A Simplified Approach to Machine Monitoring: Grading
Remember in our youth the semester and year-end report card, and how you immediately knew if you were doing good, or doing bad, with one simple to understand and quick to interpret metric – the grade.
The same can be applied to condition monitoring with similar results – know immediately if you are doing good or doing bad, in a glance, with one simple to understand and quick to interpret metric – the grade. For condition monitoring, turns out that the concept of the grade can be simplified even further, using the internally recognized standard (although no one calls it that) of red, yellow and green. Since humans are visual, and nothing beats the power of a quick glance to see if the equipment is red, yellow or green, this is a perfect way to ‘grade’ the condition of your equipment.
So where and how can this be applied? Well – this can be applied to virtually any kind of equipment, process, machine, or device that needs to be monitored, and it can be applied to any sensor type, or even combination of sensors. But, a traffic light style red light, yellow light, green light, is not enough, we need to be able to see this over time. For condition monitoring applications, what is important is the trend – seeing if something is getting progressively worse over time, and seeing the magnitude of the condition. By allowing users to set thresholds, and combining data magnitudes over time, an easy to interpret grade is able to be presented to user. With no training, a maintenance engineer can visually see when actions are needed to prolong equipment life.
At Preddio, we have applied these concepts into our Simplicity IoT product family. Not just in our Simplicity Cloud, but also available in the Simplicity Mobile phone app. This concept allows users to grade virtually any sensor type; pressure, temperature, vibration, CO2, humidity, etc. In the example on the right, you see the daily vibration trend and can clearly see some trouble areas around the middle of the month. In reality, it may not be that bad, you need to click on the particular day to see the what made up that grade from an hourly level detail (shown on the bottom). The hourly view clearly shows some conditions at noon, that may be preventable. In this vibration example, it could be that at noon every day, multiple pumps turn on at the same time to accommodate the increased load. This vibration scenario could be a natural frequency within the plant which gets transmitted only when all pumps are on (this actually happened), something that can be easily fixed, enabling prolonged life of the pumps.