Vibration monitoring has been around for a while and is widely accepted as a ‘first-line’ diagnostic tool to assess the health of critical motors. The usual method for collecting vibration data has been to use portable equipment or hard-wired, networked monitoring solutions, both of which have their advantages and limitations.
Collect data too often using portable equipment and you incur excess costs, too infrequently and you miss important indicators of imminent failure. Hard-wired solutions are effective, but often costly to deploy across a large number of motors.
Wireless is viable, but the only solution
We are not here to knock any particular monitoring strategy. They all have their place; the vibration monitoring solution you deploy depends on the application. Some plants require a hard-wired solution for safety reasons. Other facilities with few critical motor assets, or who are just getting started on a preventive maintenance program, are well served with a portable vibration monitor. Whatever the situation, it has become clear that wireless technology offers some unique advantages over other solutions.
This post looks at a new wireless vibration and temperature monitor from Banner Engineering. The approach consists of a proprietary 1 wire serial sensor connected to one of the Sure Cross wireless nodes. The nodes communicate back to a Sure Cross Gateway and the data is provided via Ethernet IP, Modbus RTU, or Modbus TCP to an HMI or SCADA system for monitoring and trending.
Our product management team has compared the Banner solution to a “check engine light” for monitoring vibration and temperature. This solution is appropriate for important and critical plant equipment such as air handler motors, compressor and chiller motors and process pumping equipment. Unlike a check engine light, however, you can set alarms levels so that the sensor will alarm before damage occurs.
In the real world, most motors aren’t checked for months at a time, if at all. This can lead to unplanned downtime that is detrimental to plant uptime and OEE.
Banner Sure Cross wireless system
The Sure Cross system allows customers to monitor critical motors throughout their normal operation. The data can be used for alarm conditions as well as developing historical data and trending to help predict issues before they arise.
System components include the QM42 sensor that attaches to the motor, a Q45 serial node that handles up to 6 sensors and a several choices of radios that extend the versatility and range of the Sure Cross network. The H6 multihop radio will detect Velocity RMS in the frequency range of 10-1000Hz. The temperature is conducted from the motor surface to the zinc alloy body of the sensor. The temperature range is –40 °C to +105 °C (–40 °F to +221 °F). The QM42 sensor is attached directly to the motor with magnetic mounts, thermal tape, or brackets.
The sensor works with all Banner Sure Cross 1 Wire Serial Nodes. This gives a wide variety of options for the wireless network. The Q45 node has a status indicator on the front of it and is available in 2.4GHz frequency. The P6 Performance node is available in both 2.4GHz and 900MHz.
The 900MHz unit has a 1 Watt radio and is excellent for transmission over long distances, or for transmitting through multiple walls and machinery. The H6 Multihop node has the same features as the P6, but its Multihop architecture can allow for extreme distances and the ability to transmit through obstacles that other systems may not accomplish.
All nodes are battery powered. The system is designed to take readings from the motors at set intervals with the standard reading every 5 minutes. The nodes have varying battery sizes and the 1 Watt radios use more power than the 250Mw radios. Battery life in the highest power radios is approximately 2.5 years with a 5 minute sample rate. The 250Mw radios will last 3+ years with the 5 minute sample rate.
Wireless monitoring is no substitute for motor technicians who can perform the analysis that’s needed to understand root causes and appropriate strategies for longer motor life.
To arrange a demo or discuss your application, call 800.993.3326, or email us EECOMotorTeam@EECO-net.com