wireless sensors collect and send vibration and temperature data to our AssetWatch™ cloud-based platform multiple times daily for analysis.
  • Powered by machine learning, your dedicated Condition Monitoring Engineers analyze and review your data, looking for patterns that indicate potential pending failures.
  • As alerts are detected, your CMEs provides Prescriptive Maintenance Recommendations and communicates with you until issues are resolved.

Thanks to our maintenance-free system, you don't have to worry about replacing batteries or repairing broken or obsolete sensor hardware. And with instant information, you can choose your responses to both critical and non-critical operational concerns. In short, you have control over your plant rather than the other way around.

Benefits of CM

The foremost benefits are reduced maintenance costs. A "break-fix" approach might lower costs at first, but it always becomes more expensive over time. This approach also forces you to operate blindly without fully understanding where your machines are in terms of capacity; keep in mind that equipment on the verge of malfunctioning isn't likely to run at optimal levels.

Broken machinery can also create a domino effect in which other equipment on the production line stops working, causing further damage. But most malfunctions are nearly impossible to identify without a predictive maintenance technique.

Reduce Downtime

It's no secret that manufacturing downtime can destroy production output, not to mention the money spent on labor as employees stand idle. Researchers estimate every U.S. factory loses up to 20% in profits each year because of downtime. These negative effects trickle down to delivery schedules and client agreements. CM, however, allows you to maximize output so you consistently meet production deadlines and improve your bottom line.

Make Data-Driven Decisions

When you lack a maintenance plan and machinery malfunctions, you're likely only concerned with getting production back online as quickly as possible. This forces you to make a reactive decision in haste, and while it may solve the problem for the interim, it may not be the best solution in the long run.

On the other hand, using data to drive your decisions allows you to consider multiple factors at once. Let's say a component on a piece of equipment continually shows a high probability of failure. With time on your side, as provided by CM, you can choose whether to repair or replace that component by looking at factors like:

  • The impact of repair on the machine's productivity and quality
  • The time required for the replacement part to arrive and be installed
  • Cost comparisons between repair and replacement

Prioritize Maintenance Tasks

When you have frequent and reliable machinery updates, you can prioritize your maintenance tasks in a way that makes sense to your production needs. You can tackle those machines that need the most attention, plan around current projects, and even make the most of scheduled maintenance downtime by servicing multiple machines at once.

Develop Accurate KPIs

Condition monitoring grants you access to a catalog of machinery data that is constantly updating. In turn, this information can be used to help you formulate KPIs that are truly reflective of your production capacity. You can also use this data to make clear decisions when extending supplier contracts or purchasing new equipment.

More About Vero

This platform pairs perfectly with almost all rotating machinery. The sensors are placed on or near bearings, where friction can create significant wear and tear. In addition to the ability to detect bearing issues, Vero® can also monitor additional faults like imbalances, gear tooth breakage, and belt wear. The sensors can be mounted in three ways, depending on the equipment being monitored and its location. Industrial strength magnetic mounts are most common, while threaded stud mounts and/or epoxy mounts are used in washdown areas and on stainless steel surfaces. Sensors can communicate with the hub typically at distance from 50 to 80 feet, depending on the plant environment.

Data Transmission

The sensors send performance data to the transponder using Bluetooth low energy. We have also established a customized protocol that ensures secure transmissions, data integrity, and communication connectivity. The Vero® solution includes a cellular network and works independently of your internal communication network. Data is viewed on the AssetWatch™ cloud-based platform with easy-to-understand dashboards. Detailed vibration and temperature data is also at your fingertips. But, since you will receive maintenance recommendations and alerts from your CME, as well as weekly health reports, you don’t need to be an expert. Our rapidly deployable platform allows you to monitor your production assets and identify potential malfunctions before they happen. Ultimately, this saves you the costs involved with unplanned downtime and repairs. But what you will find most valuable is the transformation that will take place with your maintenance team as they move from a reactive to proactive maintenance culture. Get started today by booking a demo.

Contributed by: Michael Bernhard

Michael is a Senior Solutions Architect at AssetWatch. As a previous MMA fighter and personal trainer, he knows how to bring the hard work and dedication to our manufacturing partners to help them reduce maintenance costs and improve asset reliability. Connect with him on LinkedIn.

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