Maintenance, Test & Measurement, Calibration

Ultrasonic predictive/preventative maintenance cuts costs

April 2003 Maintenance, Test & Measurement, Calibration News Conferences & Events

The improved PeakMaster/PeakMate condition monitor is a light, portable, handheld untrasonic-based predictive/preventative maintenance system.

PeakMaster checks bearings, gears, valves, hydraulic and pneumatic systems. Detects electrical arcing and air, steam, gas and vacuum leaks. Built-in datalogger can store up to 16 readings from each of up to 5000 measurement points for on-the-spot instant trending and viewing numerically or graphically on large LCD screen. Extended readings up to 200 seconds possible.

New PeakMate software (included in price) keeps a permanent record of all readings for graphic or numerical display. Histories of each measurement point, job cards, zooming and smoothing features aid analysis. Two alarm levels can be set, telling when to check and when to replace. It conforms to Euro norm.

The audio and/or contact system is superior to vibration testers as it is very much more sensitive. It has regularly detected developing bearing and other problems which were not detected with sophisticated, more expensive vibration testers. It has paid for itself many times over in numerous instances to clients' satisfaction.

"Bearings on the verge of failure generate ultrasonic frequencies of measurable amplitude before audible or mechanical signals can be detected. This fact suggests that ultrasonic detection equipment may provide the most useful way to monitor incident bearing failure. The ultrasonic signal appears prior to a temperature rise of increase in driving torque." (NASA Tech Brief).

Top users

Anglo American, Airforce, ISCOR, SAFMarine, Sasol, Huletts, ESCOM, mines, heavy engineering, power stations, sewerage plants, municipalities, car plants, printing works, sugar mills, etc.

Bearing inspection - Nasa findings

Beginning of failure:

* Amplitude increases 12-50 times over baseline.

* Equivalent to 10-12 dB increase over baseline.

* Monitored frequencies between 24-50 KHz.

* Ultrasound changes occur before they are detected by heat or vibration instruments.

Advantages of ultrasonic bearing inspection

* Provides earliest warning of failure.

* Isolates signal.

* Quality of bearing condition heard.

* Detects lack of lubrication.

* Prevents over-lubrication.

* Can be used on slow speed bearings.

* Complements other methods, such as heat detection, vibration, oil analysis.

For more information contact BAMR, 021 683 2100,,

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