Decision Support - Vibration Analysis
Well, it depends on the technology you are using. For example, if you are only using an overall vibration meter, you probably would not want to call a bearing fault as overall meters are not really capable of presenting data for that fault. On the other hand, if you are using any of the big three vibration analyzers, you're probably OK to make that call.
One other technology that comes close is Ultrasound, you might hear an issue with the bearing, depending upon several factors such as signal transmissability (through air? metal? etc.). Another technology for back-up would be oil analysis, but then you have to wait to get the sample report back, unless you have an on-site oil analysis lab.
Thermography is a good tool as well, but by the time that the bearing is hot enough to show up, it has already failed and it would have been screaming in the ultrasonic and vibration dimensions anyway.
Vibration analysis is by far the best "bang for the buck" technology in detecting machinery failures.
Electrical failures - thermography and motor circuit analysis are your best bets. Hope this helps.
Buddy Lee, CMRP, MBA, CRL
Director of Engineering
Tekwell Services, LLC
*What do you check - is it bearings ?
If so - you can switch to use an Bearings analyzer which is streamed more into the lifetime and running conditions on the bearings. The original was SPM Instruments AB ( .se or .com ) and later their distributors have cópied them - this is Prüftechnik and another German company ) - it is called the SPM Method!
When using Infrared Cameras you can see jeat generation - but best is to have taken IR-images under the machines first normal drives and then compare with the IR images taken when problems arise.
Ultrasound is maybe good too - but that is kind ofsame as vibration or SPM just less sensitive.
Use good alignments - which should always be based on clouds of points during the alignment - systems taken 3 points or 5 and which has no control of selective repeatability data is really not good erformance - use the 2 OEMäs globally which make Laser Alignment systems where 1 or 2 ( both) lasers are comming from the stationaire side ( Pump side only has lasers - motor side only has sensors ). Hamar Laser developed this in windows based system with touchscreens already in 1993-95 and has 3rd generation on the market now.
Check your foundations too or at least take thier conditions into your vib analysis.
Larger bearings over 25mm. ID. ( closed or open/split ) can be checked for alignment before you mount shafts - its done today with automatic Laser & Camera/Video ROBOT probes called PROBIUS from www.d-test.eu ( contact me )
Jannick Halben Intl & Euro Mgr. ( Sweden ) for D-test Optical Measurement Systems Llc in Russia