According to a recent study by IndustryWeek, unplanned downtime costs industrial manufacturers an estimated $50 billion annually. Of this unplanned downtime, 42% is due to equipment failure. While the exact cost of downtime varies by industry, it still remains a top-of-mind concern for all. With these statistics in mind, let’s take a look at using wireless condition monitoring for proactive asset management.
What is Wireless Condition Monitoring?
Condition monitoring can be defined as the measuring, tracking, and reporting of specific equipment parameters such as temperature and vibration. By collecting and analyzing this data over time, facilities can be proactively alerted to any potential issues before they occur. In a wireless system, sensors, or nodes, can be attached to the assets that need to be monitored. These assets could include compressors, pumps, conveyors, gearboxes, motors, or other equipment. The sensors transmit diagnostic data around the clock, or on a pre-determined schedule, to an on-premise or cloud-based receiver. With these web-based data visualization capabilities it becomes much easier to remotely monitor and analyze machinery, in turn improving reliability and maximizing production.
The Benefits of Wireless Condition Monitoring
Not only does the use of wireless condition monitoring cut down on unplanned downtime by allowing for predictive and proactive maintenance, but it also provides other key benefits for facilities:
Wireless monitoring reduces manpower needs, such as someone having to get on a lift or into a difficult location in order to check equipment health. With condition monitoring, the system will tell the user when equipment is failing, allowing time to plan repairs during a non-peak production time.
Several key safety concerns can be eliminated when equipment is being wirelessly monitored. With condition monitoring, there is no need to inspect equipment while it is running. Another safety benefit is not having to go into difficult to access areas, such as heights or tight spaces. Preventing unplanned equipment failure also eliminates the urgency associated with reactive maintenance. When you are in a hurry to get something fixed, the chance of injury significantly increases. Having the ability to plan ahead prevents injuries.
Ease of Installation
Wireless monitoring systems are easier to install than their wired counterparts and when the right sensors are utilized, you can get the same level of detail from the node whether it is wired or wireless. It is typical to begin monitoring the same day with a wireless installation, making deployment a smooth and painless process. Wireless systems are also adaptable to any industry or equipment, are available in rugged outdoor and washdown-rated options and are a cost-effective option for monitoring many assets easily.
Diagnostic Data Capabilities
Wireless condition monitoring systems are not all the same and it is important to understand what type of diagnostic data is required for each asset. Some vibration sensors, for example, only provide very basic data and would require manual measurement to truly diagnose a root cause. Other vibration sensors deliver the full waveform and complete spectral data, meaning all data necessary to completely diagnose the problem is already available. Understanding the options on the market today and knowing what level of diagnostics will be required for your business will ensure you are optimizing your predictive capabilities and achieving the best equipment reliability.
The Bottom Line
Performing maintenance in a reactive mode is a problem that still haunts many maintenance personnel and the thought of implementing a monitoring system seem expensive and complex. When there isn't enough time in the day to put out all the fires, installing a condition monitoring system may not seem feasible. A wireless monitoring system can help companies save money by eliminating failures and improving productivity. Wireless monitoring systems are simple to install and can provide the detailed data necessary to provide early warning of equipment problems. These early warnings allow you to plan people, equipment and parts for a smooth and efficient repair process, increasing profitability and safety for your business.
To learn more about Regal’s wireless monitoring solution and how it can power your business, visit
Perceptiv™ Products & Services.