Equipment & Technology

German rumble detector seeks out maintenance woes

The FAG SmartCheck device is designed for use on a wide range of industrial sectors.

A palm-sized, ‘plug-n-play’ vibration sensor from Schaeffler Group has been deployed successfully in Australasia.

Distributed by Schaeffler Australia, the FAG SmartCheck device is a vibration detection system, designed to be small, easily installed, and readily expandable.

Schaeffler Australia’s industrial sector and product manager Mark Ceichanowicz says the product can give efficiencies across diverse industries, extending from food, beverage, agribusiness and primary production through to water, waste water and recycling installations.

“SmartCheck can be used on assemblies in a host of industries where such monitoring was previously cost prohibitive,” Ciechanowicz told ABHR.

Ciechanowicz detailed how the system has already been installed on a tube mill for Sunstate Cement, ultimately avoiding the need to replace a trunnion end drive bearing costing more than $300,000.

“SmartCheck brings a new dimension to intelligent machine monitoring, being highly compact, easy to use and with an unbeatable price-performance ratio.

“It comes out of the box ready to go, with its own internet address, built-in software and unique combination of high functionality and low cost.”

The system is supported by an online measuring system which can be monitored from desktop, tablet and mobile devices.

The real-time monitoring system bundles information inputs to be measured against classic and vibration-based process parameters.

Monitoring using FAG SmartCheck can be carried out in three stages.

In the first stage, individual machines are monitored on a decentralised basis. If the user selects the second stage, the device is intelligently integrated in the machine controller. In the third stage, the service is provided from a single source by an external service provider. This can include remote access via an Internet connection as well as advice and other services.

“This unique measuring system detects reliably – and at an early stage – possible machine damage and thus helps to avoid unplanned shutdowns and exclude expensive consequential damage,” Ciechanowicz continued.

“SmartCheck technology is already offering numerous options that were previously hoped for in the machine monitoring of tomorrow.

“SmartCheck makes a valuable contribution to optimizing processes and to reduce life cycle costs and Total Cost of Ownership.”

Schaeffler says the first signs of impending breakdown in machinery typically include tiny changes in vibration that warn of excessive wear in the bearings upon which efficient functioning depends.

Notoriously hard to detect, these subtle rumbles lead to energy wastage, under-performance and costly inefficiency as slow-motion failure sets in.

Ultimately, if still undetected, the deterioration progresses to full-scale breakdown, with downtime, lost production and often hazardous removal and replacement of the offending parts deep in the heart of vital process machinery.

The new tool is therefore designed to deliver the best remedy for this issue: prevention.

SmartCheck’s online service is available throughout Australia and New Zealand.

Machinery to which SmartCheck applies extends from major minerals, manufacturing, petroleum, energy and primary processing equipment through to diverse electric and geared motors, gearboxes and compressors, vacuum and fluid pumps, ventilators and fans, spindles and machine tools, separators and decanters and vibrating screens.

“FAG SmartCheck demonstrates that vibration monitoring does not have to be complicated or expensive,” Ciechanowicz said.

“As a flexible solution, FAG SmartCheck technology adjusts readily to user demands and reliably fulfils even complex requirements.

“The technology offers the performance features of expensive systems, but is compact in design, easy to fit and simple to use.

“The system can be expanded on a modular basis at any time. Where requirements change, retrofitting can also be carried out at any time.”

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