New oil sensor can be combined

The new FAG Wear Debris Check oil sensor allows damage to oil-lubricated machines such as industrial gearboxes and contamination in oil circuits to be detected at a very early stage. When combined with a vibration monitoring device or integrated into the customer’s system, the sensor provides machine operators with even more comprehensive protection for their machines. The monitoring of abraded particles in the oil and the simultaneous vibration analysis make it possible to precisely localize the damage and plan corrective measures.

Functioning without problems is often vital to machines’ overall availability, especially in the case of industrial gearboxes that are subjected to high loads, e.g. planetary gearboxes in wind turbines, engines in marine applications, and drives for the raw material extraction and paper industries.

If damage occurs, there is usually a danger of costly downtimes and subsequent damage in addition to the repair costs. In many industrial processes, contamination in oil and lubricant circuits causes severe loss of quality. However, the FAG Wear Debris Check makes it possible to prevent unplanned failures, identify influencing factors that negatively affect quality at an early stage, and significantly reduce maintenance costs.

The abraded material in the oil is an early warning system and quality characteristic

Months before an industrial gearbox or production machine fails, there are abraded particles in its oil circuit that can be clearly identified and indicate that there is a threat of damage. The FAG Wear Debris Check monitors the number of particles as it increases and evaluates them based on their size and material.

The sensor can easily be installed in front of the filter in the partial flow of the gearbox’s oil circuit. It is also possible to create a separate circuit in which to install the oil sensor. The sensor can also be quickly and easily integrated into existing condition monitoring and control systems via its interfaces, such as Ethernet. This makes the FAG Wear Debris Check an integral part of any holistic system view and provides support in gathering and evaluating process and condition parameters in line with Industry 4.0. The direct integration of the sensor into the process control system allows the performance of the machine and the quality of the products to be optimized, and combing it with a vibration measuring device delivers the optimum solution for reliably monitoring machines and equipment. The precise inspection of the material properties of the abraded particles in the oil and a simultaneous frequency-selective vibration analysis make it possible to determine exactly which components are defective in the gearbox.

Additional services

After the damage has been detected, a professional damage analysis is then required in order to determine what caused it. Schaeffler offers numerous methods of doing this, which can be employed as needed. For example, endoscopy can be used to inspect the inside of the machine and visibly show the extent of the damage using photographs and video recordings, on the basis of which Schaeffler’s experts then make a recommendation of actions that should be taken to rectify the damage quickly. Vast sums of money in downtime costs are often saved even here, such as those that would occur if a ship has to make an unplanned stop in the dockyard.

Just as important are the measures that can be derived, as these can be used to help prevent the same kind of damage occurring again in the future. These can be technical adjustments or a professional mounting service, which is also offered by Schaeffler. Irrespective of whether the FAG Wear Debris Check is used on its own or in combination with other systems or additional services, it always makes a contribution towards increasing machine availability and reducing maintenance costs.