by Ron Newman, PRUFTECHNIK Canada Vibration measurement has come of age in the last 20 years. While the practice of continuous on-line monitoring of critical machines in the oil, gas, and petrochemical industries has been commonplace for several decades, it is only recently that companies who had been using intermittent data collection techniques are now embracing continuous monitoring. The benefits are substantial! The new “horizon” is mobile equipment … draglines, shovels, bucket-wheel excavators, stacker-reclaimers, heavy haul trucks, are all equally important to production and just as “critical” as a gas compressor. However, unlike stationary machinery, monitoring mobile equipment brings substantial challenges that must be addressed to ensure accurate, repeatable, and reliable data acquisition. Rapid speed and load variations are just one element of the application. The logistics of sensor mounting, cabling, network communications, and general serviceability, bring unique complications to the task of monitoring these machines. We will discuss these obstacles and present new solutions that have the potential to bring significant reliability improvements to large mobile equipment.
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