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GVS News News

A Case Study: Motion Amplification Analysis of a Drum Drive Gearbox

A manufacturing plant located in WA recently encountered a significant issue related to a critical drum drive gearbox. The Asset Management and Reliability Team noticed excessive vibrations and sought to identify the root cause of this problem. To address this issue, the Iris M™ Motion Amplification® technology was utilised. This case study outlines how Motion Amplification® technology successfully captured, quantified, and qualified the operational vibration characteristics and identified the root cause of the problem.

Problem Identification:

The manufacturing plant initially detected unacceptable levels of vibration in the drum drive gearbox of their machinery, which they had yet to identify. This vibration had the potential to disrupt operations and, if left unaddressed, could lead to costly equipment damage.

Motion Amplification Analysis:

Upon implementing Iris M™ Motion Amplification® technology, the plant’s Asset Management and Reliability Team conducted real-time data analysis, revealing several crucial findings:

  1. Vibration Frequencies: The analysis showed that the majority of the vibration in the drum drive train occurred at three distinct frequencies:
    • Motor running speed: 25.76Hz
    • Pinion gearmesh frequency: 7.69Hz
    • 2x pinion gearmesh frequency: 15.38Hz

The presence of the 2x pinion gearmesh frequency indicated a classic symptom of gear misalignment and uneven wear across the gear teeth.

  1. Phase Difference: There was a noticeable phase difference between the motor and gearbox input, which is a typical indicator of offset misalignment across the coupling.
  2. Vertical Orientation: The vibration analysis also revealed that the vertical orientation of the inner side of the drum drive gearbox’s base frame exhibited higher levels of vibration compared to the outer side.

Recommendations:

Based on the observations and analysis using the Motion Amplification® technology, the following recommendations were made to address the identified issues:

  1. Pinion Inspection and Realignment: Given the presence of gear misalignment and uneven wear across the gear teeth, it was recommended that the pinion be inspected thoroughly. Any misalignment should be corrected and worn gear components should be replaced.
  2. Torque Arm Connection Inspection: The connection between the torque arm and the base frame should be inspected for any signs of damage or misalignment. Any issues found in this area should be promptly addressed.
  3. Motor-to-Gearbox Realignment: To resolve the phase difference identified between the motor and gearbox input, realignment of the motor to the gearbox is necessary. Proper alignment will ensure that power is transmitted efficiently and reduce unnecessary stress on the machinery.

The implementation of Iris M™ Motion Amplification® technology proved to be instrumental in diagnosing and identifying the root causes of unacceptable vibrations in the drum drive gearbox. Through this analysis the plant was able to mitigate the vibration complications and prevent potential equipment damage, ensuring the continued smooth operation of their machinery.

 

 

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GVS News News

Techniques for Effective Condition Monitoring of Low-Speed Machines

Condition monitoring of low-speed machines, operating at speeds typically below 600 RPM, demands a systematic approach due to the inherent challenges that slow speed operation carries. Here we review some of the techniques utilised for successful monitoring of slow-speed machinery.

The unique characteristics of low-speed machines give rise to a series of challenges when establishing a condition monitoring program:

·         Lower frequencies of interest

·         Lower impact amplitudes (vibration signals)

·         High ambient noise

Lower frequencies of interest:

The slower rotational speeds mean that the fault frequencies of interest in condition monitoring (e.g. bearing ball pass frequency) typically occur at much lower-frequencies and vibrations and dynamic signals, complicating the task of identifying anomalies and irregularities.  Lower rotating speeds result in lower amplitudes in the impacts that are often key indicators used in vibration or ultrasound analysis to detect early stage bearing faults.  Slow rotating machines are often found in crushing, milling, grinding and other processes, where there are high levels of ambient noise and vibration. The presence of these external noise sources, lowers the signal-to-noise ratio, making it challenging to extract relevant data.

To tackle the complexities of monitoring low-speed machines, a comprehensive approach integrating various complementary methods is preferred. This multi-pronged strategy enhances data accuracy and dependability, facilitating a thorough understanding of the machine’s health.  Here are the key techniques commonly employed:

1.    Vibration Analysis: Vibration analysis remains a cornerstone technique for low-speed machinery monitoring.  Through the utilisation of high sensitivity sensors, longer time waveforms and advanced signal processing algorithms, low level faults associated with operational abnormalities can be detected. Proper sensor selection- and placement, as well as good data collection parameter configuration, are pivotal for optimal data acquisition and analysis.

 

2.    Oil Analysis: Lubricating oil analysis serves as a valuable diagnostic tool for slow-speed machines.  By monitoring contamination and wear debris, insights into potential component issues can be gained early.  Regular oil sampling and analysis are critical for the early detection of deterioration.  It is recommended that analytical ferrography or filtergrams be specified as part of the analysis package of slow speed machines as these methods provide more accurate wear particle and contamination information for monitoring slow speed machines.   The latest developments in online oil condition sensors show significant promise for slow speed machine monitoring.

 

3.    Thermography: Thermal imaging is adept at identifying overheating problems and abnormal temperature distributions within machinery. In low-speed machines, where temperature changes might manifest more gradually, thermal imaging helps pinpoint localised heat irregularities or cooling inefficiencies.  It should be noted that thermography is typically a late stage indicator of faults and cannot be relied upon for early detection of developing problems.


4.   Ultrasound Condition Monitoring: Ultrasound monitoring has emerged as a preferred technique for slow-speed machines. Ultrasound waves can detect subtle changes in machinery, such as friction, impacting, cavitation, and leakage. Ultrasound provides a powerful means for optimising lubrication doses in grease lubricated machines. Ultrasound monitoring techniques enhance early fault detection even in low-speed conditions and supports predictive maintenance efforts.

By integrating a spectrum of condition monitoring techniques, maintenance teams can achieve a comprehensive understanding of machine health. These preferred methods enable the efficient and accurate monitoring of slow-speed machinery, facilitating timely interventions and assisting in ensuring the equipment reaches its intended lifespan. 

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Industry News News

Screen Monitoring with Waites Wireless – Iron Ore Mine WA

An iron ore mining client in Western Australia was experiencing repeated failures on their vibrating exciters. These failures had resulted in production losses and were a health and safety hazard.

The site strategy for monitoring the screens was to use vibration analysis. To do so, the clients historically used hard-wired industrial piezoelectric accelerometers. A condition monitoring technician would then routinely (monthly or greater) manually collect vibration data onto a portable device and review the signals for signs and faults.

The original solution:

Increased frequency of the vibration analysis survey to weekly in order to provide earlier detection.

Whilst the vibration data collection and analysis method is proven to detect faults, there are three problems that make this method ineffective or unreliable for screen exciters.

1. The cable of the hard-wired sensors often fatigues due to the harsh environment (oscillating screen) which meant vibration data could not be collected.

2. A bearing can go from ‘normal’ to ‘severe’ condition within days. When failures do occur, they are normally catastrophic destroying shafts, gears, weights and exciter cases. Given the nature of the rate of deterioration, even a fault detected early on in its failure mode, a routine survey would need a very high frequency of measurements to provide an accurate report of the assets’ health to operations/maintenance.

 3. Weekly inspections are demanding on vital condition monitoring human resources.

All of the above problems meant a labour intensive, seven-day inspection routine was unsatisfactory for plant reliability and personnel safety.

With the above challenges being a constant source of concern, the client engaged GVS Reliability Products and installed the Waites Wireless online condition monitoring system. This overcame the challenges of collecting higher frequency, important asset health data, was a cable free solution and did not require a technician to walk around and manually collect the data.

To the customer, this meant overcoming all three challenges listed above.

The below case study highlights the versatility of moving to wireless technology, which ultimately proved its worth in detecting both the initial fault and the rapidness of the failure, preventing significant secondary damage and reducing down-time.

Case Study

The Waites Wireless SM1-1150 motes were installed one on each exciter across a few screens to monitor and detect the signs of early bearing faults. Exciter temperatures, acceleration and velocity levels were trended and time waveform and FFT data were captured and stored in the cloud for ease of access and analysis. The Waites Wireless ‘ImpactVUE’ feature was also utilised for the early bearing fault and impact detection ability.

The trends of the exciters (see below – Figure 2), show the steady operation with acceleration levels for over three months. Over this period the alarm sets were tailor-made to suit the machine and its operating condition at the site.

A few months after an outage in December, the trend of the drive-end exciter can be seen slowly increasing (see below – Figure 3). In early February, the hourly acceleration readings on the screen exciter began to spike breaching alarm levels. At the triggering of the ‘caution’ alarm, Waites Wireless automatically sent notifications to the Condition Monitoring team.

The triggering of the ‘caution’ alarm gave the onsite Condition Monitoring Team the chance to inspect the asset, diagnose the issue and provide early notice to the Operation Team of the fault and machine condition. 

The Waites Wireless ‘ImpactVUE’ FFT shows (see below – Figure 4) the inner race fault frequencies clearly defined.

The site team used their onsite data collector which clearly showed similar data to the Waites Wireless platform (see below – Figure 5). 

Shortly after this data was collected, the vibration amplitudes dramatically increased, and the decision was made to shut the screen and plant down (see below- Figure 6).

By neutralizing the threat, secondary damage to other components was avoided, greatly reducing the costs of the rebuild/repair. While the failure was fast moving, Waites Wireless provided sufficient time for maintenance to be organised with necessary parts, prior to the shut-down. By giving time for maintenance to be organised and ready, Waites reduced the overall downtime and the financial impact to the company of this impending failure.

Two days later, another completely different screen monitored by Waites Wireless hardware, sent their condition monitoring team alarms that indicated similar signs of rapid failure while the other screen was under maintenance. The trend increased dramatically on the 4th of February (see below – Figure 7). 

The Waites Wireless condition monitoring system was able to prevent catastrophic secondary damage on two screens in quick succession. This success story is achieved for the customer by the intelligent use of Waites Wireless high frequency data sampling intervals and a good practical alarm set configuration.

Reach out to your local GVS Reliability Products representative via sales@gvsensors.com.au for more information on how to easily monitor your own vibrating screens (and other rotating equipment) with the Waites Wireless condition monitoring hardware.

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Industry News News

Iron ore mining and Motion Amplification®

Rio Tinto Yandicoogina (iron ore mine in West Australia’ Pilbara region) recently completed training for their latest acquisition; Motion Amplification®.

Rio Tinto own an integrated portfolio of iron ore assets: a world-class, integrated network of 17 mines, four independent port terminals, a rail network spanning nearly 2,000 kilometres and related infrastructure – all designed to respond rapidly to changes in demand. Rio Tinto are one of the world’s leading producers and exporters of iron ore.

Rio Tinto’s world-class Predictive Maintenance program informs maintenance and operations of asset health and increases overall plant reliability. Therefore, Motion Amplification® is a perfect technology to enhance that success.

Motion Amplification® deliverables:

  • Visualisation of the root cause of unacceptable vibration detected via routine and online Predictive Maintenance (PdM) programs
  • Through visualisation, transition to root cause problem solving and defect elimination
  • Perfect tool for screening assets, fault finding, commissioning new assets, and pre/post repairs or retrofits
  • Communication between technical and non-technical personnel and original equipment manufacturers, enhancing the decision-making process

The training was well received with one participant saying ‘Great video Andrew – Thanks again on behalf of the team’. The Motion Amplification® training is Certified by RDI Technologies Inc.

Motion Amplification® – Visualise, Measure, Troubleshoot, Correct.

Reliability You Can See and Trust.

Visit www.opticalmotion.com.au to learn more about the sensor of the future.

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GVS News News

CBM+RELIABILITY CONNECT® Conference – Nov 8th – 10th

Join us in person for the CBM+RELIABILITY CONNECT® Live Training Conference in Melbourne, 8-10 November 2022.

We are pleased to announce that Sven Fleischer & Roman Megela Gazdova from Easy-Laser, will be hosting a hands-on workshop entitled LASER SHAFT ALIGNMENT BEST PRACTICES.” In this workshop you will learn what is required for optimal machine installation and take part in practical exercises and demonstrations including:

  • Laser shaft alignment principles, procedures, and best practice.
  • Measuring machine base flatness and level.
  • Understanding dynamic & static forces like pipe strain, thermal growth, and soft foot.
  • Overcoming fault conditions during the alignment process such as bolt-bound & soft foot conditions, and more!

Reliable machine operation starts with correct machine installation and alignment!

The full event will host:

  • 7 hands-on workshops featuring a variety of industry technologies.
  • Renowned industry expert, Steve Potts, will present an insightful Keynote.
  • 15+ interactive Condition Monitoring & Reliability improvement learning sessions, including real-life case studies along with technical presentations featuring the latest industry research.
  • Exclusive networking opportunities and exhibitions by industry-leading companies.

View the full schedule of events here

In-person learning and networking opportunities have been few and far between during these times. The conference organizers and venue have been working to provide you with the opportunity to learn and network in a safe environment, with industry thought leaders.

We are excited to get the industry back together and look forward to connecting with you at the event.

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News Product News

9 Laser Transmitters for different measurement needs

Four parts are key to quick and easy measurement with laser: a laser transmitter to emit a laser beam, a detector to register it, suitable brackets, and measurement software to display the result. In this article we will guide you through our different laser transmitters and their main areas of use.

Laser – a perfect starting point for precision measurement

The laser beam is the reference for the measurements. It can be compared to an absolutely straight and weightless ruler, that is to say a perfect starting point for precision measurement. But different measurement applications require different laser transmitters. Read on to learn more!

Versatile transmitters with swiveling laser head

Easy-Laser® XT20 / XT22 / D22

These transmitters can handle most types of geometrical measurements, like straightness, flatness, and squareness. The swiveling laser head gives a 360° laser plane parallel to the measured object, and the D22 and XT22 can also angle the laser beam 90° to the sweep for squareness measurement. The electronic levels of the XT transmitters ensure quick feedback and low risk of errors.

Both XT transmitters connect to the XT Alignment app. This gives you several benefits when it comes to ease of use. The app also warns you of temperature changes and vibrations that can affect the measurement results negatively. Step-by-step guidance during calibration of the units is another advantage.

What are the main differences between these three transmitters? Take a look in the table below.

D23 with a constantly rotating laser beam

Easy-Laser® D23 has a motor driven, rotating head that gives a 360° laser plane. The laser beam from the transmitter rotates constantly and creates a reference plane over the entire measurement object. Measurements are performed quicker as you do not have to align the beam for each new measurement position. The laser transmitter measures distances up to 20 meters in radius. This transmitter is mainly for flatness measurements.

D75 measures straightness of bores and more

The Easy-Laser® D75 laser transmitter is typically used to measure straightness of, for example, bores, stern tubes, and extruder barrels. The laser transmitter has a measurement distance of up to 40 meters, and brackets are available for many purposes

Bore alignment with the E950 system, which includes the D75 transmitter.

D146 measures spindle direction and straightness

Easy-Laser® D146 is a laser transmitter for measuring spindle direction and straightness. It can be used in a rotating spindle (max. 2000 rpm), and the laser transmitter measures on distances up to 20 meters.

Get it straight in turbine applications with D25

Easy-Laser® D25 measures straightness, primarily in turbine applications, but also on e.g. gear boxes. The laser beam can sweep 360° and can be angled 90° to the sweep. This way you can use the axial surface as reference when setting up the transmitter.

Turbine measurement

E30 for long range measurements

It is usually difficult to get a laser point that is qualitative enough to be detected with precision at long range. But with the Easy-Laser® E30 it is possible to take high-resolution straightness measurements at a range of up to 200 meters!  

Laser transmitter for sheave and pulley alignment

This transmitter is used to align belt or chain transmissions. The laser transmitter is mounted on one of the sheaves, and the detector on the other. The transmitter generates a laser plane parallel to the reference sheave. The detector reads the position in relation to the laser plane and provides a live digital display of both offset and angular value. This makes the alignment of the adjustable machine very simple.

The transmitter and detector are mounted on the sheaves with magnets.

We hope you now have a better picture of the different laser transmitters. Maybe you found one that responds to your specific measurement needs? Or, worst case, you did not find any that suit your requirements! Either way – feel free to contact us at sales@gvsensors.com.au.

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Industry News News

SDT Ultrasound saves production losses by inspecting vital steam delivery system

Since 1999, Adam De Gioia has been a fitter and turner working in a range of different industries from water/wastewater, pharmaceutical, hydraulics, food manufacturing, mining and oil & gas.

Starting his own company; ‘Final Drive Engineering Services’ in 2014, Adam soon partnered with a respected OEM of hydraulic components. It was here that he developed a passion for steam delivery systems and quickly became the ‘go to guy’ for repair work.

In recent years, he has been contracting to a well-known food manufacturing facility where he carries out offline maintenance. Over time he witnessed the degradation of their steam system which resulted in issues in the *CIP (clean-in-place) system.

Adam quoted – ‘Unfortunately, it’s kind of ‘Out of sight, Out of mind’, and only repaired when completely failed’.

To paint a picture, there are approx. 30 steam traps of differing types around the site. They are all critical in terms of pasteurizer and CIP performance. If one trap was to fail, multiple lines and holding tanks would be disrupted and production would cease until repairs were carried out.

Steam Trap with cloudy sight check
Steam Trap with no sight check. How do you know it's working?

Seeing the cost of production losses mounting on his customer, Adam knew he’d have to take a proactive approach.

Online research yielded numerous hits on steam system protection hardware using the SDT Ultrasound range. A meeting was organised with GVS rep Peter Haines at GVS HQ in Newcastle. In 1 hour they covered the basics of ultrasound, how Ultrasound inspection has numerous applications and finished with a focus on Steam Traps.

Adam recognized the benefits, purchased the SDT ULTRAChecker and put it to work the very next night.

Here are Adam’s words about his first experience with SDT’s equipment;

‘The 1st trap I tested had a very cloudy sight check. Using the audio and Histogram (bar graph) feature (on the ULTRAChecker) I quickly determined that it had failed. The 2nd trap had no sight glass on the check valve, and again through the earmuffs, the constant sound indicated yet another failed trap. 2 from 2.

‘The Engineering team are excited by the results. We can now identify steam issues and get on top of it early.’

ULTRAChecker used on functioning Steam Trap. The Histogram (bar graph) shows the fluctuation of when it is open and closed. Simple.

BUT Adam didn’t stop there.

Seeing how effective using a precision Ultrasound inspection device was, he turned to other areas of the plant.

He then went on to identify issues with:

  • condensate return pump
  • auto blow down on one of the boilers
  • hydraulic circuits
  • air leaks on the trucks air system.

In future, Adam will also aim to participate in ‘Live Online Level One’ (LOLO) Ultrasound course to further expand his knowledge and monitor other areas of plant.

GVS love these examples of our ability to supply a solution to a client with a challenging problem.

Thanks very much to Adam for sharing your story of success working with us!

If you’d like to learn how precision Ultrasound inspection will decrease production losses, see this video.

 

The tool used by Adam in the case study is SDTs ‘ULTRAChecker’. It is one of various options in the SDT’s Checker range. See the SDT range of products here.

 

Contact us GVS Reliability Products to learn more about ultrasound, the most diverse monitoring technology on the market.

 

*CLEAN IN PLACE or CIP systems play a critical role in food and beverage manufacturing. They automatically clean, rinse, sanitize pipework ensuring processing components are free of bacteria.

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Industry News News

FLSmidth joins the Motion Amplification® Revolution

FLSmidth has been providing market-leading engineering, equipment and service solutions to the global mining and cement industries for over 140 years. A key to their success has been a focus on improving asset performance and efficiency (from concept through the entire life cycle) so Motion Amplification® was the perfect technology to further enhance that success.

The team recently completed the Certified course by RDI Technologies and are now ready to offer this unique service to their customer base. Photos below.

The new IRIS M™ system will be stationed at FLSmidth’s Pinkenba workshop where it will primarily be used during the factory acceptance testing across a number of product types. It will also be a vital tool for their site services team. From commissioning through to inspections, it will aid with the identification, verification and more importantly ‘VISUALISATION’ of vibration data, aiding with communication between departments and customers alike.

Motion Amplification® – Visualise, Measure, Troubleshoot, Correct. Reliability You Can ‘See’ and Trust.

Visit www.opticalmotion.com.au to learn more about the sensor of the future or contact your local GVS rep today.

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News Product News

Proud distributor for Agate Technologies – Portable Vibration Shakers and Calibrators

GVS Reliability Products are now the Australian distributor for Agate Technologies – Portable Vibration Shakers and Calibrators.

Each model offers a variety of different features and functionality, so you can choose the one that best meets your testing and vibration monitoring needs. All shakers are battery powered and can be used in any setting—from in the field to the laboratory where you can verify condition monitoring sensors, systems, cabling, and connectors.

AT-2030 Basic adjustable-frequency amplitude shaker.

AT-2035 Adds the ability to calculate transducer output sensitivity.

AT-2040 Includes more enhanced shaker features, including a sensor simulation feature and advanced support for 4-20mA sensors and proximity probes.

AT-2050 calibrator includes support for piezoresistive, variable capacitance, and MEMS type sensors

Further information for each model can be found here or you can download the ‘Specification & Feature Comparison’ document below.

 

For enquiries please email sales@gvsensors.com.au or phone 02 4925 2701.

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GVS News News

Troubleshooting a 4-20mA Accelerometer System

Cal Cert Example

Fig.1

The first thing to check is that the wiring is carried out and in accordance with the calibration sheet provided with the sensor. Check polarity of the voltage power supply.

Fig.2

The next thing to check is that the accelerometer is being powered correctly. Check the cable datasheet to see which two pins to be checking the voltage across. The voltage should be somewhere between 15 and 30 volts. Many systems would typically be 24volts. If the accelerometer has an integral cable then a point along the signal path needs to be checked. The closest point to the accelerometer should be sought to check the voltage. This ensures that a check for discontinuity in the wiring is taken with as much of the signal path being checked as possible.

Fig.3

If the accelerometer is seeing the correct voltage then the next check is to see if the accelerometer is generating a current that is at least 4 mA . To do this the multi-meter needs to be in series with the accelerometer. The circuit wiring needs to be disconnected at some point along the signal circuit and the meter inserted. If the machine on which the accelerometer is mounted is off you would expect 4mA. (No vibration condition). If the machine is running and vibration is being generated you would expect to see anywhere from 4 to 20 mA depending on the level of machine vibration. If you have 15-30V of power and you are seeing less than 4mA then the accelerometer is defective. If you are seeing greater than 20mA then the vibration levels are saturating the sensor or the sensor is defective.

Fig.4

If at least 4mA of signal is being generated then the accelerometer is most likely functioning correctly. If the accelerometer is showing more than 20mA and the machine is running then the machine vibration might be saturating the accelerometer and a lower sensitivity sensor is required. To check for this disconnect the sensor and repeatedly hit it with a light object. This should cause the mA current to increase. The Hansford Sensors 4-20mA sensors have a 5 second averaging circuit so ensure the light tapping of the sensor is repeated for at least 10 seconds to register above 4mA. If the accelerometer remains at 20mA or above despite being disconnected from the vibration then the accelerometer is likely defective.

 

If you have any questions, please contact us at sales@gvsensors.com.au or view our product range here