Condition monitoring is as essential as insurance

A recent press launch described the combined condition monitoring experience and businesses within Schaeffler, CNES (Corus Northern Engineering Services), and a marine supplier who uses their monitors.

A recent presentation on condition monitoring techniques and experience, led by Schaeffler, adopts the view that expenditure justification on condition monitoring services or installations should be based on the approach of an insurance policy.

Finance Directors would be felt to be irresponsible if they did not have fire insurance, to protect the company assets.

They would probably accept the need for building and factory security as a service, and might even pay for AA breakdown cover for their car.

So the same should apply to the monitoring of the factory machinery to prevent production shutdowns as a result of a bearing failure, an event that could have been predicted by regular monitoring.

A financial risk assessment could also be used to highlight the most critical machines, in terms of impact on the continuing business of the factory, to see the consequential costs of a failure.

Schaeffler are bearing manufacturers, but a large proportion of their news stories are related to the condition monitoring equipment and services they offer to assist their customers, the users of bearings, in improving the maintenance operations and efficiency.

Within Schaeffler, FAG Industrial Services, known as F’IS, produce automatic lubrication systems, alignment systems and vibration monitoring/condition monitoring equipment as well.

F’IS will provide the equipment, training, or the condition monitoring services themselves: but have joined forces with CNES, Corus Northern Engineering Services, to provide an even more comprehensive range of condition monitoring services, under the new name of Praxis.

CNES expertise was obviously developed in the steel industry, but they are now possibly better seen as a provider of heavy engineering expertise, particularly in condition monitoring (with an experienced staff of 25) and repair and refurbishment of large plant – for industries such as cement, mining, minerals etc.

Inevitably large plant, with long lead times, and high value, is where condition monitoring is used already: but the effects of failure can be critical in any industry.

An interesting parallel has been in the marine industry, where Schaeffler DTECT permanently installed vibration monitors have been adapted into the Voyager system produced by RCM Marine.

Particularly for diesel electric powered chemical tankers, this turbocharger monitoring system provides an alarm indication should a problem develop on any of the ship turbochargers, and the signals are also transmitted via satellite or email back to RCM Marine, who can help assist in the analysis of the problem and the decisions needed.

CNES and Schaeffler have an archive of interesting application stories: its maybe time to review the technology for your plant, plus even find out how to win over the finance director, by talking to the experts!

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