Predictive Maintenance: The Essentials

Predictive Maintenance: The Essentials

Sep 20, 2017

Predictive maintenance is the monitoring the condition of equipment used in a facility in order to prevent problems from occurring. This, for obvious reasons, is a basic but highly essential part of any industrial operation. 

A variety of techniques and tools may be used in predictive maintenance, each with the main objective to predict potential problems before failure can occur. Think of predictive maintenance as a type of ‘insurance’: if a piece of equipment requires maintenance, you will be notified of this before it can fail.

What is Vibration Condition Monitoring?

Vibration condition monitoring is a powerful and effective method of predictive 
maintenance. It is used in a variety of industries to detect potential problems with different machinery and equipment. Using vibration, this equipment monitors the health of the machinery and detects early signs of malfunction or deterioration. This helps to reduce delays in production, improves machine performance and increases overall safety in the workplace.

Vibration conditioning is an invaluable means of ensuring performance and safety in a workplace. Long-term, this can mean more efficient lifespan and less time lost to faults and/or maintenance.


All machinery that includes moving components – belts, gears, drive motors, bearings – operates within a certain range of vibration. Machinery vibration is simply the components oscillating, or moving backwards and forwards. 
Vibration can take different forms, and can occur over large or short distances, fast or slow. Examples of such equipment include vibratory feeders, conveyor belts, hoppers, surface finishers, hoppers and compactors. 
Although some vibration is part of the normal operation, most of the time it is unintended and undesirable. That’s why vibration condition monitoring is so important.

Machinery vibration is usually due to either repeating forces, looseness or resonance. Essentially, any change in a machinery’s vibration can indicate problems such as impending malfunction. By monitoring these changes, vibration conditioning can serve as a timely warning of potential machine failure. This early detection allows for maintenance to step in ahead of a serious fault. 

Monitoring Vibration In Action: How It Works
Using low-frequency shock sensors and vibration monitoring tools such as OpsWatch provides real-time monitoring of any changes in normal machinery function. When vibration is outside of the normal range, an alert is provided. Condition-based data can also be streamed through WIFI. This alerts the company to any problems and thus allows them to take action before damage can occur.

Standard machinery monitoring may involve a variety of measurements, including visual inspection, performance data and scheduled testing. 
In any industry, machinery must be routinely checked for pending through the gathering of condition data.

Why is Monitoring Vibration Important?
In most industrial equipment, vibration is can be a key indicator of potential failure. By monitoring changes in vibration, it is possible to predict operational problems and intervene with maintenance. This can save a business thousands of dollars in reparations, as well as lost productivity. An effective condition monitoring program is essential as most equipment is incapable of providing information about its function. 
Tools For Monitoring Vibration from SpotSee
SpotSee features a range of condition monitoring tools, including ShockWatch®, ShockLog®, SpotBot, ShockTrak and WarmMark. The overall objective of these products is to reduce mechanical failures and facility downtime, and they are currently proving highly successful in a number of industries. When it comes to monitoring vibration, Spotsee’s OpsWatch is one of the best tools in the industry.

The OpsWatch Vibration Monitoring System is one of Spotsee’s most popular products. OpsWatch delivers real-time impact and vibration information, allowing users to identify problems and tend to potential issues before they occur. Investing in the OpsWatch system can ultimately save a company from unprecedented downtime and subsequent financial loss.

The OpsWatch vibration monitor can be retrofitted to existing equipment. It’s designed to enhance predictive maintenance plans by alerting users to inspect equipment for potential damage well ahead of time. OpsWatch works by detecting impacts and vibrations so that fast corrective action can occur.

Condition monitoring information detected by OpsWatch is delivered to the OpsWatch Cloud. This can then be accessed by the user’s account from any web-enabled device. The OpsWatch Cloud provides an overview of the equipment status and whether it is in ‘Normal’ or ‘Alarm’ mode. A more detailed analysis is also available, which serves as an evaluation of performance trends. 




Vibration Condition Monitoring = Smart Predictive Maintenance
Taking the steps to implement a vibration monitoring program should be a priority for every company – particularly one that depends on its equipment. The consequences of machinery problems are almost always avoidable if a company is prepared for them.

The importance of using vibration to detect pending issues should not be underestimated. Products such as OpsWatch is a leader in the field of vibration condition monitoring, and provides fast, accurate information when and where needed. Investment in a vibration monitoring tools is the easiest way to avoid unpleasant and costly maintenance problems – not to mention customer dissatisfaction. It’s also a sure way to provide the peace of mind a company needs to focus on other aspects of their business!

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