OPINION (Continued from page 29) time is expensive. Finding and employee with the proper skill sets to train is a big challenge. Vibration analysis, in its infancy, had its highest utilization for solving shipboard reliability and safety problems. With the exception of the Navy, vibration analysis in the marine industry was reserved for the most severe problems. Today's technology allows for faster information acquisition, retrieval, analysis and archiving. A bigger challenge is integrating, interpreting and analyzing information with different techniques to draw one accurate and absolute conclusion. Vibration analysis is difficult, and not everyone can learn vibration analysis, dynamic troubleshooting and balancing. Getting consistent results without considerable training is unlikely. A study done many years ago to justify purchasing vibration equipment found expecting an immediate return on the investment of labor and equipment was unrealistic. Generally new vibration analysis programs monitor equipment for a period of months or even a year during the training. Until they are comfortable viewing the trends and seeing a piece of equipment actually fail, true benefits will probably be categorized as unnecessary or premature repairs. In reality, with proper training and the proper personnel, vibration analysis can save many times its expense in the first year. Using an outside vibration analyst for a few days can help to purchase equipment or continue with outside assistance. A good vibration analyst will be able to define the problem and make suggestions for solutions. With the right person, a new vibration program should show benefits in 60 to 90 days. Vibration analysis as part of a comprehensive predictive and preventive maintenance program, can save multiples of cost after the first year. It is advisable to start slow and be patient spending money on a predictive preventive maintenance program. Once the program has the few saves under its belt, confidence will develop and equipment needs will become obvious. sound is very directional and attenuates quickly. Most destructive or expensive industrial problems create ultrasound. The learning curve for ultrasonic detection is short and proficiency comes with wide exposure. The equipment cost range from $1500-$10000. A few uses are detecting electrical faults, loose connections, bad bearings, damaged gears, worn couplings, compressed air and gas leaks, faulty fuel injectors, valve problems and steam trap analysis. One shipyard saved more than $1 million in one year with a tool that cost less than $5,000. Ultrasonic detection is useful for checking watertight doors without chalk. Even in noisy environments ultrasonic detection will find the expensive noise. If you want to evaluate a new lubricant for an application, ultrasound will tell you almost instantly whether or not the desired effect has been achieved. Most of ultrasounds proponents have a few big saves, and lots of small ones. This is a technology for shipbuilding and marine operations. Infrared Equipment Non-contact infrared temperature guns now cost less than $100. Thermal imaging equipment starts at around $6,000 and can go above $50,000. If you desire looking at a few connections or bearings, a temperature gun may be all you need. This can be supplemented with periodic surveys by companies who specialize in infrared surveys. The cost of this equipment has come down dramatically, and the ease-of-use is much better than a few years ago. The capabilities of new equipment to detect temperature anywhere on image, archive and trend data are exceptional. The equipment is lightweight and does not require liquid nitrogen for cooling. Surveys are performed, while equipment is under load so there is no disruption to operations. The problems jump right out at you. Large equipment as well as intricate parts can be looked at reasonably fast. Any problem that has heat as a symptom can be found. When a problem is corrected a subsequent survey will determine if the problem is solved. Some of the uses for infrared include determining excessive electrical resistance in transformers, lines, connections, motors, generators, worn parts and chip boards. six month career. Current labor trends, including lack of apprenticeships have all but eliminated master craftsmanship for the near future. Laser Alignment Equipment Laser shaft alignment continues to gain popularity over conventional alignment techniques. Dial indicator rim and face, sag and gap, strain gauge, reverse dial indicator, load cell or any other method. Small laser units for short span directcoupled equipment start at less than $5,000. A good shaft alignment laser will cost $12,000 to a little more than $25,000 with a few extras. Inside and outside machinist can learn laser alignment pretty fast. Most laser alignment vendors do not have a great deal of experience in marine environment, and constantly moving structures can be frustrating to any experienced laser alignment personnel. With the proper equipment and training, alignment can be performed with improved accuracy, unmatched repeatability, greater ease of use and less time in most situations. When laser alignment is perfectly performed on line shafts, a strain gauge can not detect misalignment. Aligning propulsion equipment to developing in the necessary targets which take into account torque, thermal growth, thrust issues and any other information provided by OEM's can be a challenge. In addition to shaft alignment equipment there is laser surveying or alignment equipment in $150,000 price range that can three dimensionally measure any hard location on an entire ship or machine. Flat, straight, parallel, perpendicular bore and co-linear measurements are best performed with laser equipment. Predictive Preventive Maintenance Tools and Programs The future success of the marine industry will require knowledge development and advancement. Knowledge replacement is in short supply. Several trends due to heavy competition for labor are not going away. In shipyards, these trends will be of less consequence with better productivity from existing workers. Fewer mistakes and increased job satisfaction are realistic goals. For offshore operations, morale and confidence will come from doing a job well. Tools and training may make the difference necessary to control down time. Retention for a more technical workforce accepting the challenge to excel can justify being paid a little more. If done correctly, a few dollars an hour to a small percentage can inspire others. A little healthy competition for excellence within the company is good. In this overly wage competitive labor market, current employee sentiment is, "Top pay in six months or I'm out of here." About the time they become integrated and gain proficiency they leave. The top pay they were just given is not high enough. Competition just started paying more for experienced new hires that were getting top pay. They felt stagnant having topped out in wages in their Ultrasonic Detection Equipment Ultrasonic detection is one of the fastest-growing technologies enabling facilities to control costs to ensure the accuracy of repairs and catch potentially catastrophic failures at the earliest stages. Ultrasound is sound above 20,000 Hz, which is the limit of human hearing. Advantages to monitoring ultrasound over regular sound are numerous. Ultra- John Boland is president of Boland Industrial Consulting Services located in Pascagoula, MS. He has been involved in predictive and preventive maintenance programs for more than 15 years. Nine years ago he started BICS to provide vibration, alignment and maintenance assistance to industrial and marine clients. BICS utilizes many technologies to identify, quantify, analyze, explain and control various mechanical problems. Contact Boland at firstname.lastname@example.org February, 2007 · MarineNews · 31
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