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Ultrasound - Are You Listening to Your Plant Floor Equipment?


We've all heard of ultrasound being used at the doctor's office, but can you use it to monitor and troublshoot your plant floor equipment?

The answer is a resounding Yes. In fact, no predictive maintenance program should be without ultrasonic capabilities.

How Does Ultrasound Testing Work?

The term ultrasound describes sound waves that are high frequency and beyond the range of human hearing. Ultrasound equipment detects sounds within these ranges and allows you to tune out other sounds that you aren't interested in. Because sound is directional, ultrasound also allows you to pinpoint where the sound is coming from.

As you get closer to the source of a particular sound, the intensity (measured in dB) increases. The output can be a plot showing how the intensity of sound varies over different frequencies. Ultrasound testing equipment can also modify the sound so that it is something you can learn to recognize through a pair of headphones. For example, an open valve has a rushing sound.

How Do I Make My Plant More Reliable?


In the industrial environment there is a constant stream of new technologies coming to market that claim to be able to increase up-time and reliability. All of these new tools and high tech gadgets generally provide one thing... data. Collecting data and then knowing what to do with it, in a very broad sense, is one of the most important thing that you can do to increase reliability. Take for instance vibration monitoring devices that collect machine data on rotating equipment, they are incredibly valuable predictors of failures assuming one has the knowledge to determine what the collected data means for that piece of equipment. Seeing a trend towards failure on a unit gives you the opportunity to be proactive instead of reactive, like having a spare on hand and scheduling a change over.

How did you choose your vibration route & vibration analysis company?


A common situation... 20 years ago someone decided that utilizing vibration analysis was a good idea in your plant. Maybe the idea came from a vendor or an internal Predictive Maintenance (PdM) guru. Either way you evaluated it and it just didnt make sense to have an internal team dedicated to this so you decided to outsource it.

How did you choose which company to use?

Was it  a simple decision and go with the person who was bringing the idea to your plant? Did you develop a specification and go out for bid? How you made this determination is something to review down the road.

How long does it have? My equipment is failing!


As a reliability specialist you often get asked the question, “How long does it have?” or "How long will it last?" after you have determined an issue such as, bearing fault, gear tooth damage, or even imbalance? If you have asked the question or been asked then you’re in the same boat many others have been in before you. The short answer is NO ONE KNOWS FOR SURE! Typically, we can compare similar situations of past experiences and determine an estimated answer, but not a definite period of time.

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