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Technology

The Present & The Future of Predictive Maintenance

Airborne and structure borne ultrasound technology is among the most useful and effective plant maintenance tools available. Ultrasonic instruments like the Ultraprobe® cover a broad range of plant operations, yet are simple enough so that almost anyone involved with equipment performance and route inspection can use them with relatively little training. Additionally, because they are lightweight and portable, these instruments may be used to inspect potential problems in all types of plant equipment and systems.

Some of the most common plant applications are: leak detection in pressure and vacuum systems, bearing inspection, steam trap inspection, valve blow-by, and detection of electric emissions in enclosed and open access equipment.

All operating equipment and most leakage problems produce a wide range of sound. The high frequency ultrasonic components of these sounds are extremely short wave in nature. A short wave signal tends to be fairly directional plus the sound amplitude drops off rapidly as it moves from the source.  It is therefore possible to isolate these signals from background noises and detect their exact location. In addition, as subtle changes begin to occur in mechanical equipment, the nature of ultrasound allows these potential warning signals to be detected early, before actual failure.

Although the ability to gauge intensity and view sonic patterns is important, it is equally important to be able to “hear” the ultrasounds produced by various equipment. That is precisely what makes these instruments and the technology so useful; they allow inspectors to confirm a diagnosis on the spot by being able to discriminate among various equipment sounds and perform effective analysis through specialized software.

Want to know what ultrasound instrument is right for you? Compare via our product comparison guide.

Looking to learn more about ultrasound specific to your application? Visit our application section.

 

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