Magnetic chip detectors, vibration monitoring devices, and spectrographic oil analysis typically do not detect bearing distress until the bearing is in the latter stages of failure. Now, through the innovation of digital signal processing technology and a breakthrough in inductive sensors, it is possible to provide several months of advance notice on a bearing failure.
Unlike magnetic chip detectors, this technology has the capability to track the shedding of both magnetic and nonmagnetic debris from the bearing. It is a true prognostic sensor that detects the first indications of a bearing spall and continues to track, in real-time, the quantities of wear debris being generated by the bearing. The data collected from the sensor can be changed into information such that with a particle trend graph it can clearly be seen when the bearing should be taken out of service prior to a turbine failure and the possibility of expensive secondary damage.