Original Date: 11/03/1996
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Best Practice : Advanced Diagnostics and Condition-Based Maintenance
With declining budgets and rising maintenance costs, it is no longer sufficient to rely solely on predictive scheduling for servicing equipment and systems. The Department of Defense (DoD) alone spends about $20 billion in maintenance activities. Maintenance costs are projected to rise as more fleet and weapons systems remain in-service for longer periods of time. Currently, Oak Ridge is developing numerous technologies in support of advanced diagnostics and condition-based maintenance concepts (Figure 2-5).
In 1994, Oak Ridge established the Process Diagnostics and Evaluation Center. The Center provides government and industrial partners with advanced, diagnostic technologies and integrated programs for monitoring and managing facilities. In addition, the Center operates through a technical-staff matrix which spans the various disciplines found at the Oak Ridge complex. Diverse diagnostic technologies, developed at Oak Ridge, are being focused through the Process Diagnostics and Evaluation Center, allowing for a broad range of manufacturing problems to be addressed. The Center can then establish predictive maintenance, condition-based monitoring, and machine health monitoring based on these diagnostic technologies.
In today’s environment, the maintenance trend goes beyond scheduled preventive servicing. Instead, condition- based maintenance uses the current operational status of equipment to predict the life expectancy of components and systems. Condition-based maintenance evolved from the recent developments in inexpensive, more-powerful computer systems; advanced sensor systems; improved algorithms for data acquisition; and advanced methods for on-line signal processing.
Some diagnostic technologies which form the core of the Process Diagnostics and Evaluation Center’s work include predictive maintenance techniques for facility management; electrical signature analysis (ESA); vibration signature analysis; acoustic signature analysis; nonlinear analysis of complex signals; photonic-based diagnostic techniques; fiber optic applications; weight measurements and weigh-in-motion technology; new materials for specialized sensors; and new sensor development and applications.
With condition-based maintenance, businesses will perform maintenance on an as-needed basis as soon as faults are detected. The technology will provide real-time feedback on the operational status of critical systems and relate performance to mission profiles. In addition, data collected from instrumented machinery can indicate performance status of other machines upstream or downstream in the chain. Overall, condition-based maintenance will reduce maintenance costs and improve system performance levels.
Figure 2-5. Oak Ridge Diagnostics Capabilities
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