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Thursday, May 16 • 8:30am - 9:00am
Defect Severity Measurement in Rolling Element Bearings

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Although vibration analysis has been used to monitor the health of rolling element bearings for more than half a century, a reliable method to accurately determine the severity of defects from vibration data remains an elusive goal for both academics and industry.

Rolling element bearings are critical to the safe and economic operation of industrial machines in all sectors. Determining whether a defect is present or not only answers part of the problem. Without a knowledge of the severity of a defect, engineers and plant operators have only limited information upon which to base planning and maintenance decisions. Accurate information on the size and location of the defect as well as the current operating conditions are all essential to properly characterize defect severity and to allow effective corrective actions to be determined.

The complexity of the defect impacts in rolling element bearings, the influence of the vibration response and the transmission path between the defect and the sensor, changes in operating conditions and other sources of vibration all conspire to challenge the accurate measurement of defect severity even in the simplest of machines. Historical trending of vibration data from multiple machines and/or multiple failure events remains the only option and even this can have limited success.

In the early 1990s, ground-breaking research by the author into the origins of vibrations generated by discrete faults in rolling element bearings revealed previously hidden features within the impact events caused by defects. These features offered the possibility of a new approach to determine defect severity whereby defect size could be accurately and directly determined from vibration data without the need for historical trending.

In recent years this original research has been further progressed by the author and the original approach has been significantly enhanced to provide more information to characterize defect severity. Additionally, the enhanced method has proven to be more effective in industrial environments where the features of interest can be masked by noise and other source of impact.

This presentation will background the challenge of determining defect severity in rolling element bearings and summarize the findings of original research. The enhancements that have been made to the method will be detailed and the additional condition information provided by the enhanced method will be described. The simplicity of the method and its potential to be integrated as an on-sensor IIOT device will be demonstrated and results from testing of recent prototype devices will be shared.

avatar for Iain Epps

Iain Epps

Managing Director, Mobolo Technology Ltd
Iain’s professional career has been focused on innovation and growth by successfully combining new ideas and talented people to bring new technologies to life in a wide range of industries across the globe. On completing his engineering studies, Iain travelled to Europe where he... Read More →

Thursday May 16, 2019 8:30am - 9:00am
Freedom Ballroom I