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Importance of Bearing Health

Determining bearing health is seemingly one of the most challenging tasks when it comes to machine health monitoring. This is especially true when bearing failure is at it’s initial stages since it is barely visible to the human eye. Why is early detection so critical? Because, if the defects are not identified, it can lead to a malfunctioning machine or even worse…. Unplanned breakdown…. an engineer’s worst nightmare.

The defects in the rolling element bearings may come up mainly due to the following reasons; improper design of the bearing or improper manufacturing or mounting, misalignment of bearing races, unequal diameter of rolling elements, improper lubrication, overloading, fatigue and uneven wear.

INTRODUCTION

Let’s start off with the facts, early diagnosis of defects in bearings can save millions, depending on the role the machine plays in the production process. By contacting SkyTek and taking advantage of our services, you gain the ability to save a great mount of money. A reliable  online machinery  condition monitoring system is very useful to a wide array of industries to recognize an incipient machinery defect so as to prevent  machinery performance  degradation,  malfunctions,  or  even  catastrophic  failures. We are famous for our top-quality online monitoring systems. The advanced technologies we provide, are absolutely necessary to monitor the health status of bearings effectively and efficiently.   

HOW CAN VIBRATION MEASUREMENTS HELP IN THIS CASE?

Vibration analysis is among the most common method used in the monitoring applications since a defect produces successive impulses at every contact of defect and the rolling element, and the housing structure is forced to vibrate at its natural modes. The vibration pattern of a damaged bearing includes the low-frequency components related to the impacts and the high-frequency components. The structural information of the bearing structure or the machine is stored.

In other works, by conducting a vibration measurement is a surefire way to detect a bearing failure before a catastrophic event can take place. There is also another way to detect a fault in the bearing before things get too late. Please continue reading to find out.

HOW CAN ACOUSTIC MEASUREMENTS HELP?

Acoustic emission is the phenomenon of transient elastic wave generation due to a rapid release of strain energy caused by a structural alteration in a solid material under mechanical or thermal stresses. Generation and propagation of cracks, growth of twins, etc. associated with plastic deformation  were among the primary sources of Acoustic emission. Hence, it is an important tool for condition monitoring through non-destructive testing. The advantage of acoustic emission monitoring over vibration  monitoring is  that the former  can  detect the  growth of subsurface  cracks, whereas the latter can detect defects only when they appear on the surface.

HOW CAN TEMPERATURE MEASUREMENTS HELP?

The operating temperature plays a key role in the overall performance of a bearing system. Affected by the  bearing temperature  are many  critical  parameters, such  as  the  lubricant  viscosity, load-carrying capacity, load distribution and power loss. The temperature can also be measured by performing a thermal imaging, a service we highly promote here at SkyTek. Thermal imaging will allow engineers to easily identify defects in the machinery… and as we know…. excessive heat is a sign of a faulty bearing. Contact us immediately if you believe that excessive heat is being generated from your machine bearings.

CONCLUSION

As you can see, early detection of bearing defects plays a vital role in determining the health of the bearing. So what is the best measurement to use?

Fact of the matter is that all three forms of measurement are great and SkyTek specializes in performing all these types of measurements. However, a study found that vibration monitoring is the most useful technique  because it is reliable and very sensitive to fault severity. Also, it gives clear indications regarding the condition of the bearing in question; in addition, the level of vibrations and the frequency at which these vibrations occur can serve in determining the exact location of the defect and possibly severity of such defect. Call us to get an assessment about your bearing health, we will conduct the necessary measurement which we feel is best in regards to the situation. Book an appointment with us to gain a live demonstration of the instruments we use to conduct measurements if you have thoughts on purchasing one.