FAQs

Condition Monitoring

At BG Industrial Doctors Inc. we sincerely believe that we can be of assistance in setting up the complete package for Condition Monitoring, for your plant.

It is our sincere belief that initial installation is a key factor in the lifetime cost of most pieces of equipment. When equipment is properly installed then properly operated, as it should be with periodic maintenance and monitoring, many years of trouble-free service can be expected. However, when rotating equipment is not installed correctly, years of maintenance and operational problems will challenge its performance and add to maintenance and utility costs.

A solution to improper installation of equipment is to have a complete analysis performed of unit or units after construction. To determine the status of the equipment, a BG Industrial Doctors Inc. Rotating Specialist may use technologies like vibration analysis, phase analysis, ultrasound and thermography to determine alignment quality and pin point any abnormality. Although this may initially seem to be the most expensive way, it may be the only way if reliability of the plant has not been taken into account from the design stage.

BG Industrial Doctors Inc. Rotating Equipment Specialists think in reliability concepts and work to exceed manufacture and engineering specifications when possible. This philosophy is promoted as a way of thinking about the internal organization of the machinery.

Today, with latest technologies available at more reasonable costs, many companies are striving to build complete predictive/proactive maintenance programs. As production needs demand less downtime, lower maintenance and repair costs along with increased utility costs demand higher output from machinery. It has therefore been proven to be cost effective that the ability to predict machine health and to schedule maintenance outages has a large return on investment. Condition Monitoring and the precision approach to equipment installation, maintenance and rebuild is becoming a valuable tool for companies to get the most from their budgets.

Setting up a Condition Monitoring program is time consuming. A data collector could be bought and data collection could begin without any pre-work and some analyzing could be done, but the results won't be the best. What you put into your program is what you will get out of it. Garbage in equals garbage out (GIGO). The more information that you know about the equipment, the better your program will be. This same information is used by the Maintenance Management system, for Planning and scheduling maintenance on client’s equipment

BG Industrial Doctors Inc. can assist in setting up the complete package. We have data and procedure forms that should be filled out on every piece of equipment. Developing this information can take some time, but by having it already documented, it can readily be transferred into a database along with alarm limits and analysis parameters.

BG Industrial Doctors Inc. can also help out in the selection of people who will manage or work on your program and make sure that they understand what is involved. A sure requirement is that they must be willing to learn new skills. Interaction with management, engineering and production are all part of the job. As managers and production personnel start to see the benefits and results from the program, they will come to trust it. Technicians who may be reluctant to act on analyst's data at first will start to see equipment run longer with fewer failures.

BG Industrial Doctors Inc. has the experience, expertise and the tools to aid companies in getting their programs off the ground. Hiring BG Industrial Doctors Inc. expertise gives personnel time to get trained and gain experience so they may eventually take over this important aspect of maintenance. BG Industrial Doctors Inc. also may also be able to provide, or organize, in-house training for personnel.

Oil Analysis

Oil analysis has been used to evaluate machinery condition for many years. For oil analysis to be effective, it must take into account three vital considerations:

  1. Oil chemistry
  2. Mechanical wear
  3. Contamination

Lubricant condition/chemistry deals with the properties of oil. Oil contaminants may be solids, liquids or gases. If the oil within equipment is breaking down it cannot lubricate machine parts effectively.

Particulate contaminants can cause excessive wear in rotating machinery while liquid contamination; such as the unwanted presence of water, can adversely affect oil chemistry and promote oxidation in machinery. A concern common to all machines with lubricating oil systems is keeping contaminates out of the system.

Many companies pay laboratories to perform tests on oil samples. This data can be imported into BG Industrial Doctors Inc. vibration program, which may then be trended over time.

New Oil Cleanliness

A point that is not readily know is that new oil may already be contaminated and should be filtered before installing into equipment. In many cases, new oil is the dirtiest oil in the plant. The containers used to store lubricants are often reused and may be subjected to many extreme conditions before they reach the plant.

Currently, lubricant manufacturers are not required to ensure cleanliness of the lubricant they provide unless it is advertised as meeting a specified cleanliness rating, or cleanliness is written into the lubricant purchase specification. Cleanliness of new oils typically ranges between ISO 4406 codes of 16/13 to 22/19. Considering most hydraulic and lubrication systems require ISO cleanliness of 17/14 or better, the new oil contamination level is frequently too high for immediate service without conditioning or pre-filtering. Routine analysis of new oils should be employed to ensure effective contamination control.

  • Oil MUST be extremely clean
  • Any dirt will cause problems
  • Very small particles act as a lapping compound
  • Medium size particles scratch finely polished surfaces
  • Large particles may actually block openings or pilot lines

The only way to see if oil is clean is by counting the particles and their sizes, either with a microscope or a special device called a particle counter.

Lubricants in storage are also subject to particle agglomeration. Agglomeration occurs when smaller particles combine to form larger, more harmful particles. These harmful particles will typically fall to the bottom of the container. Remember, that while drum agitation is effective at re-suspending additives, it is also effective at re-suspending settled contamination.

Common components of dirt (such as silica) are abrasive and naturally promote wear of contact surfaces. In hydraulic systems, particles can block and abrade the close tolerances of moving parts. Water in oil promotes oxidation and reacts with additives to degrade the performance of the lubrication system. Ideally, there would be no dirt or moisture in the lubricant; however, this is not possible. The lubricant analysis program must therefore monitor and control contaminants. Large systems with filters will have steady-state levels of contaminates. Increases in contaminates indicate breakdown in the systems integrity (leaks in seals, doors, heat exchangers, etc.) or degradation of the filter. Unfiltered systems can exhibit steady increases during operation. To help counter this, operators can perform a weekly visual and odour check of lubricating systems and provide a first alert of contamination.

BG Industrial Doctors Inc. is able to assist clients by taking oil samples and performing installation of any necessary equipment to ensure minimal or no contamination. Oil samples must be collected safely and in a manner that will not introduce dirt and other contaminates into the machine/system, or into the sample. It may be necessary to install permanent sample valves in some lubricating systems. The oil sample should be representative of the oil seen in the machine. The sample should be collected from a mid-point in reservoirs and upstream of the filter in circulating systems.

BG Industrial Doctors Inc. has the experience, expertise and the tools to aid companies in getting their programs off the ground. Hiring BG Industrial Doctors Inc. expertise gives personnel time to get trained and gain experience so they may eventually take over this important aspect of maintenance. BG Industrial Doctors Inc. also may also be able to provide, or organize, in-house training for personnel.

What is Ultra sound and where is it used?

Ultrasound

This technology analyzes ultrasonic vibrations to determine equipment faults or leaks in lines. For example, on average the human ear can detect sounds up to 16 kHz. Some humans can hear sounds up to 21 kHz., whereas ultrasonic guns can pick up sounds above this range.

There are ultrasonic components in practically all forms of friction. In industrial predictive maintenance, sounds above 21 kHz are of most importance. For example, by the time you hear a bearing making noise it is usually an emergency problem. With an ultrasonic gun, you can become aware of bearing deterioration in its early stages and perform the required repairs. In fact, ultrasonic inspection and monitoring of bearings is by far the most reliable method for detecting incipient bearing failure. And ultrasound is the least expensive of the technologies. Initial expense is minimal, and most training is hands-on and gathered by experience.

The following list contains faults that can be detected using this non-invasive, non-destructive technique:

  1. Pressure or vacuum leak detection-Turbulence creates a broad spectrum of sound called "white noise". Can be used in finding explosive, inert, and gas leaks;
  2. Electrical faults in transformers and switchgear (electric arc, corona, tracking detection) occurs when voltage escapes in high voltage lines or when it jumps across a gap in an electrical connection, it disturbs the air molecules around it and generates ultrasound. Can be heard even when component is not at full load;
  3. Beginning of bearing wear, deformation raises the amplitude of ultrasonic frequencies;
  4. Brinelling of bearing surfaces. This causes a flattening process as the balls get out of round, and this in turn creates a repetitive ringing and increase in amplitude of monitored frequencies;
  5. Flooding of (or perhaps lack of) lubricants, the flooding will create a rushing sound that is 8 db over baseline. Can be used when greasing bearings so as to not over-lubricate them;
  6. Faulty steam traps, the turbulence of live steam rushing has a characteristic sound;

Ultrasonic vibrations detection and monitoring can be used in many different applications.

BG Industrial Doctors Inc. has the experience, expertise and the tools to aid companies in getting their programs off the ground. Hiring BG Industrial Doctors Inc. expertise gives personnel time to get trained and gain experience so they may eventually take over this important aspect of maintenance. BG Industrial Doctors Inc. also may also be able to provide, or organize, in-house training for personnel.

Vibration Analysis

What is vibration? Vibration is the complex, periodic motion of a rotating or reciprocating system in response to one or more forcing functions. The forces that act on a machine internally or externally to cause vibration are often called excitations.

Steps in vibration analysis include equipment first being categorized and then prioritization given to each piece so a reasonable monitoring schedule can be determined. The prioritizing process should include the plant production department’s input. Some of the factors that may participate in influencing the frequency of equipment monitoring include: safety concerns, production loss, production downtime, and equipment repair costs.

After determining the monitoring frequency of equipment a plan can be established so measurements can be made in an orderly manner. Data is collected at different points on a given piece of equipment or in an equipment train. The analyst first determines what measures will be taken, for example: displacement, velocity or acceleration. Frequency range and application play a critical role in this decision.

After determining what measures to monitor, the analyst then decides what transducers will be required for the equipment monitoring. Each transducer has its place, and sometimes equipment monitoring will require the use of more than one transducer. Non- contacting relative displacement probes; velocity pickups and accelerometers are all possible options depending on what information is needed.

Various types of testing equipment can be used to capture data and there are many software programs to help analyze it. Added to this, there must also be included a properly trained and experienced analyst to interrupt the data collected. The following is a common list of instruments (tools) used for collecting and analyzing data.

Common Instrument (tool) Systems

  • Simple meter
  • Oscilloscope
  • Tracking filter
  • FFT spectrum analyzer
  • Dual channel FFT spectrum analyzer
  • Electronic data logger

Measurements are usually presented as a time waveform or Spectral Domain (depending on your test equipment). The time waveform can be a simple sine wave or may be more complex. The time domain is viewed as amplitude versus time. Spectral data are expressed as amplitude versus frequency and are derived from the time domain using the FFT (Fast Fourier Transform), which is a calculation method for converting a time waveform into a series of discrete components of frequency and amplitude. What cannot be seen in a FFT is the relationship of phase within the equipment. Time waveform can show phase.

The cost of implementing a program that uses vibration analysis can vary depending on the type of equipment and software being used. The best approach for companies with limited budgets is either to start with the basics and slowly upgrade over time or utilize an outside contractor.

As a company that specializes in rotating equipment and vibration analysis, BG Industrial Doctors Inc. has the experience, expertise and the tools to aid companies in getting their programs off the ground. Hiring BG Industrial Doctors Inc. expertise gives personnel time to get trained and gain experience so they may eventually take over this important aspect of maintenance. BG Industrial Doctors Inc. may also be able to provide, or organize, in-house training for personnel.

Remember, that the more information you have about the equipment, the easier it is to determine potential faults. Gathering information can be difficult and sometimes impossible unless everyone involved follows prescribed steps every time. Documentation is a major key to improving equipment reliability BG Industrial Doctors Inc. has established procedures and inspection forms for maintenance personnel to follow.

At the very least, even if budget restraints prevent plants from starting vibration analysis, they should still keep meticulous records of how the machinery is performing. Setting up equipment, alarm parameters and alarm faults is a time consuming job but it will ensure savings in the long run.