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Schaeffler has extended its condition-monitoring range of products and services to offer vibration and acoustic-emission monitoring systems.

These products are said to cater for every maintenance scenario and all types of rotating equipment, from high-speed rotating components or machines down to slower-moving (0.25rpm) mechanical systems with fluctuating loads.

Schaeffler provides three main types of condition monitoring systems: hand-held monitoring; fixed/online monitoring; and semi-portable, multi-channel acoustic-emission monitoring.

On the hand-held side, Schaeffler continues to provide its FAG Detector III range of hand-held vibration monitoring devices, but is now offering a hand-held acoustic-emission monitoring device, the AE-Check.

This device is suitable for monitoring the condition of slow-rotating, variable-speed and load machinery and components, including mixers, motors, pumps, fans, HVAC systems, bearings and helical gears.

Acoustic-emission monitoring equipment has a high sensitivity to machine faults and filters out audible noise and low-frequency background vibration.

Acoustic-emission monitoring systems use surface-mounted transducers to detect these stress waves, which lie within the 25kHz to 1MHz frequency range.

The AE-Check is a route-mode acoustic-emission monitoring device that is easy to use and configure.

The user can set up to six different routes through the factory, with up to 435 measuring points per route – ideal for patrol monitoring.

The device comes with a standard acoustic sensor that simply connects to the hand-held device.

Built-in PC-based software integrates with the hand held, providing a comprehensive workflow from the creation of a route to uploading the measurement data and displaying and reporting on the results.

The integrated software also includes a ‘Super-Slo’ mode that enables the measurement of very slow rotating equipment, from 60 down to 0.25rpm.

The ‘Standard’ mode monitors faster rotating equipment from thousands of rpm down to 35rpm.

For companies that require continuous 24/7 condition monitoring of high-value critical machinery, Schaeffler offers its fixed, online FAG Procheck system, a dual online system that enables maintenance teams to monitor vibration and acoustic emissions from critical rotating components and machines.

This dual combination caters for all types of rotating mechanical systems, slow or fast, detecting faults early and preventing costly machine breakdowns that interrupt production.

By combining the modular FAG Procheck system with multiple smart acoustic sensors, users can monitor vibration and trend acoustic emissions of variable-speed rotating components and machines, especially where fluctuating loads are present.

For example, FAG Procheck can be used to monitor the condition of a slow-moving complex gearbox using acoustic sensors, as well as to monitor the condition of faster rotating machinery such as motors, fans and pumps.

The third part of Schaeffler’s offering is AE-Pro, a semi-portable acoustic-emission monitoring system that, in terms of cost and performance, is said to sit between the hand-held range and the fixed/online systems.

AE-Pro is therefore suitable for use on plant that doesn’t warrant a fixed system, but still requires more than instantaneous data collection.

AE-Pro is a portable multi-channel PC Notebook-driven data-acquisition and signal-analysis system that captures acoustic emission signals generated by machinery and other rotating components and systems.

Dr Lacey said: ‘The AE-Pro is a very powerful semi-portable acoustic-monitoring tool that enables our engineers to conduct one-off investigations on more complex pieces of critical plant or machinery.

‘The functionality and performance are superior to a simple, hand-held device because much more detailed analysis data can be provided on exactly where the damage is located.

‘This gives maintenance engineers valuable information on how the problem may be addressed.’

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