Three methods of preventive maintenance that should not be overlooked

Sound level analysis, ultrasonics, and vibration analysis along with other preventive maintenance techniques help prevent unexpected equipment failure and downtime.

By David Manney, L&S Electric July 10, 2017

Establishing a quality preventive maintenance program is one of the best steps to take to improve productivity and decrease downtime. There are many factors to consider as part of a preventive maintenance program. Three in particular should be at the forefront.

1. Sound level analysis

Monitoring the sound levels is important for many reasons. In the past, level of sound was a workplace safety issue. If performed the right way; a sound level analysis now alerts to potential machinery problems. There is a variety of ways to discover problems with the equipment. The equipment operator often detects a change in the sound or operation of the equipment. Catching issues early and alerting the maintenance staff is a plus. A professional sound level analysis takes things a step further. Testing a piece of equipment with a microphone is one way to gather vital information on the condition of a piece of equipment. This analysis provides the benefit of helping without direct contact with the machinery. A sound level analysis may show that a piece of equipment is failing, but it is part of an overall diagnosis.

2. Ultrasonics

Using ultrasound technology to inspect equipment in the context of a preventive maintenance program is another option. Ultrasound uses ultrasound instruments that convert ultrasonic frequencies into audible noises. Like sound level analysis, ultrasonic technology allows the maintenance staff to test the equipment without coming in direct contact. It helps prevent mechanical failure by detecting problems before they become serious problems. One way to use ultrasonic technology is in identifying issues with a compressed air system. Since compressed air is one of the more expensive utilities employed in many facilities, detecting and fixing leaks saves a significant amount of money. There are other uses for ultrasonic technology. These methods include steam systems, electrical applications, hydraulic leaks, condenser leaks, and pump cavitation.

3. Vibration analysis

Vibration is a regular part of the operation of any equipment. Excessive vibration, however, leads to stress on the machinery and the possibility of equipment failure. Vibration analysis detects issues that signal premature equipment failure. It does so by identifying abnormal vibrations in the equipment.

Any one of these three different methods of preventive maintenance will benefit a facility. Using a combination of the three along with other preventive maintenance techniques goes a long way in preventing unexpected equipment failure and the downtime that goes along with it.

David Manney is a marketing administrator at L&S Electric. This article originally appeared on L&S Electric Watts New Blog. L&S Electric is a CFE Media content partner.

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