Vibration analysis for equipment degradation assessment and preventive maintenance

The cost of operation and maintenance of expensive equipment is a serious issue for business owners, so when we look at the high value assets such as wind turbine gear boxes, one of the first questions that comes to mind is, do such multi-million-dollar gear boxes require any special attention? We hardly see gearboxes of modern age cars failing!

Vibration analysis is an effective way to identify defects and is also considered an early and reliable indicator of defects. Such information can help improve asset performance and reduce maintenance downtime.

At Hitachi India R&D, we decided to look at how vibration analysis could be applied in equipment degradation assessment and support preventive maintenance in wind turbines. Firstly, wind turbines are a popular renewable energy source and maintenance & operations of these high value assets are expensive. There are further challenges in the operations of wind turbines as they operate in a remote location and equipment are hoisted at tower as high as 100 meters. Remote monitoring & early fault detection allows wind farm operators to take timely corrective steps and reduce energy and revenue loss. SCADA based monitoring is a standard process for most operators. Secondly, the science behind the vibration analysis of gearbox applies to any rotating equipment and our work can expand to products like pumps, motors etc in industries like automotive, water, energy etc.


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