Handheld monitor simplifies vibration detection

Schaeffler's handheld vibration monitoring and balancing device, the FAG Detector III, is being updated with a host of new features, making condition monitoring easier and more accessible to engineers and technicians of all skill levels.

Many maintenance and plant engineers are reluctant to use condition monitoring devices for a variety of reasons. Some are put off by fear of the unknown or simply believe the devices are too complex - and they would rather leave the task to experts.

However, the maintenance management and condition monitoring division of Schaeffler UK, FAG Industrial Services (F'IS), is now offering customers a new and improved version of its FAG Detector III device. The latest FAG Detector III version 3.4 now benefits from improved software functions that mean more users, regardless of their skill level, will feel comfortable working with the device and interpreting the results.

The FAG Detector III is used for the early detection of damage in rotating machine elements such as rolling bearings. The device is available with an optional, extended operational balancing function. Customers can activate this function at a later stage after purchasing the basic unit. The device can be used to balance rotors and shafts in both static and dynamic balancing applications, on a diverse range of rotating equipment including machine tools, pumps, electric motors, fans, compressors, ventilators, gearboxes and spindles.

Improved software

Version 3.4 of the FAG Detector III comes with Firmware v3.4 and, for further data analysis, Trendline v3.4. The Trendline software includes a database of more than 20,000 different bearing products from different suppliers, enabling users to analyse measurement data recorded using the device.

The new software offers a number of benefits. First, when identifying damage to machine components such as bearings, and misaligned shafts, engineers are now provided with a 3D view of measurement data. Diagrams can be rotated in all directions and analysis is made easier thanks to 'zoom' and 'cursor' functions.

In addition, the new software incorporates waterfall diagrams, providing a comprehensive display of the results via 3D illustrations in the Viewer. This means even slight changes in the frequency spectrum can be detected very easily.

The balancing of machines is also easier now, as more support tools have been added. Intelligent user guidance notes and prompts are now included and sensor positions can be displayed graphically. Also, the number of planes can be changed during the balancing process. Test weight calculations have been improved, with warnings given if test weights are too small - therefore eliminating any trial-and-error from the process.

Interpretation of measurement results has also been simplified. By adding 'smiley faces' and green (value OK), yellow (pre-alarm) and red (main alarm) borders around measurement values on the display, users can quickly interpret the results. Operating the keypad is also easier and it now functions in a similar way to a mobile phone, with alphanumeric keypad typing options.

ISO 10816 is already configured on the device, which means that standard measurement tasks can now be carried out directly, without PC preparation. As Ian Pledger, F'IS Field Service Engineer at Schaeffler UK, points out: "We do not want engineers to be reluctant to use condition monitoring devices like the FAG Detector III because they think it is too complex or time-consuming. That is why all the new features added to version 3.4 help simplify the vibration monitoring and balancing process for the user. We have even created a new website dedicated to the FAG Detector III, so that engineers can get advice and guidance on how to get the most from the device and its new software."

FAG Detector III with integrated RFID technology is also available, being suitable for maintenance teams that regularly collect and analyse vibration monitoring data from multiple, similar measuring points.

Follow the link for more information about Schaeffler's FAG Detector III.

Schaeffler (UK) Ltd

Unit 308, Fort Dunlop
Fort Parkway
B24 9FD

+44 (0)121 313 5830



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