Over the years, companies have changed their behavior in the maintenance of their equipment. Today, there is greater concern about their health and useful life, as they need to guarantee the investments made and the performance indicators. Predictive maintenance tools are one of the key resources to achieve this.
For all these reasons, and other reasons, predictive maintenance is gaining strength every day in companies. Its use gradually increases as managers understand the importance of preventing failures.
See in this article the main predictive maintenance solutions that your company should have.
Why use predictive maintenance tools?
Directly, to avoid component failures and, consequently, machine downtime.
First of all, predictive maintenance tools make it easier for the maintenance industry to prevent problems that can stop production .
In other words, they collaborate to ensure total productivity and REDUCE production costs.
Maybe that’s why we see technicians working on equipment as if they were doctors equipped with devices such as: stethoscopes, endoscopes, vibration meters and thermometers.
In this way, they seek ways to guarantee the availability of the equipment and not interrupt the production process.
Top predictive maintenance tools
Among the tools present in predictive maintenance, we have:
1. Vibration Sensors and Accelerometers
Vibration analysis allows you to identify the source of failures in equipment that vibrates more than expected.
In general, rotating components emit a frequency of vibration when they are in operation.
Vibration analysis captures this frequency with accelerometers connected to vibration sensors installed at strategic points. After that, the sensors transform the mechanical energy of vibration into electrical signals.
The data, or recording of vibrations, are sent to recording devices or vibration analysis software (vibration analyzers). So, if the emitted frequencies are out of the standard, then you can determine if something is wrong.
Stroboscopes are portable tools that allow you to observe and evaluate a moving machine or component. They cast very short, high-intensity flashes of light onto the equipment.
In this way, they allow recording the images for later observation. In addition, it records the speed and path of an element in accelerated motion. However, it makes the component appear to be stopped.
Therefore, this predictive maintenance tool allows you to study the movement of a machine or component in operation, as if it were stopped.
The operating temperature of a component can say a lot about operating conditions. There are several components that cannot operate at high temperatures.
Thermometers are predictive maintenance tools that allow you to identify deviations from the normal working temperature.
For example, a high temperature bearing can suffer irreversible damage to your system. Therefore, it is important to measure the bearing temperature with a thermometer. If it is higher than expected, it is possible that it is out of lubrication or that the shaft is misaligned.
But to find the root cause more detailed analysis is needed. In some cases, the use of thermographs is indicated to identify the origin of the temperature increase.
First of all, an important point must be made. Rotating systems that have components such as industrial seals cannot work at high temperatures.
In addition to interfering with the life of the component, there is a risk of fire, as most seals and retainers are made of plastic or rubber.
The same occurs in bearings with bearings . It is subject to temperature fluctuation and also has seals installed.
Therefore, the thermometer for industrial maintenance is a very important tool to prevent overheating failures.
4. Video Endoscopes
Video endoscopes allow you to detect any obstructions in the passage of fluid through a system. In this way, they help to find the root cause of the problem to act on the solution.
Basically, the video endoscope records, through photos and footage in high resolution, what cannot be detected in the visual inspection performed by the technician.
The industrial endoscopy technique can be used for inspections in:
- Pressure vessel;
- Heat exchangers;
- Electric, hydraulic and diesel engines;
- Among others.
5. Industrial Electronic Stethoscope
Identify the source of noise that can cause a component to fail completely. With the electronic stethoscope it is possible to do this in an easier way.
This predictive maintenance tool is a highly sensitive instrument. Allows you to identify problems in machine components by detecting machine noise or vibrations.
The machines make a lot of noise when they are in operation. Instruments, such as the electronic stethoscope, isolate these ultrasounds from ambient noise in the factory and machines and identify the source.
For systems with running bearings , noise monitoring helps to identify potential failures.
For example, bearings in good condition produce a continuous noise, like a cat’s windpipe. However, irregular sounds usually indicate that they are in bad condition or that something is wrong.
6. Decibel Meter
Predictive maintenance also works to ensure the safety and good health of employees. It is known that in many companies, the noise level in the factory is constantly controlled.
The Decibel Meter is a high quality, portable instrument for measuring the sound pressure level in decibels. The ambient noise is picked up by the electret condenser microphone and then processed by the device. In this way, ambient noise can be monitored both quantitatively and qualitatively.
The intensity of sound noise is so relevant to the health of employees that there is a rule to establish levels of acceptance in different environments. This is NR 10152 .
According to this standard, it is necessary to use a decibel meter to properly collect the sound intensity.