As Engineers, we all know the importance of vibrations: It is the heartbeat of any equipment/machine. We fret when vibrations go awry and immediately seek corrective action! Asset owners today spend a large amount of their bandwidth (and budgets) sourcing the best, most hi-tech vibration sensors to monitor their equipment health! We display our vast range of accelerometers, velocity sensors and proximity probes as validation of being ready for any breakdown. Rightly so too!
However, today, we must aim to be smarter. Rather than chug along the conventional path of traditional vibration monitoring(with ever-increasing maintenance costs, mind!), we must aim to adapt to new age technologies and maintenance practices. How about getting ahead of the curve, be predictive, rather than corrective?
There is one exciting development that promises to change the vibration monitoring landscape. Measurement of Torsional vibrations using a standard speed sensor.
The concept is not new, it is the algorithms developed that have opened several new possibilities on how we will measure vibrations in the future.
Today, technology like the Alpha System has been developed where a simple speed sensor on an electric motor can now give a detailed diagnosis of the electrical stability of a motor ( current and voltage imbalance, over current, under frequency etc), its mechanical stability ( air gap, winding condition, dirt in the windings, broken copper bars etc) and the condition of its bearings. All this on a convenient easy to read dashboard that needs no software for further analysis! Importantly, the dashboard can be on a display by the machine side. The readings can be taken to a central control room or on any IoT platform.
In 35 years as a marine engineer, I have not come across a more cutting-edge predictive diagnostic tool. This is a game changer and will set new standards in the space of machine maintenance.
Why do I believe that it will be the new Industry standard? For starters, it is easy to use and operate. You do not need a trained ‘vibration specialist’ to either take readings or analyse them. We are therefore empowering a bigger group within our workplace to monitor vibrations. Finally, the device is extremely sensitive and can pick up deviations in a rotational movement much earlier than conventional sensors. It is a very early warning system.
I am excited to be exhibiting at INMARCO (the annual exhibition of the Insititute of Marine Engineers of India) this week (1st- 3rd November) at stalls M4 and M5. My team and I are excited to share our cutting-edge technology solution with colleagues in the marine and shipping industry. Please do join us on the 2nd and 3rd of November to visit us and lets talk technology!