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Wi-care™ Success Story in Food Industry

Wi-care™ Success Story in Food Industry

Wi-care™ provides cost efficient and easy to install permanent monitoring.

Predictive Maintenance Food & Beverages 19 July 2018

Situation

A highly critical fan, pictured below, is measured quarterly, as part of a global periodic vibration monitoring program in a food production plant.  A periodic survey reveals an outer race defect on one of the fan bearings.

Picture: direct driven, overhung centrifugal fan

Picture: direct driven, overhung centrifugal fan

The unit showed a good condition regarding balancing and alignment, as evidenced by the low overall vibration levels observed.  However, it was difficult to predict how the newly detected bearing defect would evolve in the near future.  For that reason, and because of the criticality of the fan for production, a close follow up of the defect was highly desirable and online monitoring solutions were discussed.

I-care Solution

In order to answer the request, some challenges needed to be overcome. 

  • Is hardware available for rent, and how fast can it be available?
  • Is someone available to install and commission the system, preferably within 24 hours?

 The customer was informed about the strong and flexible possibilities of the Wi-care™ system, which was shipped the same day and delivered one day later.

As the database configuration can be done remotely, the only thing the customer needed to do, to put the system into operation, was positioning the magnet mounted accelerometers on the proper bearing locations and to power-up the system.

 The pictures below show the configuration of the shipped hardware.  The standard Wi-Care™ Expert Kit has five Wi-care™ vibration and temperature transmitters, a built-in gateway for communication to the internet and one range extender to assure reliable wireless communication from the sensors to the unit.

Wi-care™ Expert Kit

Wi-care™ Expert Kit

Inside of the Wi-care™ Expert Kit: five transmitters (orange), range extender (green) and gateway.

Inside of the Wi-care™ Expert Kit: five transmitters (orange), range extender (green) and gateway.

Expert Kit connections slots

Expert Kit connections slots

Results of Wi-care™’s operation

Without any on site assistance, and in a matter of minutes, the three accelerometers were mounted on the machine and the gateway was powered-up. 

Less than 30 minutes later, data was already received and could be analyzed as shown below.

The correct bearing type was assigned in the software, allowing the defect frequencies to be analyzed in the spectral data, confirming the outer race defect diagnosis.

The Wi-care™ system allowed to closely follow up the defect and helped the customer to postpone the bearing replacement until the next planned outage, without taking unacceptable risks.  The spectra below show a comparison between the spectra measured on the non drive side bearing, before and after bearing replacement.

Conclusion

This case study once again proves the plug and play concept of the Wi-care™ system, and the tremendous additional value it can bring in determining the optimal timing for maintenance interventions.