Equipment in the field, including mining and construction, is subject to any number of conditions, from pouring rain to damaging winds, but dust is one factor that could be more damaging than you think.
Surprisingly, airflow is one of the chief concerns when it comes to dust accumulation. As filters and ventilation systems collect dust, airflow is reduced, which can cause equipment to overheat and malfunction or prematurely break down. When you think about how many electrical systems and mechanical components that require consistent air movement, you can imagine the numerous opportunities for breakdown within a single machine.
Preventing unplanned downtime and avoiding unnecessary replacement costs can be possible with predictive maintenance, for example changing air filters and cleaning cooling air intake and exhaust ducting. Inspections and regularly scheduled maintenance are also good practices, but employing a more strategic maintenance schedule is even better.
Monitoring the temperature of your asset alerts you to damaging temperature changes. It also provides analytics to help you identify temperature trends and address them as needed, reducing unnecessary maintenance routines.
Dust and moisture – the dynamic downtime duo
Even when an asset isn’t directly affected by water, moisture is still present in the air and will be absorbed by dust, making it more likely to adhere to surfaces.
As dust finds its way into an asset’s overlooked nooks and crannies, as well as cooling fans, the moisture it absorbs corrodes internal components and circuitry, leading to more problems that are difficult to diagnose. Dust and moisture can also lead to:
- Inefficient operation and breakdowns
- False/inaccurate readings from monitoring processes
- Loss of structural integrity due to corrosion
As with temperature, an advanced condition monitoring solution provides maintenance managers with analytics to identify steady or sudden increases in humidity that promote dust/moisture buildup within components.
The good news
Predictive maintenance does not require a specialist. With the right solution in place, managers and maintenance staff can easily employ a condition monitoring strategy that reduces downtime and minimizes unnecessary maintenance costs. The Internet of Things (IoT) has made this even simpler by creating a foundation for Internet-based solutions that track large amounts of data with ease.
Parker has successfully launched such a solution: SensoNODE™ Blue Sensors and Voice of the Machine™ Mobile software. When used in tandem, SensoNODE Sensors track an asset’s temperature, pressure, vibration and humidity, and transmit the data wirelessly to the Voice of the Machine Mobile App. This gives users real-time and historic trends and easy-to-understand analyses of their asset conditions to help address dust-related issues before they escalate.
Article contributed by Westin Siemsglusz, IoT market sales manager, Parker Hannifin.
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