Posted at 06-Jul-2018

A Three-Tiered Approach to Condition Based Asset Handling

Paul Skade
By David Oliver
Channel and Platform Development Manager, Bearings and Units at SKF

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SKF Certified Maintenance Partner, ERIKS can link your predictive maintenance programme to SKF’s vast experience and knowledge of machinery optimisation. In this article we discover how your condition-based asset strategy can be tailored to meet all budgets and operational needs by following SKF’s three tiered approach. 

SKF QuickCollect


Condition-based and predictive maintenance strategies are widely implemented throughout industry and the level of sophistication of the types of systems deployed will invariably depend upon budgets, asset criticality and resources. As the exclusive UK-based SKF Certified Maintenance Partner, ERIKS can provide services that include a preliminary assessment of your machines; the development of a database of machine related parameters; the deployment of appropriate data collection and analysis technologies, and the provision of recommendations on specific actions to avoid unplanned downtime and extend machine life.

More recently, this service offering has been further enhanced by embracing a novel approach from SKF that proposes a staged approach to condition-based asset handling. This three-tiered strategy allows users to adopt one or more of three levels of condition based asset handling – basic, better or best – dependent upon budgetary constraints and/or the criticality of individual assets. Let’s take a look at each of these in turn.


Basic asset handling

The simplest monitoring tools include portable, handheld devices or permanently installed sensors capable of measuring changes in vibration or changes in operating temperatures in both mechanical and electrical systems. To help simplify machine maintenance and prevent costly failures, a variety of basic handheld devices from SKF are available, that in-house maintenance technicians can use while carrying out a routine walk-through machine data collection task. The latest of these is SKF QuickCollect, which monitors both vibration and temperature, transmitting this data wirelessly to a mobile device, where an entry-level app called SKF QuickCollect is used to provide machine diagnostics and analysis.

SKF QuickCollect

Where continuous vibration and temperature monitoring of non-critical machinery is desired, the permanently installed SKF Machine Condition Indicator is equipped with LEDs that illuminate when pre-set thresholds have been exceeded to warn operators that further investigation is needed. Internal sensors measure velocity, enveloped acceleration (bearing or gear impulsive vibration) and machine surface temperature.

Better asset handling

Operators work in close proximity to equipment, so they are usually the first to detect even the slightest changes in process conditions and machinery health. However, their observations often go unreported, or are not effectively acted upon, leading to machine failures, unplanned downtime and higher operating costs. Here, clients can make use of an SKF solution called the Operator Driven Reliability (ODR) programme, which enables this valuable source of machine health data to be easily collected, analysed and acted upon.

SKF QuickCollect is a good example of this process in action. More experienced operators can make use of a second app for this platform called SKF DataCollect. This is an ISO standard compliant maintenance and inspections program that extends the diagnostic capabilities of SKF QuickCollect, allowing trained and mentored users to manage and monitor their maintenance tasks and inspection data, as well as giving them the ability to register for, and connect to, the SKF Cloud for access to SKF’s and ERIKS’ remote expert services. 


Best asset handling

SKF’s best level of condition-based maintenance is the final option when handheld or periodic data collection instruments are deemed inappropriate for reasons of plant safety, asset value, or the critical nature of the processes and machines being monitored and so on. In this case, it is strategically and tactically beneficial to take your asset and machine health monitoring programme wholly online for expert analysis and recommendation.

mobile condition monitoring

The monitoring tool for the experienced user is the recently launched SKF Multilog On-line System IMx-8, a compact 8-channel version of its popular IMx machine health monitoring platform. This versatile, more compact system brings affordable machine health monitoring to a much wider industrial user base and even includes a useful Event Capture feature, which is of particular appeal to machine tool users requiring a cost-effective crash detection capability.

SKF’s three-level approach to condition-based maintenance serves a variety of circumstances and machine criticalities. Choose a level suited to your needs and you will be able to operate your assets more dependably, affordably, productively and profitably.

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