How measuring vibrations can help you avoid costly breakdowns
Measuring vibrations to prevent breakdowns
Across the globe, we all speak different languages depending on where we are from and where we live. Machines, however, speak the same language regardless of where they are operating – the language of vibrations. So we have put together this article to help you get started with measuring vibrations to prevent breakdowns.
In the mining industry, most machines are different from one another and have been designed to operate in a certain way depending on their functionality. But, when looking at the characteristics of the vibrations created by the machine we can over time get vital information about their health, productivity, and general condition. The advantages of monitoring vibrations can be summarised in three bullets:
- Identify the cause of damages
- Monitor the need for repair and predict breakdowns before they occur
- Understand your machines better to increase productivity and profitability
Identify the cause of damages
If a machine or assets start showing sign of wear, performing a vibration analysis is a great starting point for a root cause analysis to try to determine what have made the machine to start to act abnormally. A good read on how to get started is to head over to Wikipedia and set up your structure on how to perform the analysis. We recommend including a step where you measure vibrations at different spots on the machine and compare the vibration levels and ask yourself, is there a logical reason why the vibration is/isn’t different? And simply start working your way towards the root cause.
Monitor needs for repair and predict breakdown before they occur
If you make a habit of routinely measuring vibrations on your machines & assets you will pretty soon have a powerful dataset in your possession. By routinely measuring vibrations with the ReLog and visualising them with VibInspect you will soon learn to understand what type of characteristics are normal and which are deviating from normal. As soon as you see signs of deviation you can perform a root-cause-analysis and catch the problem early on. And, if done correctly, you can ensure that your company will save a lot of money and resources by being able to plan and schedule maintenance instead of battling to minimise the span of the breakdown.
Boost profitability by reducing downtime
The true cost of unscheduled downtime in the mining industry depends on the application and how it is calculated, but estimations range from $3,000 per hour, with an average repair time of 60 hours, up to a staggering $600,000 for one single failure. By measuring vibrations on a continuous basis and using the measures mentioned above, deviations can be detected early on and addressed quickly to ensure that a breakdown doesn’t occur.
What equipment do you need to measure the vibrations?
Measuring vibrations to prevent breakdowns is something that can be done in many ways and with many different products and instruments. But, according to us at ReVibe Energy, you’ll need an instrument that you can trust will deliver accurate results time after time, and that is still extremely easy to use. That is why we have created the ReLog vibration data logger!
The ideal vibration data logger for capturing and monitoring vibrations, shocks, and impacts. With superior battery life and 32 GB of memory, the ReLog is the perfect tool for monitoring vibrations in most environments. It has been designed to be extremely easy to handle and by the touch of a button, you will be up and running and measuring with up to 32,000 Hz sampling rate.
With its waterproof housing (IP67) there really are very few limitations to where you can use the ReLog! And when you’re done measuring the included software will make sure you have perfectly structured files that are easy to analyze and work with.
What technical specifications should you pay attention to?
Regardless of choosing the ReLog vibration data logger or not, there are a few specifications that you should pay attention to which will be crucial in measuring with high precision and accuracy:
- Sample rate (higher is always better, but we would recommend a minimum of 20,000 Hz to ensure you see all frequencies when you measure the first times)
- Bandwidth (this value ensures the accuracy of the measurement)
- Battery lifetime & memory size (these two parameters jointly influences for how long time you can measure vibrations)
- Rugged casing (ensure that the outer casing of the data logger is minimum IP67 to be able to withstand the harsh conditions of the mining environment)
How to get started?
Well, first of all, we would like to emphasise that getting started with measuring vibrations is not that hard at all! Instead of simply writing about it, let one of our engineers demonstrate in the video below when we mount the ReLog on a car for some quick measurements.