An equipment is like an investment for an industry or organisation. It is an equipment only that will ensure that the business continues running. With this, it is also important that proper care and maintenance of the equipment is done. Many injuries and accidents have been reported in the recent past due to the failure of machinery or equipment at the workplace. So, keeping a check and observing the equipment/machinery will help to avoid such failures or injuries.
What is Condition Monitoring?
Condition monitoring is observing and monitoring the condition of the equipment regularly and note down the irregularities and faults in the functioning of the equipment to avoid injuries and add to the lifespan of the equipment. It involves measuring specific equipment parameters like temperature or oil of the equipment, vibrations of a machine and other related factors which can lead to the impending failure of the equipment. Condition monitoring helps in knowing the current and past history of the equipment. It will help in understanding the performance of the equipment and what measures or precautions need to be taken beforehand. It also analyses the failures beforehand so that the maintenance can be planned accordingly.
Methods Used for Condition Monitoring
There are two methods used widely for condition monitoring. They are-
- Condition checking- It involves the monitoring of the equipment periodically while the machine is in use. This will help in checking the condition of the machine at that given point of time.
- Trend monitoring- it involves the monitoring and interpretation of data on a regular and continuous basis. It helps in figuring out the primary damage caused in the initial stage. It is thus preventing the more significant damage that could be costly to the machine.
These methods will help in understanding the failures and abnormalities of the machine and how the machine health can be maintained.
Importance of Condition Monitoring
- Condition monitoring helps in saving the cost involved in maintenance considerably because condition monitoring closely observes the condition of the equipment and can predict when the maintenance is needed. Regular maintenance and tracking adds to the additional cost and also lessens the life span of the equipment.
- It will also prevent the loss that would happen if the machine is stopped, and then the maintenance is done—thus impacting the production. In case of condition monitoring, the machine can be observed, and the faults can be catered to while the machine is running. So, the maintenance can be done without causing the machine to stop. For instance, if there is some problem with the oil in the machinery, it can be fixed by keeping a close check on the oil condition and can be changed accordingly without causing the production to stop. This becomes possible with the feature of condition monitoring.
- It is also essential to be aware and have good knowledge about the equipment that is being used in the industry. Condition monitoring helps with this, as well. Every machinery used in the industry has its own set of characteristics and traits. Through condition monitoring, the engineer can better understand these traits and helps in taking better decisions in regards to the maintenance and performance of the equipment.
- Condition monitoring also helps the engineers to know and understand the faults and abnormalities of the equipment so that action can be taken in advance, and some major casualty can be avoided. If there is any change or discrepancy in the machine, the engineers can understand in a better way and get the problem fixed. It’s always a good idea to get the problem fixed first rather than using the machine which has a problem in it. Thus, taking up considerable time and effort.
- Condition monitoring aims at the efficient working of the machine to meet the demands of the operation required by industry. This will need a set of people and processes so that the equipment can work efficiently and have a long span of life.
- Condition monitoring will lead to better plant operation and sound quality which will increase the rate of output and productivity.
- It will also ensure customer satisfaction and better consumer engagement, as there will be fewer faults or inconvenience caused to them because of proper care and maintenance.
- It will also provide a base for designing the better plant in future as condition monitoring will help in generating all the details and problems that might occur during the use of existing equipment.
- Through condition monitoring, one understands the possible faults and abnormalities in the equipment. Thus it leads to better negotiations with the plant manufacturers and repairers so that better equipment can be invested in the future.
- Condition monitoring also ensures that the equipment is not overburdened or they are treated before they reach the critical situation.
Condition monitoring helps in understanding the problems caused to the equipment because of varied factors. It detects the signs of deterioration at an early stage so that the damage caused is not too heavy. In all, it saves the organisations time, money and resources.