NineSigma’s client manufactures a range of products that are typically installed and then put into continuous or semi-continuous use within industrial environments. The equipment has internal electric motors and roller bearings. When the bearings within the equipment eventually fail, the equipment needs to be taken out of service so that repairs can be undertaken. If this needs to be done unexpectedly, through unplanned maintenance, it can be very expensive and inconvenient for the equipment user. Our client would therefore like to be able to detect the early onset of bearing failure within the equipment. This would allow the user to schedule the repair of the bearings at a suitable time – during a planned maintenance window, for example.
Although roller bearings equipped with condition monitoring sensors are commercially available, it is not always possible to incorporate such sensors within equipment because the design makes it unsuitable for internal modification. It is also not a viable solution for existing equipment which is already installed and in use. A solution is sought which could be retrofitted to an existing equipment installation.
Sensors are currently available which can be placed on the outside of equipment to monitor vibrations, but they only provide general vibration data and their ability to specifically pinpoint roller bearing failure is poor. Our client seeks a solution which can accurately and reliably detect bearing failure at the earliest opportunity and ideally have the ability to judge the severity of the bearing failure.
It is anticipated that such a solution might be achieved by fixing a device to the outside of the equipment, but alternative approaches could potentially be used, such as devices that can be placed within the equipment room and be capable of remote detection.
Anticipated Project Phases
Phase 1 – Review and assess proposals
- Client may seek additional information as required in order to properly evaluate each proposal. (A Non-Disclosure Agreement may be required so that confidential information can be shared between the parties.)
Phase 2 – Test proposed solution(s)
- Tests to be conducted within the client’s facilities with the client’s equipment.
Phase 3 – Develop commercial solution
- Activities required will depend upon the solution which is selected and the maturity of the technology.