Condition assessment for low speed bearings

| Environmental Testing

Low speed bearing acoustic diagnostics

Acoustic monitoring technology is being used for the assessment and monitoring of low speed bearing condition in high value machinery.

Mistras Group has introduced a portfolio of services and monitoring systems to assess the condition of rotating and reciprocating low-speed bearings (LSB) for high value capital plant and machinery.

At the core of the LSB system portfolio is the LSB-PAC product, a condition monitoring and assessment system that employs a proven inspection methodology and advanced diagnostics to rapidly assess the condition of low-speed bearings during normal operation.

Effective at assessing the condition of slow rotational speed bearings down to less than one revolution per minute (RPM), LSB-PAC assesses bearings with fluctuating load conditions or when a breakdown would have a significant impact on production or operational efficiencies.

A variety of bearing defects such as corrosion of tracks or balls (emission from corrosion product break-up), insufficient lubricant (emission from surface fretting), cracking or plastic deformation of bearing material (balls, track and cage), crushing and fracture of debris in the bearing, are all target areas of focus for LSB-PAC.

“While traditional techniques are routinely used to analyse high speed bearings, these methods prove much less effective and more difficult to collect meaningful data for bearings rotating at less than 100 RPM,” said Tim Bradshaw, General Manager, Mistras Group UK Operations. “Our assessment methods are also cost saving, by preventing and reducing unplanned stoppages in addition to catastrophic bearing failures, and by allowing maintenance to be planned during low-peak periods.”

Low-speed rotating or reciprocating bearing signatures are produced by LSB-PAC after a few dozen assessment cycles. Further, a more detailed analysis would involve the identification and elimination of extraneous noise, grading the severity of the bearing signature, and identifying any features that may indicate the root cause of the problem. Multi-level reporting options provide tailored reports meeting customer requirements, including grading reports and time signatures.

LSB-PAC is suitable for a variety of industries such as steel processing, mining and quarrying, oil and gas, maritime, aerospace, wind energy, process manufacturing and general engineering.

LSB-PAC solution is built upon Mistras’ well-established proprietary technology and inspection techniques that have been successfully employed in thousands of field tests on a variety of machines, plants and structures including:  pressure vessels, power transformers, bridges, storage tanks, pipelines, valves, nuclear lift rigs, railroad tank cars and compressed gas cylinders.

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