Condition monitoring helps identify a machine fault which leads to significant savings

With research revealing machine downtime costs UK manufacturers over £180bn every year, faulty machinery can have a hugely negative impact on the bottom line. Keeping assets on the move is critical to productivity and business performance, and with over half of outages caused by hidden internal faults, a robust asset management strategy is essential.

Implementing machine condition monitoring as part of that strategy is a key part of mitigating unplanned maintenance, providing valuable insight into the health, condition and performance of your assets and enabling predictive and preventative maintenance decisions based on real-time data.

It’s just one of a host of value-added services provided by leading industrial and electronics supplier RS Components as part of its aims to futureproof the productivity of its customers. By getting to grips with their challenges, the RS Maintenance Solutions team can identifiy faults before having a significant impact on yield, increasing the availability and lifetime of assets, and reducing downtime and costs.

The Challenge
RS has worked with a leading global coffee manufacturer for nearly a decade, providing weekly onsite mobile condition monitoring and oil analysis services at its UK processing plant.

As part of a routine condition monitoring check, an RS Condition Monitoring Engineer discovered a bearing fault on a fan in the evaporator system that had gone undetected by the customer. The fault, which had developed on a process-critical motor in the freeze dry section, was picked up using vibration analysis, a predictive maintenance method that can detect early issues in rotating machinery such as gearboxes, fans, shafts, motors and compressors.

The Solution
Flagged to the engineer through an elevated vibration reading on the motor, the fault was repaired and the bearings replaced. The issue was so significant that left undetected it could have resulted in up to 24 hours’ downtime.

Combined with the potential for a huge amount of product wastage and the cost of a replacement motor, the total costs would have exceeded £250,000 for the customer.

The Outcome
The benefits of condition monitoring for businesses are significant and tangible, cutting downtime by 40%, reducing maintenance costs by half and extending the lifetime of assets by a third. For this particular customer, the results have been substantial.

"Condition monitoring can identify decreased performance or potential for failure in machinery and in this instance, it’s saved the customer a huge amount of money"Rob Webster, Head of Onsite Condition Monitoring and Asset Management, RS Components

Rob Webster, Head of Onsite Condition Monitoring and Asset Management at RS Components says: “Condition monitoring can identify decreased performance or potential for failure in machinery and in this instance, it’s saved the customer a huge amount of money. “To put it into context, the total saved from this single fault find is more than the site has paid for its entire condition monitoring programme to date over a period of nearly eight years.”

Condition monitoring is one of the RS Maintenance Solutions and has resulted in the reduction of potential outages for the customer in other areas. Vibration analysis has been employed on machinery critical to its operations, such as its specialist spinning cone column machinery.

Webster adds: “Using condition monitoring to analyse the health and performance of assets plays a key role in this customer’s productivity, helping them keep on top of maintenance and keeping their machinery - and business - moving.”

To find out more about RS Maintenance Solutions, click here.