New digital technologies are transforming the way and speed at which we make decisions around preventative maintenance. These advancements include new in-line, real-time monitoring sensors that deliver on the earlier promises of true online monitoring capabilities when compared to traditional lab-based oil analysis, visual determination of oil level, and route-based vibration data collection. Notable challenges with manual methods are the time between sample and results, access to remote and mobile assets, infrequency of sampling compared to reliability events, and elevated risk of human error. To overcome these challenges, many operators are moving towards online monitoring.
Industries such as energy, mining, rail, marine, etc. have all started adopting online oil monitoring programs and it is expected to become standard practice over the next few years. Recent sensor advancements are now capable of measuring a variety of oil health related parameters including oil condition, relative humidity, temperature, and others. These new sensors can detect most, if not all, key oil events and project the remaining useful life of the oil while the asset is in operation. However, oil level, the most critical measurement is typically overlooked. While oil level sensors exist, their use is not widespread due to a variety of reasons, one of the main being sensor form factors.
Vibration analysis has proven to be one of the most reliable and quantitative indicators of gearbox component failures. Acquiring, analyzing, and monitoring of a machinery’s vibration can reveal much about that machine’s health. Vibration is often the preferred machinery monitoring solution.
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