PRZOOM - /newswire/ -
Palo Alto, CA, United States, 2007/08/29 - Diagnostic equipment that prevents machine failures resulting in operational disruptions, significant damage, human injury or loss of life, have quickly gained importance in the industrial sector.
Machine health prognosis aims to monitor deviations in the normal state of operation for individual machines by measuring parameters such as: vibrations, acoustic, position, pressure, and temperature by relying on sensors. The growth of the sensor based diagnostic equipment market will likely be high as production companies realize the importance of machine health diagnostics. Sensor and software participants will likely benefit the most from this growth, with wired and wireless sensors possessing immense potential for this market.
The development of numerous diagnostic sensor tools have helped to analyze as well as correlate reliable sensor output to detect faults and impending failures. Diagnostic equipment utilizes sensor technologies such as ultrasonic sensors to detect any internal or external machine cracks, including cracks well up to micron levels. Additionally, researchers have developed an optical fiber based sensor to measure in-plane (tangential) surface motion by using acoustic emission signals.
"Tracking the state of a machine's health, even if the machine appears to work perfectly, is critical for detecting, identifying, and localizing the failure while estimating the residual useful life (RUL) of the component/machine for carrying out proper maintenance," notes Frost & Sullivan Industry Analyst Dr. Rajender Thusu.
The introduction of acoustic emission-based sensors will likely feature RUL prediction algorithms based on the relation between the health of rolling element bearings to certain condition indicators. This data can be further validated by comparing it with the data obtained independently by an accelerometer. The same exercise can be repeated for lubricated bearings by deploying a ferrographic analysis sensor. The use of a wireless sensor system will likely greatly assist with condition monitoring and the assessment of industrial rotating machinery.
In order to ensure uninterrupted machine operation, machine health maintenance has become a part of in-house programs as well as an emerging service market.
"Machine failures represent some of the most costly, troublesome forms of breakdowns on critical machines within the industrial space. Machine health diagnostics are expensive, and not all companies can invest in them due to other pressing priorities," says Dr. Thusu. "To serve this expanding market, several independent companies that thoroughly check the performance of every machine on the floor by using sensor-based diagnostic equipment have emerged in the market."
Several service companies have realized the potential of the machine diagnostics market and have entered this market with comprehensive plans. Specifically, a number of machine diagnostic companies that primarily serve the production sector have emerged to meet the needs of company's that do not possess the expensive machine diagnostic tools.
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