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Fans and blowers can be essential tools for a wide range of industrial processes. They are used to control process variables such as temperature and humidity. Losing a blower can mean stopping the line – and potentially every line it feeds – until repairs are made. Fans and blowers recirculate air to make the production floor more comfortable for the operators. They also can draw away heat from assets such as motors and drives packed into a controls cabinet, extending equipment life.
Given their critical nature, it’s important to include industrial fan and blower motor condition monitoring in your overall predictive maintenance program to prevent extended downtime.
Fans and blowers are often considered low-value assets, despite their importance to the process. Their relative lower cost can lead organizations to think it’s cheaper to just replace them upon failure. What often gets overlooked is the time required to replace assets after catastrophic failure and the cost of that downtime as well as specialized equipment to remove and install a new asset such as cranes and rigging.
Fans and blowers may also be difficult to access and are commonly mounted to the ceiling or upon a roof. This makes them difficult and potentially unsafe to monitor with manual route-based vibration monitoring but ideal for remote online fan and blower motor condition monitoring.
Of all the condition monitoring methods, remote vibration monitoring combined with temperature monitoring is the best solution for this application. Vibration monitoring of fans and blower motors can help catch critical increases in over vibration RMS levels indicating a potential bearing issue and tools such as FFT analysis can help determine the type of bearing issue and the severity of the problem. Ongoing temperature monitoring can help monitor the motor conditions but will also help monitor problems with peripheral systems such as auto-lubrication systems and cooling systems, which may cause a sudden rise in temperature without an initial vibration issue.
Systems like Dynapar’s OnSite condition monitoring system is ideal for blower and fan motor vibration monitoring as it is ideal for remote applications utilizing cellular data connection to send data to a cloud for analysis and trigger alarms if vibration exceeds established thresholds. With integrated temperature sensors, it can also detect changes that may indicate an issue with peripheral systems.