Condition monitoring (CM) is the process of monitoring a particular condition in machinery, to identify changes that could indicate a developing fault. It is a major part of predictive maintenance as implementing condition monitoring allows for maintenance to be scheduled and preventive actions taken to prevent further failure and subsequent unplanned downtime.
Condition monitoring is a systematic set of processes and technologies that assesses, and monitors the condition of industrial machinery for a given time-period or environment. This is typically done through physical means, such as vibration monitoring, inert gas monitoring, or thermal. The use of these technologies can make a huge impact in maintaining industrial machinery. It improves worker safety and reduces the chances of collateral damage to the system. Traditionally, vibration analysis was the preferred means of condition monitoring, however, nowadays, modern, innovative techniques such as sensors and sophisticated softwares are being used to monitor the condition of the machines in real-time. The unique advantage of condition monitoring is that it addresses the conditions of the equipment that would shorten its lifespan, long before they develop into catastrophic failure.
Remote Condition Monitoring is utilized for the real-time monitoring of a machine or plant. The system generally consists of condition monitoring sensors that are installed on the machines, which capture the data and send it to softwares installed either on-premise or on the cloud, where the data is analysed. The system captures the data, processes and notifies the maintenance teams when the pre-set limits (benchmarks) are exceeded.
Condition monitoring sensors measure how a machine operates and inform the system how the machine is performing. These sensors are used to detect wear, overheating, vibrations or noise; This information is then interpreted and delivered to the main system. These sensors are usually installed at the system level and data processing and visualisation takes place in the main monitoring room. The specific sensor readings are taken and are used to produce real-time displays of the condition of the machine. These displays are important to identify potential problems and prevent downtime, with automated detection and response. These sensors help prevent or reduce failures, through early detection of anomalies or faults.
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