When it comes to operating industrial machinery, there is far more work involved than simply installing the equipment and stepping back. Particularly in situations where critical process equipment is in play, the monitoring of the health and condition of the equipment is vital. Without insightful machine monitoring systems in place, you can miss out on important signs of impending catastrophic failure. For big industries such as oil and gas, any downtime from equipment failure can result in millions of lost dollars. Due to this, condition monitoring should be prioritized as a critical task.
Here at Windrock, we specialize in technology surrounding condition monitoring. We have designed innovative products that tap into the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) to provide unique solutions that integrate with modern technology and artificial intelligence. If you are interested in improving your condition monitoring, we invite you to read on to learn more about the basics of this principle, the benefits of this vital task, and the actionable steps you can take to ensure you are doing the most in this area of your business.
The Basics Of Condition Monitoring
Condition monitoring is a system utilized to better understand the current health and performance of equipment. Each piece of equipment must be measured for performance to ensure the system as a whole operates efficiently and to avoid failures. Depending on the given piece of equipment, different Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) will be measured. For example, some equipment vibrates at a certain frequency. Condition monitoring can measure this vibration to record any changes in the operation of the equipment. In other cases, components of equipment are required to have a set level of lubrication. Condition monitoring will provide measurements of those levels to alert the crew to any issues.
Simply put, condition monitoring is exactly what it sounds like — the monitoring of your equipment’s current condition. The complexity lies in the large amount of data sets this leads to and the best way to analyze condition reports. Condition monitoring is critical to ensure you have a handle on how every single component of equipment is functioning, but by itself, this data will do nothing. The information discovered through monitoring must be turned into actionable steps, important decisions, and ongoing maintenance tasks.
The Top Benefits Of This Vital Task
When you utilize condition monitoring, your entire operation will benefit. In fact, there is no way to effectively operate industrial machinery without proper monitoring systems put in place. The better your condition monitoring is, the better your efficiency will become. The following are all the reasons why this vital task should be top of your list for improvement:
- Understand Your Specific Equipment: Not all equipment is the same, even if it is designed by the same manufacturer. By monitoring the condition of your industrial equipment on an ongoing basis, you will gain a better understanding of each component. This will allow you to make insightful decisions going forward and to recognize where your system’s weak points exist.
- Catch Small Variations Early: Something as tiny as a change in the operating vibration of a piece of your equipment could be a vital sign. By catching small variations early on, you can start to understand patterns and make more accurate predictions of potential issues.
- Schedule Maintenance As Needed: Nothing is worse than realizing you need a part replaced or a certain aspect of your equipment maintenanced, but there is a lack of available techs. By understanding ahead of time when maintenance needs to be scheduled, you ensure you get things handled in a timely manner.
- Create Intelligent Analysis Over Time: The more data you can collect on the condition of your machinery the better. Over time you can start to create a more accurate analysis of equipment, which will lead to smarter decisions backed by critical data.
- Improve Operational Efficiency: From the amount of energy you use to the overall efficiency of your system as a whole, having a handle on the condition of each component of your equipment will allow you to improve upon this factor. More efficient operations equal more dollars saved and less time wasted.
- Prevent Catastrophic Failure: The failure of equipment can be more than just a headache, it can be a true disaster. Particularly in the case of critical process equipment, failure must be avoided at all costs. Condition monitoring allows you to see problems arise before they are out of control, which means less total failure.
- Save Money On Downtime: Downtime is costly. So much so that ridding your company of even a percentage of annual downtime could save millions, depending upon the industry you operate within. For this reason, the investment in better monitoring systems provides an excellent return on your dollars spent.
As you can see, proper condition monitoring is an invaluable asset to your business. For this reason, it is critical that you take the time to consider how you can improve this component of operating your business.
Actionable Steps To Improve Your Condition Monitoring
For those who hope to improve their condition monitoring, the good news is that technology is improving in this space at a rapid rate. Here at Windrock, we have designed innovative products and software platforms that allow you to harness the intelligence of modern technology to better monitor the condition of your equipment. From constantly tracking every single one of your reciprocating assets in a single application to setting alarm thresholds based on your equipment’s unique geometry, technology advancements make condition monitoring more accurate than ever and more accessible than before.
By implementing IIoT solutions, you can gain a greater perspective on the health of your equipment and make far more intelligent decisions regarding its operation. We can help you learn how to better optimize the use of your machinery, as well as implement safe holds against catastrophic equipment failure. By harnessing the power of our highly specialized sensors which feed you constant data accessible from anywhere, you can prevent issues and improve efficiency. If you are interested in upgrading your condition monitoring system, we invite you to reach out to our team to learn more about the unique solutions we offer.