Ball Bearing defect detection on a fan in chemical industry

thumb Wi-care case study chemistry - pict4.pngThe following case study describes and explains a typical remote analysis application of bearing defect detection on a fan. The detection and continuous surveillance was set up in a very effective way for the customer and analyst:

For the Customer: Easy detection, fast diagnosis and monitoring from the defect until planned shutdown with low upfront investment and lower costs than manual/traditional monitoring.

For the analyst: Early detection, instant trend data and 24/7 protection, higher confidence in action delay without any travel or measurement time spent.

Equipment, plant overview, Context

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The chemical plant produces ultra-fine thermoplastic powder for the automotive, coating, and cosmetics industry. The production is located in Western Europe; the plant is of medium size and operates 24 Hours, 7 days a week. The Equipment in question is an Industry standard extraction fan in the powder production section. One electrical drive, a belt coupling drive, and two bearing fan shaft coupled to an overhung fan. Bearing defects were detected with Wi-care wireless monitoring system. This was confirmed by a portable data collector and the bearing problem was continuously trended with Wi-care. until a planned shutdown.

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Analyst diagnosis and spectrum justification: Ball bearing frequency and friction

The Wi-care system is set up with one sensor on the electrical drive, and two sensors on the fan shaft.
Outlined below is the standard spectrum collected with the Wi-care wireless monitoring system at the fan bearing coupling side. Display is in acceleration units G PK. The four dominant peaks from the right side of the screen show the bearing fault frequency and its harmonics.

Wi-care data from April 2014.

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Seen below is a spectrum and waveform measurement performed with portable data collector on the same exact point,bearing on the fan,coupling side.

Portable analyzer data collection-April 2014

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Analyst observations on Wi-care spectrum

Same predominant bearing fault on the Wi-care and portable data collector measurement in April 2014.

We detected an obviuous spectral peaks and noise due to friction on the fan bearing non coupling side. This revealed a typical lubrication defect. The fault is important and justifys an action. We can also see a fault frequency on the fan bearing coupling side at 5.251 order. The amplitude gives grounds for concern but does not justify change out of the bearing at this time.
We recommend that the Auto-Lubricator be checked to ensure it is performing correctly.In addition We will monitor the bearing fault frequency and friction trend with Wi-care in order to control lubrication and follow bearing fault degradation.

Following the diagnosis and remedial action, Wi-care provided a clear trending of data to the operators and predictive team.


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Nicolas Bleret, I-care, Belgique
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