Condition based monitoring of your plants assets can get pricey. American MTS has many of the devices needed for this currently in our toolbox including vibration analyzers, a laser alignment kit, ultra-sonic test equipment, infrared cameras and a variety of electrical test equipment. We have invested more than $250,000 in these tools so our customers won’t have to. This large upfront investment in equipment and training to learn how to use and understand the data collected from them makes setting up a condition based monitoring program cost prohibitive for smaller companies. Are there other options with a lower price point and learning curve for the do-it- yourselfers?
We were asking ourselves the same question. This led us to research different options currently available. After looking at several lower cost options we decided to become distributors for the one that we believe gives the best bang for the buck. ITT has developed a device called the i-ALERT2 that is smaller than the palm of your hand, will continuously monitor vibration and temperature while costing much less than traditional options. In fact, for less than $500 you can monitor your asset from your smart phone or tablet. Let’s take a closer look at this powerful little tool.
As you can see from the above picture the i-ALERT2 has a very small profile that makes it easily installed in tight places or on smaller applications. In addition to its small profile, the device is also water resistant, has a battery life of 3-5 years depending on usage and communicates to your smartphone or tablet with a free app. Like Yoda from Star Wars, you can’t judge the i-ALERT2 by its size.
The i-ALERT2 can be installed in several configurations including epoxy, magnet, or hard mount with a tapped hole. Vibration is measured in three planes: horizontal, vertical and axial. Whenever possible, the light should be in-line with the shaft to ensure these coincide with the app. Once you have decided which method of installation is right for you and it is set in place; simply remove the sticker from the device and it will begin working its monitoring magic.
Once the sticker is removed it powers up and begins taking readings. The device will track vibration and after 25 hours of run time will automatically set its own alarm parameters 25% above average recorded values. You can also alter these parameters within the app if you are experiencing frequent unwarranted alarms or want even tighter monitoring bands. After confirmation of change the app will communicate with the i-ALERT2 to set the new limits. You’re now locked and loaded.
The lights on the i-ALERT2 provide a quick reference guide. The device will flash three different colors LEDs. While everything is running well and inside acceptable parameters it will flash green. If a measurement is above the alarm set points the light will flash red and the time and date of this occurrence is recorded. While the app is communicating with the i-ALERT2 the light will flash blue.
Now that everything is set and running, what’s next? Well, that’s really up to you. You can use the device by watching the lights to know when there is an issue. You can create a periodic route to download the information from your i-ALERT2 for trending data over time. If alarm conditions are occurring, you can compare the FFT graphs to readily available sample charts or send the data to American MTS and we will analyze and report back our findings to help you determine what steps are needed to correct the issue. The device automatically checks for alarms every five minutes and records FFT vibration and temperature data once per hour.
As you can see this simple device can make a world of difference in allowing you to keep a close eye on your assets health. If used properly the i-ALERT2 can help you catch a failure long before it becomes catastrophic greatly reducing the repair cost and eliminating unplanned downtime. At American MTS we are constantly striving to help our customers reduce stress and rest easier. We believe that this powerful device is worth considering to help you feel more at ease when you kick off your boots at the end of the day.