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Low Speed Bearing Monitoring A Case Study of Low Speed Bearing Monitoring in a Paperboard

Low Speed Bearing Monitoring

A Case Study of Low Speed Bearing Monitoring in a Paperboard Plant

Study of Low Speed Bearing Monitoring in a Paperboard Plant Summary This case study from a

Summary This case study from a UK Paperboard manufacturer clearly illustrates the ability of bearing enveloping techniques to successfully diagnose faults in bearings that operate at low speeds. It also dispels the myth that study of any problem on low speed machinery requires use of specialized “low frequency” sensors and equipment.

SKF Reliability Systems

MBO1001

@ptitude Exchange

Mel Barratt

5271 Viewridge Court San Diego, CA 92123 United States tel +1 858 496 3400 fax +1 858 496 3511 email info@aptitudexchange.com Internet http://www.aptitudexchange.com

9 Pages Published May, 2002 Revised

Internet http://www.aptitu dexchange.com 9 Pages Published May, 2002 Revised Low Speed Bearing Monitoring

Low Speed Bearing Monitoring

Internet http://www.aptitu dexchange.com 9 Pages Published May, 2002 Revised Low Speed Bearing Monitoring

Table of contents

Table of contents 1. Introduction 3 2. Detection of th e Problem 4 3. Using the

1. Introduction

3

2. Detection of the Problem

4

3. Using the Enveloping Technique for Further Fault

5

4. Subsequent Action

7

5. Conclusions

9

6. References

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© 2010 SKF Group

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1.

Introduction

In late 1997 the in-house condition monitoring program at Iggesund’s plant in Workington (UK) detected a problem associated with a cylinder support bearing on their Number 2 Board Machine. Iggesund staff estimated that complete failure of the suspect bearing could result in machine shut down for up to six months, due to the size and weight of the cylinder in question. This is the Machine Glaze (MG) cylinder, which is more than 6 meters diameter, and weighs approximately 165 tons (Figure 1). The Number 2 Board Machine is over 200 meters long and manufactures coated carton-board for the packaging and pharmaceutical industries.

for the packaging and pharmaceutical industries. Figure 1. MG Cylinder. The MG cylinder typicall y operates

Figure 1. MG Cylinder.

The MG cylinder typically operates at around 12 RPM. It is a commonly held misconception that studying any problem at such a low speed requires specialized equipment. It is true that resulting vibration from basic mechanical problems, such as unbalance or misalignment occurs at low frequencies that fall outside the range of most “general purpose” accelerometer sensors. However, the vibration frequency generated by a fault in a rolling element bearing is still relatively high, even at low rotational speeds. Therefore, they may be studied using “standard” equipment,

Low Speed Bearing Monitoring

using “standard” equipment, Low Speed Bearing Monitoring provided due allowance is made in the configuration of

provided due allowance is made in the configuration of measurement parameters.

Users of modern vibration instrumentation are accustomed to fast data collection times. On common electric motors running at around 1500 – 3000 RPM it is necessary to sample only a few seconds of data to enable fault detection at an early stage of development. It should be remembered that in 2 seconds, a motor doing 1500 RPM completes 50 revolutions of movement. The same length of data sample applied to a bearing at 12 RPM means that less than half of one shaft revolution is studied. Therefore, study of rolling element bearings operating at low speeds does not necessarily require special equipment, but does require special consideration. Using a technique known as “Enveloped Acceleration Measurement” may further enhance the effectiveness of vibration analysis on low speed bearings.

Although a bearing fault can transmit a significant force through the bearing housing, the response of the supporting structure is usually very small (as measured by an accelerometer mounted near the bearing load zone).

by an accelerometer mounted near the bearing load zone). Figure 2. Time Domain Da ta From

Figure 2. Time Domain Data From Accelerometer.

Figure 2 shows a time domain plot of such an accelerometer signal. It depicts a bearing

© 2010 SKF Group

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defect impulse signal summed with low frequency vibration, due to imbalance or misalignment. The measurement difficulty here is to accurately separate and sense these small bearing signal excitations in the presence of generally larger vibration components. In the very early stages of surface distress, transducer signals are buried in noise. Measurements of these early-stage signals require instrumentation that incorporates wide dynamic range, low inherent amplifier noise, and circuitry to enhance these negligible bearing response signals. In the early stages of bearing deterioration, defect frequency components are very small and are usually not discernible in the transducer signal’s normal amplitude spectrum plot. It is during these early stages of bearing wear that enveloping methods are useful to enhance the response signals of small repetitive defect impacts.

This incident serves to illustrate a number of points:

The cost effectiveness of a disciplined vibration monitoring program

The value of the “enveloping” techniques in bearing fault diagnosis

the “enveloping” techniques in bearing fault diagnosis  The manner in which low speed bearing problems

The manner in which low speed bearing problems may be studied without specialized (i.e. low-frequency) sensors and equipment.

2. Detection of the Problem

A study of vibration velocity measurements

taken from the MG cylinder’s front side bearing cap over a three-year period (Figure 3) shows a mean value of 0.74 mm/sec RMS (root mean squared value). As monitoring continued during late 1997 is was noted that this level rose to a new record of 1.21 mm/sec RMS. The change was clearly visible despite the fluctuations that occurred in the value as a result of different machine operating conditions.

A velocity level of 1.21 mm/sec RMS on

many machines is not significant. Indeed,

many other machines on the Iggesund site typically operate at higher levels. However, the MG cylinder operates at low speed, typically around 12 RPM. It was the change

in the level that was considered significant

enough to warrant further study.

was considered significant enough to warrant further study. Figure 3. Vibration Velocity Trend Data. Low Speed

Figure 3. Vibration Velocity Trend Data.

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© 2010 SKF Group

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Figure 4. Velocity Spectrum Study of the vibration velocity spectrum (Figure 4) indicates a harmonic
Figure 4. Velocity Spectrum Study of the vibration velocity spectrum (Figure 4) indicates a harmonic

Figure 4. Velocity Spectrum

Study of the vibration velocity spectrum (Figure 4) indicates a harmonic family with spacing of approximately 3 Hz. The peak levels were very low, as was the total spectral energy. Defective bearings usually display higher levels of vibration with more clearly defined peaks.

The bearing was identified as an SKF 230/630 CAK-C4-W33 (double spherical roller). The bearing defect frequencies at this speed were calculated:

Inner-race defect frequency = 3. 05 Hz

Outer-race defect frequency = 2. 55 Hz

Rolling element defect frequency = 0. 2 Hz

Cage rotational speed = 0. 9 Hz

Rolling element rotational speed = 1. 08 Hz

After applying this information to a further study of the velocity spectrum, it was concluded that the peaks belonged to either an inner-race or outer-race frequency, but it was not possible to be more specific. (All

Low Speed Bearing Monitoring

bearings are prone to a degree of “slippage” and “sliding”). Typically, the signal from a bearing defect is attenuated as it travels through the machine from its source to the sensor. It may be reduced by as much as 50% when it crosses the interface between two surfaces. The signal from an inner-race defect crosses more interfaces before the vibration transducer mounted on the bearing housing senses it. Therefore, an inner-race fault may be more serious than the vibration levels suggest.

3. Using the Enveloping Technique for Further Fault Analysis.

Analysis of faults in rolling element bearings involves the study of vibration generated by impacts occurring between flawed rolling- contact surfaces. Typically, this vibration is within the range of a good, general-purpose industrial accelerometer.

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The signal is passed through a band-pass filter to separate the high frequency components from the low frequency machinery vibration. The bursts of high frequency vibration from the bearing are very repetitive, due to the bearing’s geometry and speed. The signal is passed though a “peak detection circuit,” which emphasizes the repetitive components, and de-emphasizing random noise.

Applying this technique to the vibrations from the MG cylinder resulted in the enveloped acceleration spectrum shown in Figure 5. As you can see, the resulting spectral peaks strongly suggest the problem is with the inner-race. Studying the side

the problem is with the inner-race. Studying the side bands around the fault frequency peaks further

bands around the fault frequency peaks further supported this diagnosis. Figure 6 shows a zoomed view of the enveloped spectrum. The spacing between the sidebands is 0. 2 Hz, which corresponds to the rotational speed of the inner-race. This effect in the FFT display is caused by the modulation of the inner-race defect signal as the rotation of the raceway carries the defects in and out of the bearing’s load zone.

Thus, use of the bearing enveloping technique positively identified the defect as an inner-race problem – most probably a raceway crack.

an inner-race problem – most probably a raceway crack. Figure 5. Enveloped Ac celeration Spectrum Low

Figure 5. Enveloped Acceleration Spectrum

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Figure 6. Spectral Sidebands 4. Subsequent Action The bearing was closely monitored on a daily
Figure 6. Spectral Sidebands 4. Subsequent Action The bearing was closely monitored on a daily

Figure 6. Spectral Sidebands

4. Subsequent Action

The bearing was closely monitored on a daily basis. The resulting trend data is given in Figure 7. Levels continued to be higher than previously recorded amplitudes, and varied with machine speed. The highest recorded level on the bearing was 1. 98 mm/sec RMS.

The offending bearing was removed during a planned shutdown. Examination of the bearing revealed at least two raceway cracks. Raceways had a mirror-like surface with discoloration. These can indicate a deterioration in lubricant film thickness, possibly caused by the presence of water. There were also shallow craters with crystalline surfaces and gray / black streaks on the raceways. Engineers came to the conclusion that the failure stemmed mainly from a lubrication problem, and that water was present in the bearing at some time.

Low Speed Bearing Monitoring

SKF believes that the Iggesund condition monitoring team picked up the second crack, which was caused by the stresses imposed by the original crack. Cracks in bearings are generally seen as secondary damage caused by primary defects such as wear and distress.

As was expected, there was an improvement in readings taken after bearing replacement. Figure 8 shows the enveloped acceleration spectrum taken from the new bearing.

The trend of subsequent velocity readings is given in Figure 9. Velocity levels returned to the previous low values, with some fluctuation from varying machine speed.

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Figure 7. Velocity Trend Prior to Shutdown. Figure 8. Enveloped Acceleration Spectrum Following Repair. Low
Figure 7. Velocity Trend Prior to Shutdown. Figure 8. Enveloped Acceleration Spectrum Following Repair. Low

Figure 7. Velocity Trend Prior to Shutdown.

Figure 7. Velocity Trend Prior to Shutdown. Figure 8. Enveloped Acceleration Spectrum Following Repair. Low Speed

Figure 8. Enveloped Acceleration Spectrum Following Repair.

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Figure 9. Velocity Trend After Repair. 5. Conclusions Note that, even at the time of
Figure 9. Velocity Trend After Repair. 5. Conclusions Note that, even at the time of

Figure 9. Velocity Trend After Repair.

5.

Conclusions

Note that, even at the time of bearing replacement, there were no other indications of the developing problem. There was no discernable increase in the bearing’s operating temperature, nor any noticeable difference in machinery noise. The incident provides a graphic example of the improved maintenance lead-time provided by an organized approach to vibration monitoring.

Use of the enveloping technique to attain accurate and specific fault diagnosis in this bearing demonstrates the possibilities of employing standard vibration equipment to study low-speed machinery faults.

People question the need for a specific diagnostic system for use on rolling element bearings. In many situations, it is accepted that the engineer only needs to know whether or not the bearing is fit for further duty; the nature of the fault within the bearing becomes

Low Speed Bearing Monitoring

irrelevant. Whether the fault is an inner / outer ring, cage or balls makes little difference. This is particularly true when the bearing is part of a small machine or assembly, and maintenance consists of replacing that assembly. However, even in such cases the decision to take a plant off- line for the purpose of carrying out that work can have significant financial and operational implications. The ability to base such a decision on very specific information provides the engineer with more confidence when making such recommendations.

6.

References

Early Warning Fault Detection in Rolling Element Bearings Using Microlog Enveloping, SKF Condition Monitoring Inc, Application Note CM3021.

Monitoring of Slow Speed Bearings Using the Microlog CMVA 60 ULS (Ultra Low speed), by Dr Bob Jones, SKF Condition Monitoring Inc, Application Note CM3052.

© 2010 SKF Group

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