Condition Monitoring (CM)

Definition - What does Condition Monitoring (CM) mean?

Condition monitoring (CM) is the process of monitoring a parameter of conditions in machinery (vibration, temperature, etc.), in order to identify a significant change which is indicative of a developing fault.

It is a major component of predictive maintenance. The use of conditional monitoring allows maintenance to be scheduled, or other actions to be taken to prevent failure and avoid its consequences.

Condition monitoring techniques are normally used on rotating equipment and other machinery such as pumps, electric motors, internal combustion engines and presses.

Since corrosion can lead to unexpected failures that can be costly in terms of repair costs, environmental damage and potential harm to humans, condition monitoring is indispensable to avoid these consequences.

Corrosionpedia explains Condition Monitoring (CM)

Condition monitoring of machinery is the measurement of various parameters related to the mechanical condition of the machinery, such as:

  • Vibration
  • Bearing temperature
  • Oil pressure
  • Oil debris
  • Performance

This makes it possible to determine whether or not the machinery is in good mechanical condition. If the mechanical condition is bad, then condition monitoring makes it possible to determine the cause of the problem. Condition monitoring is used in conjunction with predictive maintenance. Some examples of CM techniques are:

  • Vibration analysis
  • Tribology
  • Thermography

The main condition monitoring techniques applied in the industrial and transportation sectors include:

  • Vibration condition monitoring and diagnostics
  • Lubricant analysis
  • Acoustic emission
  • Infrared thermography
  • Ultrasound emission
  • Motor condition monitoring
  • Motor current signature analysis (MCSA)

There are two main methods used for condition monitoring:

  • Trend monitoring - This is the continuous or regular measurement and interpretation of data. It involves the selection of a suitable and measurable indication of machine or component deterioration and the study of the trend in this measurement with running time to indicate when deterioration exceeds a critical rate.
  • Condition checking - In this method a check measurement is taken with the machine running, using some suitable indicator and this is then used as a measure of the machine condition at that time.

Corrosion or erosion of material results in material loss, which eventually results in leakage and accidents that prove expensive and therefore, must be avoided. Regular condition monitoring eliminates this, as appropriate action can be taken prior to major damage occurring.

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