What is a Condition Monitoring System?

Condition Monitoring System

  • A condition monitoring system (CMS) is a maintenance approach for forecasting the health of equipment or machines along with sensor data to measure vibration and related parameters with upgraded machine monitoring software.
  • This condition monitoring system permits or allows the plant operators to remotely monitor and control the health of each and every piece of machinery equipment.
  • This system offers an integrated, plant view of every mechanical operation. 
  • This system releases an alert signal if there is any error or change in machine health detected to enable the plant operators to look at the plant situation and to take required corrective actions.
  • This system is treated as the heart and soul of all process industries and power plants.
  • A condition monitoring system is a planning tool that makes awareness in planning and managing the plant asset and allows for prior maintenance of a functional failure
  • Reduction of maintenance costs through effective condition monitoring systems makes a large impact on plant profitability
Condition Monitoring System

What are different types of condition monitoring systems available for pumps and motors?

Various types of condition monitoring systems available for pumps and motors:

Vibration analysis and diagnostics:

  • This is one of the most well-known predictive maintenance methods.
  • Vibration analysis can detect misalignments and imbalances.
  • This technique includes shock pulse analysis for rotors, ultrasonic analysis to detect leaks, and time waveform analysis for machines having X & Y probes
  • The vibration frequency of the rotating part of a device determines the operating status of the device.
  • If any changes in normal operation are detected this accounts for degradation.

Lubricant  Oil Analysis:

  • This analysis applies to machine oils, lubricants, and fluids.
  • This indicates wear, overheating, contamination, and higher iron levels like dirt and grit.
  • This analysis will reduce gearbox damage by 50% and bearing damage by 75% by avoiding contamination.
  • If any waste is found in the machine lubricant, this indicates material loss from the corroding component.
  • Analysing the waste or junk detected helps to identify the defective part for repair and replacement.

Acoustic Emission:

  • All parts of the rotating device will generate some kind of sound or noise by the nature of their motion.
  • High-frequency emission changes indicate various faults.

Infrared Thermography:

  • This shows the heat and radiation patterns in machines
  • Any change in temperature at various spots indicates failure, a heat point on the machine indicates the failure or degradation of a bearing.
  • While a cool spot on a building can be a pipe leakage.
  • Overheating in electrical machines, pipe leakage, and weakness in a pressurized container.
  • This thermography will reduce risk, prevent failures, and decrease costs and losses.

Motor Circuit Analysis:

  • Motor circuit analysis is used to analyze the working condition of an electric motor’s rotors, coupling, or belt.
  • Motor circuit analysis improves the efficiency of equipment by 10-15%. by reducing energy costs.

Ultrasonic Monitoring:

  • It is cost-effective when applied together with vibration analysis.
  • It uses high-frequency sound waves for leakage detection, and cavitation.
  • This monitoring system reduces inspections by 30%. 


  • Radiography includes analysis of radiation and neutron radiography.
  • It is a very rigorous method of non-destructive testing.
  • It allows the plant operator to inspect internal defects, such as corrosion effects in mold or forge parts and in welding defects.
  • This radiography has a major advantage in that this can be used for various types of materials, and allows for operator protection.

Electromagnetic Measurement:

  • An electromagnetic measurement system measures distortions in a magnetic field to spot cracks, dents, corrosion, weaknesses, and other defects.
  • Eddy-current testing (ECT) is the well-known method of electromagnetic monitoring to measure magnetic distortions,
  • This testing is used in the petrochemical industry to detect tight cracks.

What are the benefits of a Condition Monitoring System?

  • Minimizes downtime
  • Reduces maintenance costs and hidden costs
  • This eliminates unnecessary and wasted expenses associated with maintaining machine health based on the static metric of operating hours alone.
  • This condition monitoring system is considered an accurate and true maintenance tool for all industrial process equipment.
  • This condition monitoring system benefits much more in terms of financial and operational safety of the plant.
  • The plant that offers these systems realizes minimum risk and high rewards with great efficiency because these are highly reliable and proved as extremely effective across multiple manufacturing industries.

How to get started for Conditioning Monitoring of the System?

Step One:  Installation of the hardware required

  1. Installation of hardware such as monitoring sensors on serviceable assets including
    • Rotating machinery like turbines, compressors, pumps, and motors.
    • Stationary assets like boilers, heat exchangers, and mills.
  1. The plant team works with the vendor installation team to re-assemble or modify machines as required to ensure the appropriate installation of monitoring instrumentation.

Step Two:  Measurement and collection of data

The sensors after installation must start to measure the following machine elements

  1. Vibration and position: This indicates the dynamic and static motion of the machine case or rotor.
  2. Rotor speed: During rotation analyzes vibration data and determination of malfunctions that occur in the machine. The vibration frequencies of the machine reflect direct multiples of the rotating speed.
  3. Temperature: The temperature of radial and thrust bearings, lube oil, stator winding, and steam temperatures of the machine can be measured by sensors such as RTD and thermocouple.

Step Three:  Monitoring of installed machines

  1. Trained operators for maintenance are alerted if any irregularity in the system is detected and the data provided is used to determine the requirement of immediate attention.
  2. This data from process sensors is sent to centralized monitoring software for evaluation and diagnostics

What are common examples included in Condition-based Monitoring Systems?

Some common examples of condition monitoring systems include vibration, oil, and temperature.

  • Monitoring and analysis of Vibration.
  • Tracking and measurement of Temperature.
  • Analysis of lubrication and cooling oil.

What are the elements of a Condition Monitoring System?

The Condition Monitoring system consists of five key elements:

  • Site Assessment.
  • Fleet management.
  • Equipment Inspections.
  • Preventative Maintenance.
  • Fluid Sampling & Analysis.

Why is Condition Monitoring used?

  • The condition monitoring system allows for scheduled maintenance.
  • It takes appropriate actions to prevent equipment damage and avoid its consequences.
  • Condition monitoring has unique benefits that can increase the life span and address any fault before the equipment’s major failure.

What are the elements of a Condition Monitoring System?

  • Steam Turbine.
  • Thrust Bearing.
  • Compressor.
  • Turbines.
  • Rotating Equipment.

Rabert T

As an electrical engineer with 5 years of experience, I focus on transformer and circuit breaker reliability in 110/33-11kV and 33/11kV substations. I am a professional electrical engineer with experience in transformer service and maintenance. I understand electrical principles and have expertise troubleshooting, repairing, and maintaining transformers, circuit breakers, and testing them. Tweet me @Rabert_infohe

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