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Implementation of Proximity Vibration Probes in Oil-Lubricated Sleeve Bearings

Technical Evaluation:

Proximity vibration probes are highly effective in detecting minuscule displacement variations, a critical aspect for oil-lubricated vibration sensors for sleeve bearings which often display subtle vibration alterations preceding a failure.

These probes facilitate direct measurement of shaft position and vibration relative to the bearing housing, offering enhanced precision in assessing shaft movement and alignment issues prevalent in vibration sensors for oil-lubricated bearings.

Their design minimizes signal distortion from lubricants, ensuring dependable measurements.

Oil-lubricated sleeve bearings are predominantly utilized in machinery above 750 horsepower. In such equipment, the casing mass significantly exceeds the rotor mass, a contrast to machinery below 750 horsepower. Traditional accelerometers or velocity sensors mounted externally are ineffective in detecting internal rotor and shaft vibrations in larger machines due to the damping effect of the oil sleeve bearing and the substantial casing mass relative to the rotating components. Traditional solutions, either omitted vibration sensors or employed inefficient case-mounted accelerometers, due to the prohibitive cost of conventional API-670 compliant non-contact proximity systems. Machine Saver's TwinProx addresses these industry challenges with its affordability, easy installation, and valuable dynamic data collection.

Financial Assessment:

While initially more costly than case-mounted sensors, proximity probes' precise monitoring capabilities enable early detection of potential failures, thereby reducing expensive repair and downtime costs.

The extended lifespan and decreased maintenance requirements of these probes can compensate for their higher initial investment over time.

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Application of Proximity Vibration Probes for Sleeve Bearings

Technical Evaluation:

Vibration sensors for sleeve bearings benefit from the detailed analysis proximity probes provide, given their need for monitoring both radial and axial movements.

Proximity probes adeptly handle lower frequency vibration signals typical of sleeve bearings, delivering more reliable data.

Financial Assessment:

Enhanced accuracy in detecting potential failures in sleeve bearings can avert severe damages, leading to substantial savings in maintenance and replacement costs.

Despite the higher initial investment, the reduction in unplanned maintenance and prolonged bearing lifespan yield a robust return on investment.

Utilization of Case Mounted Vibration Sensors for Roller Element and Ball Bearings

Technical Evaluation:

Case-mounted sensors are adept at identifying the higher frequency vibrations associated with roller element and ball bearings.

Ideal for monitoring the impact-type vibrations and noise produced by these bearings during wear or damage, these accelerometers and velocity sensors track casing vibration relative to space.

Financial Assessment:

Generally more affordable than proximity probes, case-mounted sensors are a cost-effective choice for monitoring roller element and ball bearings in smaller machines (<750 HP).

Their ease of installation and minimal maintenance contribute to lower total operational costs.

Deployment of Battery-Operated Wireless Vibration Sensors in Fans and Remote Machine Bearings

Technical Evaluation:

Wireless sensors offer the necessary flexibility for monitoring equipment in remote or hard-to-reach areas, such as certain fan setups or isolated machines.

Battery-powered operation eliminates wiring needs, simplifying installation and reducing intrusion, particularly in locations where wiring is impractical.

Financial Assessment:

The simplicity of wireless sensor installation can result in significant upfront labor and material cost savings--these also take significantly less time to install.

Although battery replacement is an ongoing cost, the ability to optimally place sensors without wiring constraints can enhance monitoring effectiveness, potentially reducing overall maintenance expenses. However, limitations in wireless transmission, like node-to-receiver range or line-of-sight restrictions, may sometimes impede optimal sensor placement. Machine Saver seeks to solve these problems upfront with the design of our Airvibe sensor. 

In summary, the selection of a vibration monitoring system for various bearing types and applications should be guided by a comprehensive evaluation of technical specifications and financial considerations. Proximity probes are optimal for detailed monitoring of bearings in large machines, such as oil-lubricated and sleeve bearings, while case-mounted sensors are better suited for roller element and ball bearings in smaller equipment. For remote or inaccessible locations, battery-operated wireless sensors present a viable and cost-effective monitoring solution.

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