• Why Does Condition Monitoring Matter?

Analytical Instrumentation

Why Does Condition Monitoring Matter?

Dec 16 2021

From oil rigs and petroleum refineries to textile factories and electronics assembly lines, condition monitoring (CM) keeps machinery running like clockwork. The process measures a variety of parameters to monitor mechanical performance and detect changes that could compromise efficiency. These parameters include vibrations, temperature, acoustic soundwaves and corrosion.

So, why does condition monitoring matter and why is it such an invaluable tool across a wide range of industries and sectors? Read on to find out more about the key goals of condition monitoring and how investing in a CM strategy pays for itself.

Minimising unplanned downtime

Unplanned downtime is one of the key drivers of lost productivity, with a recent study by oil and gas market research company Kimberlite revealing it costs the average offshore organisation around US$38 million per year.

Condition monitoring is one of the most effective ways to prevent unplanned downtime and keep machinery operating at full capacity. Even a small defect can create major problems, making it critical to monitor not just large equipment but also smaller components.

“Updating maintenance practices to more predictive efforts - driven by digital technologies and data-based optimisation - can enable offshore production facilities to reduce their unplanned downtime and drive better operational efficiency,” reads the Kimberlite study.

The value of condition monitoring technologies was further underscored in a recent report conducted by Schlumberger. The company announced its advanced predictive analytics program for condition monitoring in fracturing pumps offered savings of more than US$8 million per annum. This increased to more than US$30 million over a three-year period. The bottom line? By investing in relatively affordable CM technologies companies can unlock huge savings.

Slashing maintenance costs

The savings continue in the form of reduced maintenance costs. While routine and time-based preventive maintenance can be a good way to monitor the condition of machinery and detect any issues, it’s often unnecessary. Furthermore, if an issue arises just after routine maintenance has been carried out it won’t be identified until the next scheduled inspection, which could allow damage to progress. Active condition monitoring allows operators to detect issues in real-time and schedule repairs only when necessary.

Extending the lifespan of equipment

Condition monitoring allows operators to proactively repair equipment and address issues as they arise. This dynamic approach to maintenance can drastically extend the lifespan of equipment and keep machines working for longer.

Lubricants can reveal a lot about the state of a machine and its components. Find out more about the state-of-the-art technologies used to analyse oil in ‘World's smallest ASTM D4052 high-precision density meter provides accuracy and reliability in the most extreme conditions.’

For more information on condition monitoring in general, don't miss 'Condition Monitoring: Everything You Need to Know'.

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