Keywords: Asset Performance Management (APM), Machine Condition Indicator (MCI), Operator Driven Reliability (ODR), Predictive Maintenance (PdM), Root Cause Analysis (RCA).
Interest in asset monitoring at manufacturing plants is high, yet price remains an obstacle for many. SKF recently briefed ARC Advisory Group on the company's new Machine Condition Indicator (MCI), the CMSS 200. At about $150 each, the device eliminates the asset monitoring price barrier to provide a low-cost autonomous solution for monitoring non-critical production assets. The cost-effective, battery-powered device utilizes the familiar "check engine" warning light scheme to provide a visual indication of potential machine abnormalities.
"Check Engine" Light Indication
Intelligent devices provide a lot of data that can help users analyze and fix problems before they occur. However, issues with intelligent devices persist. For example, end users have expressed concerns regarding the type, timeliness, and formatting of data. Combine these issues with the fact that most plant sites do not have adequate personnel capable of analyzing the disparate data sets involved. Although intelligent devices are easier to diagnose asset condition, easy-to-use reporting interfaces are also needed.
As ARC reported in a March 14, 2010 Insight entitled "Reliability of Field Devices and Wiring Drives Asset Management Initiatives," process users would like to see an indication similar to a "check engine" light commonly used in automobiles. Indicator lights: green for "OK" and red for "not OK" could help identify critical problems with field devices. The SKF CMSS 200
MCI utilizes this familiar visual indication scheme to alert technicians of possible machine anomalies. It does this by measuring velocity for overall machine health. Enveloped acceleration measurements detect bearing degradation. Temperature measurements indicate uncharacteristic heat. The small but powerful device contains enough built-in intelligence to avoid false alarming. The three green, amber, or red LEDs rotate and blink at various intervals and patterns to indicate mode or alarm status. For operator-driven reliability (ODR) programs, the MCI's blinking red lights alert operators of a potential problem, allowing a work order for a root cause analysis by maintenance technicians to be generated.
Monitoring for the Masses
Condition monitoring is essential to help prevent unexpected failures and improve operational performance. However, the cost of monitoring less-critical production assets has been cost prohibitive. The affordability of the SKF MCI enables monitoring of whole new range of production assets. For large enterprises with established asset monitoring and reliability programs, the MCI offers less critical assets. For small enterprises, the SKF MCI offers an affordable entry point to asset monitoring. The fully sealed, all-in-one sensor and indicator unit is battery powered, direct mounted, and requires no connections, wired or wireless. The MCI's simple design, ease of use, and affordability will be attractive to OEMs as well.
Although more enterprises are implementing condition monitoring programs, the cost of monitoring non-critical assets has been prohibitive as the quantity of non-critical rotating assets (pumps, fans, compressors, etc.) far outnumbers those of a critical nature. Simple and affordable tools such as the SKF MCI help enterprises broaden reliability initiatives by extending monitoring to non-critical assets. The scope and maturity of existing asset performance management programs will dictate how individual manufacturers can best utilize this new asset monitoring tool.
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