Condition Based Maintenance – Monitoring Tools


I keep getting updates on new products used in the maintenance field through various online subscriptions.

Here is a link that shows the us of Ultrasound devices in the condition based maintenance strategy. I am not trying to sell the product, but am just trying to propagate the techniques involved. Please connect to the link given below and learn more.



Case Study on Advantages of Proper alignment of Rotating Machinery Assemblies


Good, within tolerance, mechanical alignment between the driving motor and driven components is one of the basic health requirements.

I came across an excellent case study for which the link is given below.

Proper alignment helps one plant keep on pumping.

Please go through and be enlightened.


Energy Audits in multiple Phases

Hi all,

Energy conservation and energy audits are two catch phrases that are flogged to death on many fora.

Is it possible to deny the need for us to adopt energy conservation measures? The answer is a big know.

So, how do we go about doing an audit and bringing in measures to achieve good results.

Today I went through the part 1 of a very well written article on the topic. The link is given below:

Break Energy Audits into Phases | Chemical Processing.

Please read and be enlightened.


CMMS/EAM Software Review: 9 trends spurring CMMS/EAM evolution


Plants Services is one magazine that I subscribe to. It comes up with highly readable material, written by knowledgeable people.

The latest issue had an article on CMMS / EAM evolution. Please click on the link below to access and read the same.

CMMS/EAM Software Review: 9 trends spurring CMMS/EAM evolution.



Mitigate electrical harmonics: Improves System Reliability, Uptime and Energy Efficiency

Hi all,

I recently read an article on the effect of electrical harmonics on system reliability, uptime and overall effectiveness. The link to the article is given below. Please read for more details.

Motor Efficiency | Control harmonic distortion to reduce energy consumption and extend asset life — Mitigate electrical harmonics: It improves system reliability, uptime and energy efficiency | Plant Services.


Predictive Maintenance and Energy Savings

A predictive maintenance road map to energy savings

The connection between maintenance and energy savings is not well understood. In fact, many of us view energy savings as just an electrical issue rather than a holistic approach to all energy usage. We need to consider energy measurement as part of a predictive maintenance system; to save time, money and energy throughout the facility.

All facilities tend to lose energy (cost involved) through overheated electrical distribution systems, overloaded and misaligned rotating assets as well as lose expensive compressed air and steam through leaking pipes/fittings. We need to improve equipment reliability by fully leveraging predictive maintenance (PdM) technologies.

Step 1 – Assets Listing

It is crucial to gain a complete picture of all assets within a reliability program or at least the equipment targeted in the pilot project. Keep in mind that from an electrical standpoint, many organizations don’t breakdown the electrical systems to the component level (i.e. relays, breakers, and lighting panels).

If you are finding information gaps while compiling the assets lists, the best way to get the full is by walking through the facility with a simple facility layout drawing and notebook to capture asset name plate data.

Step 2 – Get the Energy Bill

This step requires review and analysis of energy invoices for two to three years to establish consumption patterns. The consumption pattern need to be broken up for all the specific major energy using equipment groups (HVAC, Compressors, Ovens, Blower groups etc) and groups geographical or logical location (Utility group / Data center / Paint shop / Pharmaceutical production modules / Major office floor / Lunch room etc

Step 3 – Prioritise Your Efforts

A simple prioritisation approach is to divide the gas, electric and oil bills into two usage categories; by building type or use and by equipment types which are common to a variety of process and applications, compressed air, pump and fan systems, etc.

The facility may have hundreds of fractional horsepower motors that cumulatively consume a lot of energy, but the labor, analysis and reporting costs of deploying PdM to each is more than the replacement costs. The PdM approach will be cost-effective on lesser number of critical equipment.

An asset criticality ranking process creates weighted scores based upon probability of failures, failure severities, value impact on associated personnel, systems, buildings and the overall organisation.

Ultimately, you end up with a comprehensive site equipment list and corresponding criticality score that can be easily sorted to identify the most critical equipment by asset classification, building, and cost center.

The list will be used to identify which equipment to focus on first with specific maintenance strategies. Equipment having a high-ranking will likely have more advanced PdM equipment strategies and analysis performed; whereas equipment having the lowest ranking may have a lower maintenance strategy such as “run-to-failure”.

Each organisation has a different profile. For example, industrials have a higher number of process related motor loads, pharmaceuticals more HVAC loads and commercial buildings more focus on the electrical, HVAC and roofing systems.

Step 4 – Calculate the Energy Savings

Electrical Savings – The key process requires capturing power consumption measurements taken when an anomaly is identified and after equipment is put back into service. The savings in energy will give us the annual cost savings for a given maintenance effort.

Steam Savings

Steam savings calculation will involve the collection of large data covering boiler efficiency, loading, losses, number of boilers, fuel cost per 1,000 BTU, steam pressures, water treatment chemical costs, labour burden, etc.  Further costing for PdM efforts to critical boiler components could be made to achieve cost-effective maintenance with equitable energy savings.

Electrical distribution Systems

Electricity and electrical distribution systems are the backbone of any infrastructure. The issue at hand is that much of the electrical generation and distribution systems age without too much maintenance effort at sub assembly or component levels. Many sub systems cross the designed life and become susceptible to failure and low reliability. Some of the problems faced are:

  • Unstable utility supply / line surges
  • Transient voltages
  • Unbalanced and overloaded transformer banks
  • Short circuits
  • Unidentified single-phase ground faults
  • Faulty power factor correction equipment
  • Upstream and downstream relay faults and tripping
  • Un-calibrated relays and meters

The above variables are often hidden but can manifest themselves as single phasing, shorted windings, overheated transformer banks and partially tripped over current protection. Such component level failures are caused due to lack of maintenance.

IR thermography

IR thermography captures thermal anomalies and variances in temperatures. It is ideal for capturing high resistance, overload, phase imbalance and loose electrical connections that cause overheating and wasted energy.

Ultrasound Scanning

Ultrasound scanning of steam, fire fighting water and compressed air systems will help in identifying leaky components such as isolation valves, traps etc, without physically opening the systems for maintenance.

Thus PdM initiatives will work towards holistic infrastructure energy savings.

Adapted from an article by Dale Smith, CMRP, in Plant Maintenance Aug 2010 Issue

Floor Maintenance

Key Components of a Flooring Maintenance Program

Any flooring type that is cleaned and maintained properly will meet or exceed users’ expectations. But with the tight maintenance budgets, pressure is mounting to minimise floor maintenance by cutting cleaning frequencies. Reduced cleaning frequencies will mean greater wear and tear on the floor.

To extend the life of flooring, we need to implement the essential elements of a comprehensive flooring maintenance programme. Among the critical factors to consider:

  • Flooring maintenance tasks. Regular vacuuming is critical for carpets because the faster housekeeping crews remove dirt, the less damage it will do and the longer carpets will last.
  • For hard flooring, such as vinyl composite tile or terrazzo, regular dust mopping and damp mopping remove grit before it can damage the floor’s gloss.
  • Task frequency. With tight budgets, it is common to hear that flooring maintenance tasks are not performed as often as before. Offices that had been cleaned daily now are cleaned on alternate days, or even weekly or monthly. No matter the type of floors in these offices, their surfaces will be damaged faster with less-frequent cleaning.
  • The time to perform tasks. With budgets tightening, employees inevitably must do more with fewer resources, including time. But housekeeping crews must have enough time to perform proper flooring maintenance. Ironically, there is a law of diminishing returns from cutting maintenance time. Floors that are cleaned daily take less time to clean on average than floors that otherwise might be cleaned only monthly.
  • Proper training. Since facilities often feature many different floor types, crews need comprehensive training on flooring maintenance. It is easy to omit this step from the program, but failing to train workers in the proper use of floor-cleaning chemicals or equipment can result in damaged floors. Floor maintenance training should include a review of proper chemical use, equipment considerations, and appropriate cleaning frequencies and safety procedures.

A good flooring maintenance program must also take into consideration the following conditions:

  • Traffic. How many people walk across the floor, and what is rolled or dragged across it? One may get high traffic areas within large spaces. Such places will require more frequent care.
  • Environment. What type of soil is left on the floor? Seasonal changes also may be taken into consideration in view of the higher probability of dirt being carried in with moisture.
  • Congestion. What physical obstacles hinder flooring maintenance procedures? Periodic inspection of office and other spaces to remove unwanted stuff would help in decongestion.
  • Time. When can workers perform floor-care tasks? Shift timings, meal timings, weekly holidays etc could be considered.
  • Size. What is the square footage of the area to be maintained? Staff strength, skills composition, equipment and tools requirement etc will come into play in the decisions.

With this information, we can develop and implement a comprehensive flooring maintenance program to ensure floors consistently look their best.