We all have a set of tools to use in different instances, but sometimes it’s difficult to know where to start. One of our goals at RDI is to continue to develop features that broaden our users’ ability to diagnose root cause issues. Shaft Inspection is a new tool to help our users to find those root causes, and it has been of our most requested features. It was recently released in Version 2.5 of the Iris M software. Our Partner, Reliability Maintenance Solutions located in the United Kingdom, recently used this new feature to troubleshoot a belt issue on a cooler fan that was critical to their customers’ process.

Noise from the belts on the cooler alerted technicians in the facility that there was an issue with the machine. Their first step was to analyze the machine with Vibration Analysis. There was nothing noteworthy in the Vibration Spectrum or Waveform to help them to pinpoint the issues from the machine. The next step was to employ the Iris M and the new shaft inspection feature. A quick check of the video revealed a few things. First, there was obviously a problem with the middle belt. The first video angle shows the middle belt is resonant (belt bouncing up and down). Typically, this can be fixed by altering the tension on the belt to prevent it from resonating. In a 3-belt design such as this, it usually requires changing all 3 belts.

 

The second video angle shows you a close up of the driven sheave. The shaft inspection feature allows you to quickly record a video that makes sheave and belt inspection very easy. If you look closely the part numbers on the sheave can even be read without shutting the machine down! The 3rd camera angle shows a close up of the same sheave, but it is focused on the grooves. This zoomed-in video allows inspection of the grooves of the sheave to inspect for cracks or missing pieces of the sheave.
The remaining camera angles clearly show the belts and the other sheave. In the fifth camera angle, you can clearly see the middle belt is slipping. This is the source of the noise and the cause of the belt resonance. In order to rectify this, all 3 belts should be changed, and the sheaves measured for excessive wear.

This great series of video shot by RMS is a wonderful example of the power of the Shaft Inspection feature. The ability to shoot a video and thoroughly inspect individual rotating components without shutting the machine down is a huge time and cost savings. You can use a zoomed-in camera view to read part numbers on rotating components or belts to make sure you have the required repair parts on hand before shutting the machine down for repair. In addition, it can be done in bright sunlight where stroboscopes struggle. Shaft Inspection and other customer requested features added to the Iris M platform make it the perfect compliment to your Reliability Program.

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