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Condition Sensors

WearDetect explained (5 minute video)

Gill WearDetect is a new condition based monitoring technology that protects critical rotating assets, increases up-time and provides an earlier view of wear trends in vital equipment.

Oil analysis, whether performed in a laboratory or via continuous monitoring by a sensor, provides one of the earliest warnings of impending machinery failure. Better still, using a sensor to monitor the internal component wear rate, in real-time, in-between receiving scheduled laboratory reports, gives you peace of mind 365 days a year, 24/7, keeping your machinery running.

In this video we explain how the sensor works, how to install it and how to get the best from the sensor in order to protect an asset from unexpected failure.

Wear Debris is generated by all contacting metal surfaces.  Operators and Maintainers use oils and lubricants to minimize this wear, but it cannot be prevented entirely.  By studying the wear debris generated we can establish the condition of the gearbox.   What is most important is the wear rate, this is total wear vs. time.  The Gill WearDetect sensor allows operators to capture and trend the wear rate of contacting surfaces that are ferrous in nature, by simply replacing the existing drain plug with our magnetic sensor probe.

The sensor requires a DC power supply, typically 12 or 24 volts.  Results from the sensor can be monitored either by regularly noting the number and color of LED’s illuminated on the display panel or connecting the sensor to a PLC, SCADA, IOT device or DCS and trending the fine wear rate through third party software.

Once connected and powered the WearDetect sensor can be tested by using a Gill Debris strip, (this is supplied with our WearDetect Starter Kit).  By placing the sensor probe into any of the 6 positions, different amounts and types of debris can be tested.

Installation is straightforward. The required thread adaptor is fitted into the drain port. Then the sensor probe is inserted into the thread adaptor, and secured with a thread adaptor grub screw.

Once installed, the sensor will immediately start collecting ferrous wear debris from the surrounding oil.  The high power Neodymium Iron Boron permanent magnet, is the strongest commercially available grade and will grab particles of any size and trap them on the surface of the sensor probe face.

Immediately after installation there may be a few percent on either of the fine or coarse channels.  This can be caused by interference from the gearbox housing.  If the fine channel is being trended, this can simply be ignored and treated as the start of the trend.  Alternatively the sensor can be connected to a computer via USB and the Zero/Tare function used in the free-to-download Oil Debris Sensor software.

For best results the Fine debris channel should be plotted vs. time.  On this channel day-to-day surface wear is viewed and is the best place to detect a sharp rise in generated debris at the early stages of an impending failure.

As an example, an industrial gearbox will typically have 3 stages of life.  From new (or major rebuild) there will initially be a high wear rate of fine debris as the new gear surfaces polish against one another. This can be seen at point A on the graph. After this ‘bedding in’ period the oil is normally changed and the ‘normal’ operational life of the gearbox begins.  During this time, a slow and steady rate of fine wear is expected.

When the established wear rate changes (Point B on the graph) it is an indication that there is a problem within the gearbox system.  Maybe there is water ingress, maybe it’s a lack of lubrication, maybe it’s something else.  What this does mean is a call to action for maintenance personnel to inspect the gearbox.  If caught early enough, a scheduled maintenance action can be taken and unexpected down-time can be avoided.

If point B is missed, the sensor will continue to attract debris until its maximum limit. This is point C on the graph. If using the LED display, red flashing lights will indicate this.

The Coarse debris channel is a Chip detection function.  This channel will report larger pieces of debris and is to detect failure modes such as tooth shear, heavy pitting or flaking and bearing race failure.  If this channel shows anything greater than 0%, the gearbox requires immediate attention.

The Gill WearDetect sensor should be used in conjunction with a quality laboratory analysis program.  The WearDetect sensor is constantly monitoring for Ferrous wear particles and can alert you when an emergency lab sample should be taken.

The Gill Oil Debris Sensor is pre-programmed with a wide debris detection range which is suitable for most applications. For further assistance on custom setup however, please do not hesitate to contact us or watch our on-line video, via the QR code on screen.