Mechanical vibrations can help diagnose machine damage
UN/DICYT A device that enables diagnosing damages in rotary machines has been used with success in Navy patrol motor boats and companies that use equipment with rotors.
The system designed by UNal-Manizales doctoral candidate Oscar Cardona, and under supervision of Professor Germán Castellanos, is comprised of a physical device that measures vibrations of a machine.
“From there we use the signals and process them with very advanced and suitable algorithms determining the status or how to intervene to perform appropriate maintenance,” said Cardona.
The system is based on vibration signals that provide information on the performance of the machine, due to the kinematics principle (movement) that components have and the dynamic behavior produced when parts interact.
According to Cardona, this set of techniques used to diagnose the status of a machine and determine if there is damage is known as vibration analysis.
“With this project we analyze rotating machine vibrations with the purpose of detecting failures and damage statuses based on operating conditions,” said the researcher.
The analysis proposed is mainly based on frequency-time dominion techniques because they enable analyzing frequency information as a function of time and have a direct interpretation of the process.
“This tool saves on maintenance costs as it prevents failures and adequately programming maintenance, avoiding downtimes. For a company it is vital that its machines work properly, avoiding unexpected stoppages that hinder production and this device helps this from occurring,” said Cardona.
The device is useful for any rotary machine, such as an electric motor, an internal combustion engine or and hydraulic pump, among others.
Formerly, multiple techniques had been used to characterize vibration signals, with bearings and gearbox failures. Furthermore unbalanced and unaligned axels are essential issues which cause damages to other elements of the system.
Therefore, early identification of these types of failures improves system yields avoiding future drawbacks.
Cardona claims he has approached companies that have shown interest in obtaining this system for their maintenance programs.