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Ultrasonics: A Sound Concept

by Steve Johnson
Computational Systems, Inc

Today's cost-sensitive maintenance environment dictates an effective, simple-to-use, high payback technology where materials cost and personnel training are concerned. Ultrasonic monitoring is such a technology. Most plant systems and equipment generate operational noise of some sort and during failure modes the noise characteristics can change dramatically. Detecting this change and fixing the problem before failure can result in higher quality production output, reduced downtime, reduced maintenance overtime, and greatly reduced costs.


Vibration & Ultrasound Technologies: A Possible Integrated Inspection Tool?

by Stuart Courtney, Senior Applications Engineer, SKF Reliability Systems


The purpose of this paper is to introduce condition monitoring and reliability engineers to the principles of using ultrasound for the assessment of machine condition. Ultrasound can be a complimentary technology to vibration, thermography and lubrication monitoring. It must be emphasized that it is rarely successful as a stand alone technology for effective machine condition assessment and subsequent required maintenance planning. This paper concentrates on the use of airborne ultrasound as a complementary technique particularly for machinery that may be inaccessible due to guards or hazardous locations.

The Ultimate in Bearing Maintenance Programs

By Chuck Petersen

Greasing bearings with Ultrasound Detection is very fast becoming the way to go. We can actually tell by Ultrasound Detection when bearings need greased and then when they have enough grease. We listen to the bearing and when it sounds smooth like air escaping then it is properly lubricated. When it sounds like popcorn popping or gravel in a bucket it needs greased. We then have the maintenance man grease the bearing ½ stroke at a time while we listen to the bearing with the Ultraprobe 10000, we can actually hear the grease enter the bearing and the sound quickly goes to the smooth air escaping sound. At that point we stop the greasing.


How To Develop and Implement a Successful Maintenance Skills Training Program

Maintenance Skills Training for industry is a hot subject right now. In many areas of the country, companies are competing for skilled maintenance personnel.

Tammy Bodack with Charlotte's Central Piedmont Community College states that the city's total unemployment rate is less than 2% and the skilled unemployment rate is lower than that.

The skill level of the maintenance personnel in most companies is well below what industry would say is acceptable.


Training - The Backbone of Cultural Change

During the current time globalization and the forces of competition are causing many of the worlds industries to change frequently in order to either remain in the game, or to try to gain advantage in some manner. Organizational structures are becoming transient things used as a tool to facilitate change. For example people often are required to do project work for short periods in order to maintain the continuous improvement focus that an organization may wish to achieve.

As a result here are many and regular changes occurring within the fields of maintenance as well. A CMMS system may be implemented, maintenance strategy review undertaken, business processes reviewed or even the regular addition of root cause analysis projects. TPM and lean maintenance programs have also now entered the landscape as part of the changes open to maintenance departments.

All of these forces can cause the organizational culture to shift somewhat. The organisation of the early twenty first century finds itself in the situation where it is always breaking paradigms and accepting new ones only to break them again as their advancement continues.
However much if the continual change within some organizations is due to the lack of success of previous programs. The Program of the Month phenomena. I feel that there is somewhat of a misunderstanding of this issue. Mindsets such as these are often attributed to the fact that management are not fully behind the concept, or a coping mechanism for a workforce that has reached a saturation point in terms of the continual changes that they need to endure.


PdM Centralization for Significant Energy Savings

Dale P. Smith, CMRP
Predictive Service, LLC


All facilities lose energy dollars through overheated electrical distribution systems, overloaded and misaligned rotating assets as well as lose expensive compressed air and steam through leaking pipes/fittings. Couple this with the increasing pressures of global competition, thinning workforce, and budget constraints are forcing us to improve equipment reliability by fully leveraging predictive maintenance (PdM) technologies.

This paper focuses on how the successful integration of standard PdM technologies can capture significant energy savings and simplify ROI calculations. By the way, any associated benefits of increased safety, reliability and enhanced facility capacity are purely coincidental.

Conversations of Maintenance

Can a conversation make a difference? Well sometimes a conversation can change the direction of your life. My father was a mechanical engineer. He had many interests but he ended up in engineering. He related a conversation he had when he started college in 1935. His first advisor cautioned him against engineering because he said there were no jobs for Jews in the engineering field. My father told him (politely) not to worry about his employment prospects but to just sign his forms so he could take the classes. My father always found employment and spent 50 years as a practicing engineer.

The 3 Major Causes of Variation that Kill Reliability

Variation is the worst enemy of Reliability and most people are not even aware of it.

How do you reduce Variation and thus increase Reliability of your assets? We could probably make a long detailed list of items on "Causes of Variation" in our maintenance process which impact Reliability, but let's look at three of the major causes.

How to know if you’re choosing the right training for your company’s needs

By Cynthia Rishko, National Technology Transfer, Inc.

Training Pays

Employee training programs cost money that employers might be reluctant to spend-especially in tough economic times. Often times giving serious consideration to an employee training program is delayed until an incident occurs that highlights the need for a change in the status quo. The truth is that money spent on training employees well can benefit a company in many ways for years. The benefits come in the form of increased efficiency and productivity; less downtime or complete breakdown of systems; less reliance on high priced outside consultants to resolve issues, as well a decrease in insurance liabilities due to accidents on the job, along with their potential for OSHA penalties.