Condition-based maintenance offers a system check-up

Condition-based maintenance (CBM), when used with a computerized maintenance management system (CMMS), can help to implement a preventative maintenance plan.

11/07/2013


For most drivers, it's the mileage sticker that reminds them that it is time to change the oil. It's hard to imagine the average car owner waiting until his engine ceases before he realizes he's four quarts low.  Even if he waits till the lantern icon flashes on the dashboard, he'll no doubt raise some eyebrows at the gas pump.

Likewise on the plant floor—if a gear box low in oil costs production time and product output, the culprit may be looking for a new job. The production machine equivalent of the 3,000 mile oil change reminder is condition-based maintenance (CBM): one part native technology to monitor all equipment pieces and parts, and two parts computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) to set the thresholds and issue the work orders. Keeping equipment in optimal condition is done with the help of CMMS by implementing a preventative maintenance (PM) plan and schedule, and completed work orders.

Let's say a compressor is out of alignment. The machine's vibration detection system continually monitors the machine. It picks up the imbalance and forwards the data in numerical form to an OPC server where a CMMS retrieves the data and converts it to actionable information. A CMMS not only tracks the compressor's maintenance and repair history, but sets up a CBM if the alignment falls below tolerance levels, and issues a work order to make the adjustments.

CBM utilizes the combined vibrational analysis and corresponding maintenance tasks dictated by the CMMS to fine-tune machine performance and keep the asset humming.

A thermal camera picks up a heat signature in a motor which indicates a pending failure. Now what? The analysis from the infrared camera is an impetus for further action by the CMMS, which sets threshold levels and spits out work orders as needed. A pressure gauge shows two different pressure readings for both sides of an air handler filter. Again, CMMS grabs the data from the server and makes sense out of it. CMMS sets tolerance levels and automatically issues work orders to make the repairs.  Another CBM process fulfilled.

If you're going to employ a CBM strategy and make the investment in monitoring technologies, be sure to tie machine operations data to your CMMS where ongoing maintenance can be tracked. Keep in mind, CBM will not cover all maintenance needs. You'll still need regularly scheduled PMs for routine maintenance based on machine manufacturers’ recommendations and intelligence gathered over time by your CMMS.

Most manufacturing or facility equipment will come with built in sensors to keep an eye on equipment behavior. The idea behind CBM is to perform the necessary maintenance when the machine tells you to do so. But if you make an investment in equipment-based monitoring hardware, it should be used in conjunction with CMMS.

Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group, producer of Bigfoot CMMS.  Lachance has been developing and perfecting the company’s CMMS solution for the maintenance professional for 20 years. Check out his blog, Lachance on CMMS, at www.plantengineering.com/blogs.



No comments
The Engineers' Choice Awards highlight some of the best new control, instrumentation and automation products as chosen by...
Each year, a panel of Control Engineering editors and industry expert judges select the System Integrator of the Year Award winners.
Control Engineering Leaders Under 40 identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
Learn more about methods used to ensure that the integration between the safety system and the process control...
Adding industrial toughness and reliability to Ethernet eGuide
Technological advances like multiple-in-multiple-out (MIMO) transmitting and receiving
Big plans for small nuclear reactors: Simpler, safer control designs; Smarter manufacturing; Industrial cloud; Mobile HMI; Controls convergence
Virtualization advice: 4 ways splitting servers can help manufacturing; Efficient motion controls; Fill the brain drain; Learn from the HART Plant of the Year
Two sides to process safety: Combining human and technical factors in your program; Preparing HMI graphics for migrations; Mechatronics and safety; Engineers' Choice Awards
The Ask Control Engineering blog covers all aspects of automation, including motors, drives, sensors, motion control, machine control, and embedded systems.
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
News and comments from Control Engineering process industries editor, Peter Welander.
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
This is a blog from the trenches – written by engineers who are implementing and upgrading control systems every day across every industry.
Anthony Baker is a fictitious aggregation of experts from Callisto Integration, providing manufacturing consulting and systems integration.
Integrator Guide

Integrator Guide

Search the online Automation Integrator Guide
 

Create New Listing

Visit the System Integrators page to view past winners of Control Engineering's System Integrator of the Year Award and learn how to enter the competition. You will also find more information on system integrators and Control System Integrators Association.

Case Study Database

Case Study Database

Get more exposure for your case study by uploading it to the Control Engineering case study database, where end-users can identify relevant solutions and explore what the experts are doing to effectively implement a variety of technology and productivity related projects.

These case studies provide examples of how knowledgeable solution providers have used technology, processes and people to create effective and successful implementations in real-world situations. Case studies can be completed by filling out a simple online form where you can outline the project title, abstract, and full story in 1500 words or less; upload photos, videos and a logo.

Click here to visit the Case Study Database and upload your case study.