Rotating Equipment Bearings and Potholes

Concerning yesterday’s post, Avoiding Bearing Failures with the Rule of Tens PeakVue Measurement Methodology, I received an email with a great analogy about pits in ball bearings and potholes.

Potholes in the road – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pothole

Driving your car on a freshly paved circular track is like a PeakVue measurement at or close to 0g on the bearings of your rotating machinery.

As a pothole begins to form and you drive over it, you hear and feel a little bump on each trip around the track. That’s like a PeakVue measurement of 10g’s indicating an early onset of problems with the pump, compressor, fan, or other piece of rotating equipment.

When the pothole has grown larger and you drive over it each time, you hear a feel a loud bump and worry that your tire is damaged and your car in need of an alignment. That’s like a PeakVue measurement of 20g’s indicating a serious problem.

When you drive over a pothole so large, that your tire bursts, the car bottoms out, and you see a trail of oil in your rear view mirror. That’s like a PeakVue measurement great than 40g’s and your plant asset is in critical condition. It may not have completely broken down, but the breakdown is imminent.

Watch out for those potholes, monitor those bearings, and take care of them early when the reading climbs up to the 10g range.

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