A machine inspector wishing to determine the health of the machine – good or bad – needs the help of the machine. What hurts, where does it hurt and what are the symptoms of an injury?
The exchange of information, like basic communication, is a two-way street.
Now suppose that every machine in your factory is not yet ready for inspection. How should we proceed.
1) Work backwards
Start by compiling a list of machine faults and root causes that you want your inspection program to reveal. This is usually a list of all the things that could go wrong that you sure don’t want to go wrong. Then take that priority list and build an inspection game plan that will reveal each of these alert conditions in real time. For example, how could a shaft misalignment be quickly recognized? If not, what changes are needed?
2) Smart machines, smart inspections
Your machines can be intelligent communicators in real time of their state of health. It is disappointing that very few Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) build machines in decent inspection readiness. This obliges the plant operator to stock up on the necessary parts and devices to be subsequently installed on the machines during commissioning or during a scheduled or forced shutdown.
These are examples of small factors to consider when determining machine readiness.
Dirt Outdoors – This is always a good place to start. Keep your machines clean, inside and out. We all know that dirt is destructive to the internal friction surfaces of the machine, but it also masks many important inspection alerts, such as surface distress indicated by cracked paint, hardened metal tints and corrosion. chronic.
Interior Dirt and Fouling – Dirt and sludge can make the oil so opaque that other properties of the oil become invisible. Additionally, sludge can stain eyeglasses, preventing the oil level and other conditions from being easily determined.
3) Know what you need to improve your machines
Expanded Metal Guards – Couplings and other exposed rotating or reciprocating mechanisms are generally protected against accidental contact by the use of guards. These guards often restrict visual observation of movement mechanisms. However, they can be replaced with expanded metal so that both functions (safety and inspection) can be activated.
Sampling Ports – These can be located in return lines, active areas, or other strategic locations for rapid sampling and on-machine inspections. In addition to visual inspections, you can perform a simple blotter test or a crackle test for the presence of free water.
Grease Drain Traps – What comes out of a grease drain hole during relubrication or during normal operation is an indication of the health of the lubricant in the bearing core. Various traps and collection devices can be installed and used to inspect the discharged grease for hardness, oil content, particles, color, etc.
You are not trying to maximize inspection readiness within your organization, but rather to optimize it. It is false economics to try to save money by not investing wisely.
It’s like education. If you think it’s expensive, try ignorance