Inquiry about When Condition Monitoring Critical Machines is Important

Condition monitoring critical machines is the first level of analysis to do in a condition based maintenance program

This Q&A discusses the several criteria to consider when choosing the assets that are critical machines

Dear Sir,

I was made to understand that when deciding when to monitor machines, condition monitoring critical machines should be given priority over other machines.

In general, condition monitoring critical machines is particular to the following five situations, where regular observation is recommended in order to avoid unexpected and costly problems:

(a) Machines that require expensive, lengthy, or difficult repairs if broken down

(b) Machines that are critical to production or general plant operations

(c) Machines that are known to frequently suffer damage

(d) Machines that are being evaluated for their reliability

(e) Machines that affect human or environmental safety

I have questions concerning the machines in (a) to (e) above. Please be kind to assist me with the answers to the below queries and I will be very grateful.

(a) Which machines are machines that require expensive, lengthy, or difficult repairs if broken down?

(b) Which machines are machines that are critical to production or general plant operations?

(c) Which machines are machines that are known to frequently suffer damage?

(d) Which machines are machines that are being evaluated for their reliability?

(e) Which machines are machines that affect human or environmental safety?

Thank you very much while I look forward to the answers as soon as possible.

Yours faithfully,

Jones C.


Dear Jones,

I did a bit of online searching, and found that the list of five condition monitoring critical machines recommendations in your email come from a booklet introducing and explaining machinery vibration analysis.

In all decisions on what to condition monitor, you must consider the number, size, and frequency of the business / production / safety risks caused by an item of plant. The list of five condition monitoring critical machines scenarios to consider are all related to types and severity of risks caused to an operation by its machinery and equipment.

a) Which machines are machines that require expensive, lengthy, or difficult repairs if broken down? The equipment in this category are the machines that take a long time to fix, or cost a lot of money to fix when they breakdown. You need to make a list of machines where breakdown repairs take longer than a minimum acceptable time, or the repair cost is more expensive than a maximum benchmark cost.

b) Production critical machines are the equipment that stop production or forces production to slow down. The Production Manager and Production Supervisor will know which machines fit this category.

c) Machines that degrade rapidly in service or get damaged during use, for example abrasive and erosive duties, like grinding mills and slurry pumps, belong in this category.

d) This category is machines and equipment being monitored and evaluated for their performance and rates of component degradation. When you want to know what is happening to a machine during operation, you mount sensors and collect data on the asset’s behaviour.

e) Equipment that contains deadly materials, or handle dangerous goods and processes that harm people or the environment if they escape containment, fit this category.

I hope the above insights about condition monitoring critical machines prove useful to you.

All the very best to you,

Mike Sondalini
LRS Consultants Global
W: www.lifetime-reliability.com