Why is Machine Condition Monitoring Important?

For everyone, there are many concerns when the need arises to choose between used industrial machinery or a new one from the manufacturer. Meanwhile, it cannot be overemphasized that most times, it is advisable to buy used industrial machinery than a new one. A lot of articles have been written about why used industrial machinery may be a good option. So, we do not need to go over that again. However, the focus of this article may be much of concern to dealers in sales of used industrial machinery.  It is highly essential to do condition monitoring.

Machine condition monitoring

Condition monitoring has a lot of roles to play but it can all be summarized towards the achievement of one goal – to gather data from a machine while it is in operation in order to uncover changes that may cause it to fail. There are many reasons that machine condition monitoring is essential but it should be noted that it is important to know what you want to achieve before doing condition monitoring. Is it to increase the productivity of the machinery, to boost its major operations, among others? Well, the list could be endless. They are considered below:

Early detection

First, it should be understood that every machine go through depreciation. As soon as many machines leave the warehouse of the manufacturer, anything could happen to it. This is not in any way to scare you; it’s just the absolute truth. This is why condition monitoring is essential. It allows you to detect errors early enough. Like little drop of water that could sink a mighty ocean, not paying attention to machine-related issues could lead to other bigger machine failures. Another side to this is that when errors are detected early enough, cost of repairs can be reduced to the bearest minimum. When not discovered until a later stage, it could be more expensive.

Establishes maintenance planning

In order to promote the life-span of used industrial machinery, there is need to have established plans for maintenance.  As a seller, you should never neglect the need for maintenance plan. In fact, it is more advisable when it is in your warehouse awaiting a buyer.  This will go a long way to make transfer of ownership when an interested buyer shows interest. 

Reduction of inventory carrying cost

When there is adequate condition monitoring, inventory carrying costs can be reduced. For example, if there is no appropriate monitoring, there may be need to ship used industrial machinery to a manufacturer’s workshop. Consequently, costs of shipping will be incurred. Unpredictably, anything that could raise expenses during shipping may also happen.

Increase in lifespan

It is still possible to sell used industrial machinery and help buyers enjoy it like it was straight from the manufacturer. This depends on your ability to monitor the condition while the machinery is in your custody. Above all things, it is a way of increasing the lifespan of the machinery. How well you grease the parts that are likely to rust will definitely go a long way to keep the machine up and running. 

Recovery of investment

One question that should bother you when starting up sales of used industrial machinery is how you intend to recover investment. One good way is by having condition monitoring program. Usually, it is possible to make a capital gain that exceeds the invested amount if there is effective monitoring program. However, you should consider reviewing if within 6 month there is no measurable return on investment.

Enables performance analysis

Commonly, some machines may run at a rate below their ability. Condition monitoring can be used to study the efficiency of the machinery.  A practical way to do this is by doing a comparison between the present capacity of the machinery and a typical one from the manufacturer.  Some of the techniques that can be used to carry out condition monitoring are:

  • Spectrographic oil analysis. This examines  the chemical properties of the oil and this can be used to ascertain any likelihood of failures
  • Ultrasound. This technique is used to monitor high-pressure fluid. If an ultrasound technique is well utilized, it could enable analysis of vibration.  Also, headphones could be used capture ultrasound as well. Something as minute as buzzing sound could be all that makes a difference in the performance of an industrial machinery. Also, ultrasound can be used to monitor the shock pulse rate of a machinery.
  • Scanning electronic microscope.  This is a useful device for condition monitoring. It can be used to take samples of dirt locked inside lubricating oil. What you should know is that dirt clogged in any part of a machine can lead to greater issue and by monitoring, possible failures can be averted. When information is gathered on time, it will enable Wear Debris Analysis. That is, the elements of dirt, the degree, size and morphology. On the other hand, you could use Wear Debris Detection Sensors which are capable of identifying iron and non-iron related wear particles logged inside the lubrication oil. 

How to carry out condition monitoring

Condition monitoring is a program that requires well-planned out strategy. Meanwhile, it may not be possible to create time as a seller to carry out condition monitoring. In fact, the reality is that most sellers may not have the expertise required to carry this out. It may be as a result of shortage of internal resources. What then do you do? Outsourcing is advisable. Mind you, outsourcing has to be strategically carried out. Amongst other things, you should consider the following:

  1. Will the company be able to provide the expertise that is require to carry out condition monitoring?
  2. Does the company have the required knowledge-base about the used industrial machineries?
  3. Does the company have enough industrial expertise that can be tailored to meet the condition monitoring of your machinery?
  4. Does the company have enough monitoring equipment?
  5. And more importantly, consider the costs against the benefit.

There are a lot of guidelines on how to carry out condition monitoring.  Always arm yourself with necessary information and above all, contract your program to a reputable organization. Also, make sure you have a goal in mind. The ultimate question is: what do you want to achieve?