ASSETMATRIX offers ultrasound inspections on key mechanical equipment to aid reliability, safety and efficiency of all Industrial plants.
ULTRASOUND MECHANICAL INSPECTION SERVICES
ASSETMATRIX offers ultrasound inspections on key mechanical equipment in an industrial plant with the aim of increasing reliability, safety and efficiency of the plants. The breaking of a simple bearing or blocking of a valve can cause serious damage to machinery or lead to stoppage of the production process.
ASSETMATRIX mechanical inspections are carried out with ultrasonic instrumentation because ultrasounds allow early detect of abnormality before any other mechanical technique is deployed. If necessary, our inspections may be further supported by other tests such as thermography and vibration analysis.
The instruments used during our inspections enables us to listen to the quality of the detected ultrasound with headphones using the heterodyne phenomenon and also recording the sound for further analysis using dedicated software in making a more accurate diagnosis of the issues.
The passage of any fluid, from upstream to downstream of a valve, generates turbulence which emits an ultrasound. Using appropriate instrumentation that detects this ultrasound you can hear the noise and you can analyze it to understand the operation status of the component.
Typically, by making a series of measurements upstream, downstream and over the valve on you can tell if it is:
- Passing Through (it is closed but there is the passage of a small flow rate of fluid)
With ultrasound inspection, it is possible to understand, quickly and without intervening on the system, the status of any types of valves in the system irrespective of the fluid type flowing in the pipes. Knowing the specific condition of the equipment is essential for maintenance planning which increases the reliability and availability of the plant.
When bearings present a fault or mechanical failure they all emit a noise in the ultrasound field. The ultrasonic emission is generated by a change of the friction coefficient which can be generated by several factors such as incorrect lubrication (hyperlubrication or hypolubrication) or the wear of one or more components of the bearing.
In fact, one of the major cause of excessive stress machinery is friction. The analysis of the ultrasound is effective at any rotational speed of the bearings (high, medium or low). In addition, given that ultrasound it is short-wave high-frequency, it is easy to filter out background noise and focus on the specific element to be inspected.
Ultrasound is the fastest technology in detecting mechanical problem, this allows you to have more time to plan and implement corrective actions. Early detection also allows you to eliminate the fault even when you are not in an emergency situation while saving about the corrective action.
There are three methods to monitor the bearings with Ultrasound:
- Comparative: comparing bearings of the same type and observe deviations
- Historical: setting the trend of the measured values over time
- Analytical: Use software for further analysis
With the historical method you can program the alarm levels: Establish a reading of baseline
- 1° alarm indicates poor lubrication
- 2° alarm early warning of failure
Steam Trap Inspection
Unlike air, steam is not free. In a Plant that operates a steam system without an inspection program, the percentage of failures due to steam trap issues is estimated at about 50% – an amount that is significantly reduced with quarterly, bi-annual or annual inspections and immediate repairs or replacements.
Vallves are used to intercept, set, block or divert steam flow. These components may be faulty or malfunctioning which can therefore allow the passage of steam when not needed which leads to energy losses. These losses represent a considerable waste of economic resources, which often managers are unaware, because they are captured together with other related expenses as “energy costs”.
The components which are the main causes of energy losses are: valves and steam traps. Proper maintenance of steam traps is vital for any steam plant. The consequences of a steam trap failure includes:
- Safety & Security: water hammer causing serious damage to people and property.
- Efficiency of the production process: steam traps are also used to keep the temperature constant in the system. If this does not happen, the product quality deteriorates.
- Equipment life: the accumulated water in the tubes causes them to rust.
- Energy costs: Faulty steam traps can cause up to tens of thousands of dollars per year of energy consumption for each of them.