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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

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GVS News News Product News

Complementary Technology – Misalignment

Visualise, Measure, Troubleshoot and Correct machinery misalignment with Motion Amplification® and Easy Laser® Reliability Products from GVS.

 

Motion Amplification® and Easy-Laser® are fantastic complementary tools for visualising misalignment, measuring thermal growth, and correcting misalignment making Proactive (Precision) Reliability Maintenance even more achievable.

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Industry News News

POOR LUBRICATION: What ‘data’ are Lubrication Technicians using to grease?

Stories are great. Humans thrive on stories. Being able to hear and then re-tell stories is what sets humanity apart from other living creatures.

Weird side note: some humans can hear and re-tell the stories of non-living things like; machines!

For example, the below data (sent to us by a customer) would look confusing to most people on the planet. But, in that data lies a story waiting to be told…

This data tells the trained eye that ‘raised acceleration and noise floor in higher frequency spectrum’* was beginning to be a significant problem for this motor DE (drive end) bearing.

But, the conclusion of the story is that… the high frequency acceleration just magically disappeared…

Or is there another story to tell?

Recently, this customer took delivery of 4 x SDT LUBECheckers from GVS.

So, when given the work; grease the bearing, with the aid of the LUBECheckers the lubrication technician was able to leave the asset in an ‘optimal lubricated state’.

This data tells us that; through investment in technology, a machine bearing was clearly saved from further damage

This story is a success story. And this success story comes from 1 x bearing on 1 x electric motor…

This customer works in one of the largest mines in Australia. So, now armed with SDT Ultrasound, they can multiply that success story by how many bearings they have across the facility.

Good news stories make you feel warm and fuzzy… 🙂

Get in touch with GVS to learn how easy it is to use and deploy LUBExpert and LUBEChecker at your facility so you can tell a lot more success stories.

*vibration analysis talk

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News Product News

Easier than ever to measure flatness and straightness

Now presenting Easy-Laser® XT20 and XT22, the most user-friendly precision laser transmitters ever designed! 
 

One of the most important things during a machine installation is to ensure the flatness of the base. With the new XT20 and XT22 we have facilitated handling, which makes for faster measurements and fewer fault sources. More reliable machine installation, put simply. 

Both transmitters can be used for flatness and straightness measurement. In addition, the XT22 can direct the laser beam at 90 degrees to the laser plane, which means you can solve virtually all types of geometric measurement jobs. The area of use therefore does not stop at measuring the flatness of bases. The XT22 also has a higher technical specification for straightness thanks to fiber laser technology, and can take measurements at distances up to 40 m. The XT20 can take measurements at distances up to 20 m, but is also IP55 rated water and dust proof.    

New technology improves reliability  

We have installed electronic precision levels in the XT transmitters. This gives the advantage of faster feedback when levelling and less risk of errors during calibration, because all users see the same angular value (compared with reading spirit levels).   

The laser transmitters are wirelessly connected to the XT Alignment app. In this way, the user can be guided during calibration and the measurement procedure. In the event of temperature changes, vibrations or impacts that can affect the measurement result negatively, the app gives a warning during measurement. Data about the transmitter and measurement environment can be downloaded together with the report. This all provides greater reliability and traceability for your measurement jobs.  

Functions for easier use  

The rotating head is completely stable and retains its position during measurement. At the same time, with the new fine turning mechanism it is easy to set the pointing direction of the laser beam to hit the detector, even at distances up to 40 m. We guarantee that this will be very much appreciated by users out in the field. All operation is also managed without the need to lock/unlock rotation, which facilitates use considerably.    

Just like Easy-Laser’s previous laser transmitter, the new XT20/XT22 can be installed and positioned in many different ways: with integrated super magnets, on rods to be height adjustable, on stands and magnetic feet etc. We know that this is an important factor in practice to combat all those situations the user faces in reality.   

A rechargeable Li-Ion battery gives long operating times, up to 30 hours. If necessary, the transmitter can also be run directly off the mains.  

Developed for use with the XT Alignment app  

The XT20 and XT22 are used with the programs Values, Basic flatness and Straightness (new) in the XT Alignment app.   

The laser transmitters can be purchased separately (as a kit with charger and fixture) but are also included in complete systems, such as the XT770 GEO. The XT70-M unit can be used as a detector. They can also be used with E series detectors. Note, however, that the XT Alignment app is required to calibrate the electronic levels, and other things in the design of the XT transmitters differ from previous products. Therefore, always ask us first if you plan to replace an older transmitter.   

Easy-Laser have been known for their reliable geometry measurement systems for decades. With the new Generation XT laser transmitters we are taking a step into the future, to a whole new level of reliability, precision and user-friendliness. The XT20 and XT22 are the laser transmitters of the future, in every way.   

Take a look for yourself or visit the XT20/XT22 product page to learn more.

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GVS News News

The way you install your rotating machinery is the way it will perform!

Because of my many years of experience in the field of installation and maintenance of rotating equipment I can say that installation is a fundamental thing. But why is this phase so important?

Well, because the installation has direct impact on the machinery, and it will determine operating conditions, performance, and life cycle cost. Basically, the way you install your rotating equipment is the way it will perform. And personally, I always ask myself why companies buy million-dollar pieces of equipment and let inexperienced installers do the installation. Then, they spend another million dollars in condition monitoring watching them fail.

Don’t get me wrong; condition monitoring is extremely important to understand what is happening to the machines and detect an early failure. But the fact is that most of the failures occur due to poor installation and design. Here, let’s focus on the installation phase of rotating machinery.

What do we expect from our machinery?
  • Reliable operation – We expect our rotating equipment to deliver its intended purpose or service without failure.
  • High performance – We expect our equipment to perform as per design.
  • Long service life – If our equipment has been designed for 20 or 30 years of operation, that is what we want to achieve.
  • Low maintenance cost – We expect not to spend any additional money after the investment has been made.
Responsibilities towards the installation

Communication, Procedures, and Integrity. These are responsibilities which are so important in the installation phase. Let me explain:

Communication
It is a must to assure proper communication among the Design, Engineering, and Installation teams. We know there are constant challenges to keep the installation work to be on time and within specifications. The teams must have constant communication to be able to solve any difficulties or changes. In the real world not everything fits as it fits on the drawings. I think many of you have experienced this, right?

Procedures
Installation procedures must be created according to design specifications and every member of the team must be familiar with them. Depending on which industry, the procedures will differ from each other. It is not the same thing to perform installation on the nuclear plant compared to pharmaceutical industry. There should always be a reference to which specific standard belong to the site where the installation is taking place. API Recommended Practices for Machinery Installation and Installation Design (API 686) are the perfect foundation to start with.

Integrity
Integrity is an important part of the installation phase and it starts with Safety. Everyone who participates in the installation must go through safety training. Specific trainings must be performed such as working in heights, confined spaces, fire protection or chemicals handling. Breaking the safety rules will put the project behind the schedule therefore it is very important to follow them.

Always do things in the right order

The installation of rotating equipment must follow a certain order. The order of the installation procedure is designed to always start from the base. Foundations are the cornerstone of the entire installation. They are designed to hold rotating machinery and transfer and dissipate stresses and dynamic forces produced by pulsations and processes. Therefore, special attention must be paid to the foundations. They must be flat, coplanar, and levelled. If we skip the order of the installation procedures, we will not be able to complete further steps and not achieve reliable operation of our rotating equipment.

Finally, all the work must be properly documented during the process by creating digital reports to be able to review and compare the values and data. This is important for the references because further work will depend on the results.

Author

Roman Megela
Senior Reliability Engineer
Easy-Laser AB  

This article was originally published in MaintWorld Magazine

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News Product News Uncategorised

Create a Compressed Air Leak Management Program with SDT. It’s EASY

Why We Ignore Leaks
Compressed air is a misunderstood utility. As such, it tends to be misused and even abused. Leaks continue to be the biggest problem; often overlooked because they are difficult to detect, don’t smell bad, don’t make a mess on the floor, and rarely stop production.

 

The Real Cost of Leaks
One of your factory’s highest operating expenses is the energy consumed by your compressed air system. Only 25% of the cost of a compressed air system is capital cost and maintenance. The remaining 75% is energy, and as much as 35% of that energy is wasted satisfying leaks.

Additional Impacts
Compressed air leaks create fluctuations in system pressure, which negatively impacts product quality. Compressors work overtime to compensate, leading to early degradation of the asset. Eventually, the compressor system can’t keep up with demand. What can you do? Buy yet another compressor for more capacity? Or optimize the capacity you already have by finding and fixing leaks?

With so much at stake, why are compressed air leaks managed so poorly, and why doesn’t every organization have an air leak management program?

 

Where to Look for Leaks
Every component has the potential to leak, but we can hasten our search by focusing on common failure points. Usual problem areas are branch line connections, automatic drain traps, desiccant filters, regulators, coalescent filter assemblies, quick couplers, valves, hoses, fittings, pneumatic cylinders and thread sealants. Most leaks occur at points of use, so begin your search there.

How to Find Leaks
Locating air leaks in a loud factory floor is next to impossible with a human ear. The best, and easiest, way to find air leaks is using ultrasound. Ultrasound detectors allow you to hear the minute hissing noise produced by leaks, despite the roaring noise of a production area. Ultrasound detectors are portable, easy to use and require little training to get started.

SDT have a range of hand-held devices from the entry level LEAKChecker to the SDT340 which can be used for both airborne & structure-borne applications. And now with the all new  SonaVu acoustic imaging camera you can ‘SEE” the leak in real time making it even easier to scan larger areas.

How to Manage Leaks
It’s not enough to just find leaks. Fixing and documenting savings is a necessary part of the program.

Fortunately SDT have simple and easy to use platforms to track and calculate these costs.

LEAKReporter

A mobile smartphone App available for iOS and Android. LEAKReporter is focused, simple and free. It saves inspectors time and money by documenting leaks in pictures, estimating their cost impact and creating fast comprehensive leak reports. This can be used with the LEAKChecker, SDT200, SDT270 or SDT340.

SonaVu InSights™

Is a web application for creating instant reports of compressed air leak and electrical asset surveys performed with the SonaVu Acoustic Imaging Camera from SDT. Document findings, prioritize repairs, estimate cost impact, eliminate energy waste, and save money with this free application.

Being competitive has never been more important than it is today. Energy costs directly impact your bottom line. There is no easier way to reduce energy waste than to tackle the “low hanging fruit” in your compressed air system.

It doesn’t have to be complicated.

Detect, fix and save money with SDT Ultrasound Solutions.

Author – Tristan Rienstra

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Why RDI’S IRIS M™ Motion Amplification™ is Essential Technology

RDI’s IRIS M™ Motion Amplification™ takes Asset Management and Reliability to another level
Problem

The industrial landscape in Australasia is ultra-competitive with companies always looking for technologies that will propel them to best in class for their industry.

Solution

RDI’s IRIS M™ Motion Amplification™ is one of those ESSENTIAL technologies that will take your Asset Management and Reliability to another level.

  • IRIS M™ enables Proactive (Precision) Maintenance Reliability activities such as precision commissioning, precision installation and DEFECT ELIMINATION
  • Visualisation of the root cause of unacceptable vibration detected via routine and online PdM programs
  • Through visualisation, transition to root cause problem solving
  • IRIS M™ is the perfect tool for screening assets, fault finding, commissioning new assets, and pre/post repairs or retrofits
  • Communication tool between technical and non-technical personnel, enhancing the decision-making process

Contact sales@gvsensors.com.au to learn more about IRIS M™ Motion Amplification™