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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™

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The 4 different types of soft foot

Soft foot is a term we often use when we talk about shaft alignment. In fact, you must always perform a soft foot check before the actual alignment work can start; it is an essential part of securing a reliable installation. Let’s go through the different types of soft foot and why they occur.
 

By soft foot, we mean that the machine is not resting evenly on all feet. Another expression you may have heard is machine frame distortion.

Why do we need to check and correct soft foot? Can it be that big a problem if there is a tiny gap underneath one machine foot or a little pile of dirt under another? Well, yes. Because if the machine is not standing perfectly flat on the machine base, you can (and most likely will) run into problems such as shaft deflection, increased vibrations, bearing failure – and, in the end, machine breakdown. And that will be a lot more expensive than fixing the soft foot problem in the first place! Luckily, all Easy-Laser shaft alignment systems come with a program for soft foot check that tells you which feet you need to adjust and how much.

There are four types of soft foot which all have one thing in common: one or more feet are not resting firmly on the machine base. And there are different reasons for that. So, let’s take a look.

1.    Parallel soft foot

Parallel soft foot (sometimes also referred to as rocking soft foot) means that not all four feet are on the same plane. Think of a wobbly table at a restaurant, where you can rock it back and forth. In this case, the laser system software will show high readings (>0,05 mm) for soft foot at opposite corners. With a feeler gauge, you can determine which foot or feet you need to shim and how much. 

There are three possible reasons for parallel soft foot:

  • The leg is too short.
  • The base plate or mounting pads are not coplanar.
  • Missing shims under one or more feet.

To correct parallel soft foot, you add enough shims to remove the rocking effect (use as few as possible, and no more than four shims!).

2.    Bent foot / outside angled soft foot:

This is a common type of soft foot that occurs when the foot’s bottom is at an angle relative to the base. In this case, the laser system will show a high soft foot reading at three or four feet. The foot with the highest soft foot reading will show a tapered air gap from one corner of the foot to another. 

There can be several reasons for this condition, for example:

  • The machinery has been dropped or roughly handled.
  • The base plates are bent or poorly machined.
  • There’s a severe vertical angular misalignment.
  • The feet are welded.
  • Foundation settling has occurred.

The best way to correct this problem is to re-machine the feet, the base, or both. If this is not possible, step-shimming is an option (although you should try to avoid it).

3.    Squishy foot:

Squishy foot is sometimes also known as spring foot. With squishy foot, the feeler gauge won’t detect any gap underneath the foot. Instead, the problem is usually that the space between foot and base is filled with too many shims from a previous attempt to fix soft foot. There may also be a build-up of other unwanted material such as dirt or rust under the foot.  

Reasons for squishy soft foot may be:

  • Dirt, grease, paint, or rust between the foot and the base.
  • Too many shims (remember, you should not use more than four shims per foot).
  • Bent shims.
  • Shims with burrs or thread marks.

To get rid of this problem you need to thoroughly clean the area around and underneath the foot, and replace old shims with new, crush-resistant ones.

Here you can read more about shimming best practices.

4.    Induced soft foot:

Induced soft foot is caused by external forces that affect the machine frame, and it can be hard to detect. The laser system will indicate more than one soft foot, usually on the same side or the same end of the machine. The feeler gauge will find a gap, usually parallel or nearly parallel.

Some possible causes of induced soft foot are:

  • Coupling or pipe stress.
  • Overhung machines.
  • Belts or chain loads on pulleys and gears.
  • The flex conduit is excessively rigid.
  • Structural bracing is attached to the machine.
  • The jacking bolts are inadvertently left tight.

To correct induced soft foot, you need to remove the external forces that cause the problem. This may require more than one soft foot check since these forces can occur anytime during the shaft alignment process.

One step closer to trouble-free operation

Like we said in the beginning of this article: to correct soft foot is essential. No machine is designed to work under stress or with a high level of vibration, which are consequences of soft foot. So, make sure all feet are placed firmly on the ground (or base, in this case) and you have created the best possible conditions for perfect shaft alignment and trouble-free operation!

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Find the root cause with IRIS M™

Excessive vibration is often at the root of premature machine, structure, foundation, vessel and piping failures frequently leading to serious safety incidents and costly repairs and downtime.

One of the most effective, efficient and safest ways to characterize the root cause of excessive vibration is with RDI Technologies Inc.’s Motion Amplification® technology. The IRIS M™ platform enables the user to visualize, measure, troubleshoot, correct and verify the characteristics of excessive vibration problems.

Find the root cause with IRIS M™.

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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How to deal with Thermal Growth

All rotating machinery is subjected to thermal exposure. The machines will react differently depending on temperature and material, either by expanding or shrinking. And that is a fact. Thermal growth is a serious thing when you think about it.

All rotating machinery is installed in trains. Trains mean there is a driver, the motor, and driven, which can be a pump, blower, compressor, or any other type of process machine. During the installation of rotating machinery, precision shaft alignment is performed. The shaft alignment will ensure that both shafts (driver and driven) are collinear. Collinear means that both rotational centerlines are positioned as if they were one.

The effect of heat on driver vs. driven

When the machines are started, the driver and driven heat up in very different ways. A compressor in a hot environment will quickly increase in temperature due to friction of its internal rotating parts, and compression of the media will generate and add more heat. Comparing to the driver, which can be an electrical motor, the situation is very different. The temperature will increase to a certain level and then remain the same — two machines with two different behaviors. 

So, what happens when one of them increases its temperature relative to the other? It’s simple; the machine will start expanding. And when the machine expands, it will grow in all directions, move its rotational center out of collinearity and cause misalignment. But not only misalignment. Since there is a change in the machine geometry, pipe strain might also add more stress to the housing

 

Take thermal growth into account from the start

There are so many consequences of thermal growth in rotating equipment. Misalignment will, for example, also result in a bent shaft. Bent shaft will result in improper distribution of forces in the bearing, which will lead to failure of the lubrication. Therefore, we must be able to anticipate thermal growth by using available information from the OEM, or by performing the calculation by ourselves. So how do we do that? 

The key is to identify how much growth to expect. This number must be used when performing the shaft alignment to “intentionally misalign” the machines prior to start. Let us use the compressor as an example again. If we assume that the compressor will operate at a higher temperature than the motor, when aligning, we must place the compressor below the rotational centerline of the motor. How much below will be determined by the expected thermal expansion growth of the material.

Final test run

When the machine is aligned with the thermal growth considered, it must run and operate until it reaches its full operating condition. Then it must be stopped, and the shaft alignment verified. This is our test run of the machine, to confirm a proper and reliable installation, and to achieve full operational life. We want to test before we go to full production to ensure our thermal expansion calculation was correct. 

Think about aircraft maintenance. When there is an aircraft engine replacement, the pilots perform test flights until it can be confirmed that everything is operating as it should. And you don’t want to be on the plane knowing nobody performed the test run, do you?

Roman Megela Gazdova
Senior Reliability Engineer, Easy-Laser AB

 

So now you know the importance of thermal growth, how are you going to factor this in? 

No problem with Easy-Laser’s XT app.

Simply enter in the offset & angle values and the program will automatically calculate thermal expansion of the machine.

Contact GVS to learn more.

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Breaking New Ground With New Software Release

RDI Technologies, Inc. (RDI) just released a new update to its groundbreaking software. Version 3.3, the latest release, enhances a user’s experience for both the Iris M™ and Iris CM™ systems and reaches new markets seeking a solution to preventable and ongoing vibration problems. 

RDI ’s technology platform turns every pixel of a video camera into a displacement sensor. With patented software processing algorithms, Motion Amplification® enables users to see motion that’s impossible to see with the human eye. Always focused on combining customer feedback with cutting-edge technology, RDI conducted a customer feedback campaign over the summer in order to gain a better understanding of what new features would most benefit its customers. 

“We are excited for what this new release means for our line of Iris products,” said Jeff Hay, CEO of RDI Technologies. “This update includes full historization of data allowing our users to measure, compare, and trend nearly an infinite amount of locations across an asset with the click of a mouse. It’s a huge step for our customers in terms of what they can do with the Iris M and Iris CM.”

RDI’s systems are in use in over 38 different industries – a testament to the flexibility of the system and dynamic ways that users have found to apply the technology. In addition to RDI’s typical robust enhancements to the Iris M, Iris CM users have many new features. 

Key Features in the 3.3 Software Release: 
Iris M
  • Iris M™ Acquisition Assistant™:  It’s now easier than ever to obtain high-quality Motion Amplification® videos! The RDI Acquisition Assistant provides users with a step-by-step interactive guide that helps establish important recording settings such as framerate, lens selection, focus, and brightness. The Assistant also allows users to proactively identify environmental conditions before recording, such as light flicker and camera shake. Let the Acquisition Assistant help you achieve high-quality data.
  • Motion Amplification® – Historical Data Analysis: Iris M users now have the ability to store vibration data concurrent with the recordings captured by the Iris M camera. The spectrum and waveform data can be stored with the associated recording, allowing users to perform comparisons across recordings or measurement locations and display waterfall plots.
IRIS CM™
  • Motion Amplification® – Historical Data Analysis: Iris CM users now have the ability to store connected sensor data concurrent with the recordings captured by RDI camera systems. The spectrum and waveform data can be stored with the associated video recording, allowing users to perform comparisons across recordings or measurement locations and display waterfall plots.
  • Iris CM™ Measurement Historization: Now, users can get even more powerful insight into the dynamics of monitored equipment. With Measurement Historization, Iris CM™ users can define measurements to be stored over time for any connected sensor used to trigger recordings. Measurements include spectrum, waveform, and trend data from the connected sensors and the video-based ROI measurements. The associated captured recordings are also stored and available for further analysis in the Motion Amplification® software in conjunction with the historized data. 
  • Iris CM™ Complex Triggers: Iris CM™ users can now define the very specific criteria required from multiple sensors to determine when recordings are captured. Leveraging Boolean logic, users can, for example, define that both a high level of vibration and a specific change in speed must be met before triggering will occur. Now you can trigger when a specific set of conditions are met.

All users with current licenses are encouraged to download the latest software and enjoy the newest features that this technology offers. RDI continues to pioneer its industry and evolves as the markets and needs of customers change.

 

What is Motion Amplification? Visit www.opticalmotion.com.au or contact GVS today to learn about this cutting edge technology.

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Reliability Journey: From Mechanical Technician to Ultrasound Inspector

Ultrasound is considered to be the most diverse condition monitoring technology on the market covering both air-borne & structure-borne applications.

AND

The first signs of change in the operating condition of an asset are usually indicated in the ultrasound frequencies.

SO

Ultrasound should be your first line of defence for asset reliability.

SDT’s NEW ‘Live Online Level One’ (LOLO) is a comprehensive course which walks you through the basics of Ultrasound and how this can be applied across the 8 application pillars. It exceeds ISO 18436-8 requirements and is a combination of 45+ years of technical and real-world experience. Sound daunting? Don’t worry.

SDT have broken this up into 16 x 2 hour virtual sessions over an 8 week period straight to your desktop, tablet or other mobile device. All available for On-Demand playback giving you the flexibility to learn at your own pace. Full course details can be seen here.

Don’t just take our word for it. John Garrison, recent LOLO graduate recently shared his experience and how he used the knowledge he gained to perform ultrasound inspection and analysis on equipment in his facility. Download the full testimonial/case study below.

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SonaVu Acoustic Imaging Camera identifies vacuum leak within minutes

What is an Acoustic Imaging Camera?

SonaVu™ is an acoustic imaging camera. Using its 112 ultrasound sensors and optical camera, it can detect sources of airborne ultrasound and transmit them into a visual image on its touch screen.

Defects such as compressed air system leaks, compressed gas system leaks, vacuum leaks, the presence of partial discharge on electrical assets, and failed/working steam traps all create turbulence. And when there is turbulent flow present, there is airborne ultrasound. SonaVu™ makes the superhuman hearing capabilities visible to the human eye.

Using an acoustic imaging camera these defects and failure modes can be visualised and pinpointed from up to 50 meters away. And due to the visualisation capabilities of SonaVu™, it’s really easy to use too as demonstrated in the video below.

With minimal device training, maintenance technicians can confidently inspect their assets for defects, long before they cause unexpected downtime. 

SonaVu™ – Bring Condition Monitoring into focus.

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LUBExpert Case Study: 70% of bearings are still OVER lubricated

Bearings need grease, however… 

It’s a common misconception that if a little grease is good then a lot means better. WRONG!

Too much grease will overheat a bearing causing separation of the oil from its thickener and will begin to run out of the bearing. This can set off a chain reaction resulting in lack of lubrication & hardening of the thickener which left unchecked will cause major issues.

Many studies have shown that only 33% of the open space within a bearing needs to be filled to achieve optimum friction reduction. 

33%? How do you that?

ALS Global (Australia’s largest condition monitoring service provider) conducted an independent study over an 18 month period using the LUBExpert. The device was used across a large volume of grease lubricated bearings which were historically replenished using fixed calculated / time based rates.

Find out why ALS now choose the LUBExpert as their preferred method of lubrication. Download the full case study below.

 

How are you lubricating your bearings?

 

Save Time. Save Grease. Save Bearings. Use LUBExpert and ‘Grease Bearings Right’.

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OEMs and successful Vibration Monitoring

OEMs use vibration monitoring assets to protect their vibrating assets.

Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) are constantly striving to improve their product offerings and technologies, firstly to improve the customer’s experience and secondly to set themselves apart from their competition.

For OEMs of domestic products such as a dishwasher manufacturer, those improvements might include a new spraying technology for cleaner dishes or, a free 12monthly inspection by a certified repairer to give advice on the condition of the machine. But for OEMs of heavy industrial equipment worth hundreds of thousands of dollars to their customers, and often worth even more in lost production should the plant fail, the drive for greater customer satisfaction is even more important.

In many areas of industrial plant manufacturing; pumps, fans, gearboxes, conveyor systems, minerals processing equipment etc… GVS Reliability Products are seeing a shift by OEMs to provide specialised condition monitoring for the plant that is being purchased by the end user.

This may come in the form of a condition monitoring service team or person. But, what GVS are seeing more of is; a push for asset specific condition monitoring systems. These systems often include vibration monitoring and are hard wired to the OEMs equipment to gather asset condition data. The condition monitoring system then feeds that important asset health data to numerous locations such as:

  • The OEMs head office
  • The Plant Operators control system
  • Onsite/offsite Condition Monitoring professionals
  • Asset Maintenance team

With any number of the professionals and experts listed above having access to the condition monitoring data, failures and unplanned downtime should quickly become a thing of the past.

An increasing trend GVS are seeing is the OEM remotely monitoring their own assets off site at their HQ. This gives unprecedented 24hr access to data on the health and condition of their products. With that data so readily accessible, any number of actions can be undertaken from RCA, to design improvements or even alerting site personnel that warranty will be void unless corrective actions be taken on assets showing major signs of problems.

With the OEM providing a focused and plant specific condition monitoring system, they have the ability to give the end user a reliable and proven asset to protect the asset. That makes everyone involved from mine managers to shareholders sleep a whole lot better at night.