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Can condition monitoring really extend the life of your machinery?

The consequences of machine failure can be devastating to a business, from loss of production to expensive repair costs and even the potential for worker injury. Any extension to the lifespan of machinery is welcomed with open arms, thanks to the benefits it brings to the business.

Condition monitoring is often talked about when looking at how to extend the life of machinery, but how does it work? And how effective can it really be?



Condition monitoring systems provide a means to monitor the condition of machine components to detect a problem before the point of failure. They may be automatic systems which run continuously, or they may be standalone pieces of equipment which are operated manually. These systems are ideal for use in remote or difficult to access locations, such as in the wind energy and marine industries.

These systems extend equipment life by identifying changes in the operating parameters of the equipment which could lead to premature component failure. Faults can be detected proactively, allowing them to be rectified before failure occurs. This helps to avoid expensive and disruptive failures.

Research done by SKF shows that predictive maintenance can increase asset life by up to 60%. This is a substantial extension to machinery life, which would greatly reduce both downtime and costs to the business.

Condition monitoring systems can continuously monitor operating conditions such as vibration levels and operating temperature, alerting the user if they deviate from normal levels. This can then be investigated and proactively repaired, in order to prevent failure.

Renold estimates that repairing a gearbox which has been identified as being at risk of failure by condition monitoring can save up to 40%, when compared to the cost of replacing the gearbox.

Condition monitoring systems are easy to install, and just one early fault detection can more than offset the initial cost of the system.

For more information on how condition monitoring could benefit your business, contact your local branch today.