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Reliability Maintenance Takes a Medical Approach to Rotating Equipment, Part 3 – Ultrasonic Testing

January 31, 2024

In both medicine and industrial diagnostics, less invasive methods are typically the tests and procedures that are often the most cost-effective and easiest to recover from. Ultrasonic testing – sometimes referred to as sonography – is a noninvasive imaging method that relies on high-intensity sound waves to create images of internal workings and compartments.

In reliability maintenance, the condition within rotating equipment helps identify the cause of issues, measure their severity, and formulate a course of action. Much like its uses in the medical field, ultrasonic testing is extremely useful in caring for electric motors and systems to ensure wellness and get a complete picture of a system’s health as well as areas in need of attention.

At HECO, we use several techniques to understand the workings of your electric motor and rotating equipment inside and out.

Seeing Within

Ultrasonic tests are performed routinely to look for abnormalities during pregnancy or to find tumors without resorting to surgery. They use high-frequency sound waves to penetrate tissue and show a picture of underlying structures without using X-rays.

Within the electric motor and rotating equipment industry, ultrasonic testing is used to detect, determine, and measure:

  • Air leaks in piping and machinery.
  • Steam leaks (high temperature/pressure steam leaks are invisible).
  • Flow in pipes.
  • Tank and pipe wall thickness for pressure vessel calculations.
  • Roller bearing damage.
  • Corona discharge in electrical circuits and generators.

The use of ultrasonic testing allows an operator or service provider to monitor the working of a system without interference. Obtaining a clear picture of the operating conditions is critical in servicing an issue that may not be replicated once a piece of equipment is pulled and sent out for repair. Context and conditions are helpful in evaluating the system’s operations as a whole as well.

All Systems Go

You wouldn’t perform an ultrasound on yourself or trust an untrained eye to interpret the results. Monitoring the health of your electric motor systems with ultrasonic testing is the same; leave the testing and diagnostics to our team of experts.

We have the experience you need to attain a clean bill of health and implement a holistic reliability maintenance program going forward.

Contact us to discuss what ails your rotating equipment so we can prescribe the remedy.

To date, the Reliability Maintenance Takes a Medical Approach to Rotating Equipment series includes:

Future posts in the series will include:

  • Part 4 – Vibration Analysis & EKGs.
  • Part 5 – Oil Testing & Bloodwork.
  • Part 6 – Modal Analysis & EMGs.
  • Part 7 – Crossovers & Similarities.

Posted in Predictive