Condition Monitoring

In the current economic scenario Asset Integrity Management is an essential tool for all organizations irrespective of their size and industry in which they operate. Plant shutdowns bring down operations efficiency and cost money. And if it is an unplanned shutdown they cost more. There are direct costs which include the cost of parts and labor for repair of the broken-down machine. Additionally, there are indirect costs like idle manpower, material loss due to process interruption and restart, cost of cleaning up, delayed delivery of products, and the resulting claims from the client not to mention the loss of goodwill. Besides in continuous process industries such as cement, steel, petrochemicals breakdowns of any critical plant machinery can cause serious consequential loss due to shutdown and restart procedures. 

Monitoring of the operating conditions helps the management keep a watch on the state of machinery on a real-time basis. Based on baseline parameters established when the equipment is initially commissioned potential failures can be predicted to a fair degree of accuracy. Ability to predict failures aids planning for replacement units, prepare for spare parts or specialized repair team, and gives organizations a good handle to improve operational efficiency by cutting down unexpected shutdowns. Condition monitoring is a generalized term that covers the measurement of a range of plant machinery operating parameters such as vibration, speed, temperature, pressure, level, etc., However, machine vibration, bearing temperature and temperature of motor winding are the typical parameters monitored because these parameters indicate the health status of rotating machinery such as motors, pumps, fans, and turbines. 

Sensors are mounted on the machinery whose condition requires to be monitored. These sensors are wired to a local data aggregator with a display unit for local indication of the parameters being monitored. The aggregator transmits sensor data via WiFi, ethernet, or cellular connection to the cloud server for analysis, logging, and mailing alerts in case value exceeds user-defined set points. In systems using Bluetooth LE wireless protocol, there is no hardwiring required between sensors and the gateway. Employing an online condition monitoring system with cloud analytics has advantages over a local system. One key advantage being there is no need for employing technicians with specialized analytical skills at the plant location because this becomes a part of the SaaS service provision. Here is a shortlist of service providers who supply the device hardware, the platform, and the analytics, diagnostics as a service.

Dynatrend is a highend  system for critical machinery such as gas turbines for energy, O&G industries and wind turbines. It also offers  both ATEX and non-ATEX systems for use in O&G industry applications. Bentley Nevada condition monitoring online services is a similar high end sophisticated system on offer. Brüel & Kjær Vibro’s BK VIBRO Compass 6000 , machine protection solutions allow easy integration into customers’ process control systems. Dynapar is another service provider with wide geographical presence offering a comprehensive online condition monitoring system. 

HID, a pioneer in access control solutions, offers a machine status monitoring solution and a more advanced condition monitoring solution combined with analytics and diagnostics under its Blue Vision vertical. HID solutions use wireless Bluetooth LE network through which the BeekCM machine sensors communicate with BluFi gateways and transfer data to the BlueZone cloud platform for data analysis and notification. ERBESSD Instruments monitoring systems also offers similar solutions with Bluetooth LE wireless connectivity.

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