UK Power Station Vibration Analysis using WiSER 3x
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The world has changed; Social distancing and new working rules brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic has meant that maintenance and reliability professionals must think differently.
Monitoring machine condition remains important, but it is now crucial to be able to do so without barriers; we cannot be tied-in to software licences, equipment must be easy to use and not restricted to “CM-experts”, auto-diagnostics and remote analysis must be reliable to give us confidence in the outputs.
Case Study: a simple example of how Erbessd-Instrument’s solutions are addressing the challenge is with the Wiser 3x and “Wiser-Vibe App”:
The WiSER 3x is a wireless accelerometer that sends 3 axis vibration data + 1 additional channel simultaneously to any data collector in the market. WiSER 3x is a wireless ultra-low noise accelerometer with 15 kHz bandwidth that exceeds the characteristics above all of most conventional accelerometers.
Combined with Erbessd’s DigiVibe software, Wiser 3x is one of the most powerful and flexible condition monitoring tools available; standing alongside other “expert VA systems”.
Salvtech are a family run business, primarily focused on supplying a wide variety of machinery and services to the paper, recycling and waste industries. In March 2020 we were approached by them to support their maintenance specialists by performing vibration analysis on a number of critical fans at a power station in the UK.
Salvtech’s own engineers are experienced in VA and have vibration analysers, but it was unlikely that they would have the time to carry out the full scope of work given the increasing restriction on available site time.
As the pandemic “lockdown” became tighter it was becoming clear that we would not be able to deploy a VA engineer on site even though the activity was deemed critical. Together with Salvtech we hatched a plan to post one of our demo Wiser 3x’ to their office in Wales, provide training through video-conference to enable them to easily collect data that could be analysed by us remotely.
The Salvtech Engineer downloaded the free Wiser-App onto his iPhone. The routes were set-up, data was collected and the Wiser-app gave immediate machine condition status. The vibration readings were easily downloaded to the cloud for remote analysis support if the engineer thought it may be required.
Subsequent to the trip and on an initial analysis using the Wiser-app, we were asked to use our DigiVibe analysis software to investigate one fan with audible noise and a slightly elevated vibration (although not “in alarm”).
Our consultant analysed the data remotely and provided the confidence that the machine was in satisfactory condition, a lack of lubrication was the likely cause of the noise and elevated vibration: A combination of H V & A axis for the aux motor drive end gives us an accurate “snapshot” of the condition of the machine. There is slight evidence of harmonics at around 1,143 rpm (2x,3x possible 4x) in the axial direction. The dominant frequency on each axis is 12080 cpm which would equate to approx 11x 1143cpm
The raised carpet levels between 50000cpm and 140000cpm would indicate that lubrication is required; all readings are very low and not of significant concern.
The audible squeak therefore is likely to be caused by friction due to the lack of lubricant.
- If possible, take another reading in the same operating condition immediately. Compare the readings to determine a degradation path and if any consequential bearing damage has been caused. Otherwise, just get the bearing lubricated ASAP.
- If possible, take a vibration reading to confirm that lubrication has resolved the fault.
- Check the lubrication regime/SOP and make sure it is fit for purpose and applied consistently to all machines.
Martin Christmas, Managing Director of Salvtech, said of the challenge and WiSER3x:
“Here’s one of our engineers using it yesterday at a power station. We are currently trialing the system. It dramatically increased the number of readings we took during this visit as part of a day of fan inspections.
The engineer was able to collect and check the results on his iPhone and I simultaneously interrogated the data on the laptop via the online software in the van. We even had time to take more readings to help us investigate a few issues. Erbessd have been really helpful in supporting us adopting a new system in these challenging circumstances”.
Salvtech subsequently purchased a Wiser 3x and DigiVibe M20 data collector/analyser and are now self-sufficient in terms of Vibration Analysis.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Oliver Mottersead, B.Sc is a well respected industry expert and respected leader in the predictive maintenance industry.
Oliver is a native of the UK. Oliver is a Certified Maintenance & Reliability Professional, Certified Vibration Analyst, and Engineer. Oliver is the Managing Director for Erbessd Instruments – Europe and is responsible for the Sales & Distribution Support, Training, and Technical Services for the European Market.
ERBESSD INSTRUMENTS is a leading manufacturer of Vibration Analysis Equipment and Dynamic Balancing Machines with facilities in Mexico and the United States and representatives around the world. ERBESSD INSTRUMENTS – MASTERS OF MACHINE HEALTH