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Predictive Maintenance Technologies

By Glenn Wallace , June 5, 2018

Predictive Maintenance (PdM) technologies are not just for use after your equipment has been installed.  Many of these technologies can be applied during the various stages of your commissioning activities.

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Many of the failures these technologies can identify are not able to be identified by the naked eye and may not even show up during testing of the equipment or process.  These will often help ensure we are seeing the entire picture.  Some of the technologies that make sense are identified below:

InfraRed (IR) Thermography

IR Thermography can be used to identify unacceptable operation of electrical and mechanical equipment expressed by excessive heat generation.

Electrical equipment:

  • Loose terminal connections
  • Overloaded equipment
  • Dirty/corroded connections
  • Improper ventilation

Mechanical equipment:

  • Compressed air leaks
  • Drive belts too loose/slipping
  • Misalignment
  • Improper lubrication
  • Failing bearings
  • Compressed gas leaks

Example: Use IR Thermography scans during UPS battery load tests to identify loose connections and failing batteries.

 

Ultrasonic Emissions (UE)

UE scans can be used to identify problems in both mechanical and electrical equipment.  The use of UE scans in conjunction with IR testing of electrical cabinets can make this task safer.

Electrical equipment:

  • Arcing
  • Tracking
  • Corona

Mechanical equipment:

  • Compressed air leaks
  • Compressed gas leaks
  • Improper lubrication
  • Failing bearings

 

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Vibration Analysis

Vibration Analysis can be used to perform acceptance testing of any rotating equipment.  This can be performed during Factory Acceptance Testing and again at the site during the various commissioning levels.

Example: Perform vibration analysis of Air Handler Unit (AHU) fan motors as part of the Factory Acceptance Testing (FAT).

 

 

Motor Circuit Evaluation/Analysis

Offline MCE tests can be performed on motors prior to being installed and energized to identify a multitude of failure modes.  Online MCA can also be performed with motors under normal operating conditions to identify many other modes of failure.

Example:  Acceptance test large or critical motors in your Data Center to prevent untimely failure when you can least afford it.

 

Oil Analysis

Oil Analysis can be used to test the condition of the lubricant as well as the equipment being lubricated.  Performing the sampling in the right manner and requesting the right tests will ensure you know the complete condition of your equipment.

The testing of oil-filled transformers will ensure your transformers were built with no defects, ensure they will operate reliably, and often provide you the necessary lead time to replace one if required, prior to catastrophic failure.

 

Equipment Reliability Starts Now

Ensure all of your equipment is manufactured and delivered reliably.  Ensure your facility will continue to operate reliably throughout the entire life cycle.

CAI knows how to establish maintenance programs for the equipment in a Data Center as well as how to commission it to provide you years of reliable operations. Contact Henry Ford, Global Director, Building Commissioning, to get questions about your latest project answered at henry.ford@cagents.com 

Topics: Building Commissioning