February 19, 2018 Articles No Comments

Predictive maintenance strategies are becoming a must-have in plant manufacturing. Implementing predictive maintenance allows technicians to “see” into their equipment, determining specific issues before they cause equipment failure. Once the exact point of error is established, predictive maintenance systems can provide actionable solutions. Over time, data gathered throughout a manufacturing plant can be analyzed to determine if there are overarching issues causing equipment to experience error.
Here are four predictive maintenance solutions that can be used to increase plant efficiency, improve machine performance, and reduce costs:

Vibration Analysis
Vibration analysis is often at the forefront of predictive maintenance. All machine tools produce a unique vibration signature that can be analyzed to determine machine efficiency and estimated lifespan. This technology can be used to diagnose issues early and monitor them in order to plan repair or replacement. This form of predictive maintenance is especially versatile and can diagnose a variety of machine issues. Shaft misalignment, machine tool imbalance, and tool looseness are just a few of the errors that can be quickly diagnosed by analyzing a vibration signature.

In addition to detecting the nature of the error, vibration analysis can often pinpoint the exact issue. For example, if your machine tools are experiencing shaft misalignment, vibration analysis will inform you as to whether you are experiencing parallel, angular, or general misalignment.

Thermography
Thermography has a variety of practical uses within a manufacturing plant. It can be used to detect mechanical issues as well as inefficiencies throughout a plant. Thermal imaging uses include: detecting pest infestation, power line maintenance, construction, electrical system testing, switch gear inspection, mechanical equipment health assessment, and tracking fluid system tank levels/line blockages/pipe temperatures. Thermal imaging is additionally helpful when it comes to reporting, because thermal images can be marked to clearly indicate “hot spots.”

Alignment Correction
Shaft misalignment in machine tools is one of the leading causes of machine failure. Misalignment also causes inefficiency as well as damage to equipment. Laser shaft alignment technology can correct shaft errors far before noticeable effects of misalignment begin to hinder performance. While vibration analysis can identify misalignment, predictive alignment technology can be used to both detect and correct misalignment.

Ultrasonic Detection
When equipment is not performing as it should, it will often emit sounds that are too high pitched for the human ear to perceive. Ultrasonic detection allows users to analyze these sounds by bringing them to an audible level and slowing them down. Ultrasonic is a useful tool for early detection of bearing problems. Ultrasound trending is a valuable tool for bearing lubrication and recognizing air leaks.
Each of these four predictive maintenance solutions are complementary and essential for running an efficient production line. Monitoring machine components allows for planned repairs and maintenance based on specific equipment needs. Thanks to modern technological advancements, predictive maintenance solutions are both affordable and easy to use.

About GTI Predictive Technology
At GTI Predictive Technology, it is our mission to provide the best predictive tools on a single platform and services to monitor nearly any asset. We strive to bring our customers the portability, connectivity, and affordability offered by the latest available technologies. Our product family combines vibration data collection and analysis with balancing, shaft alignment, thermography, and ultrasound into an affordable and completely scalable solution on one simple to use platform. GTI’s predictive technology apps feature many additions that have come directly from customers. Click here to learn more.