This paper investigates the condition monitoring of a servo-valve-controlled linear actuator system using artificial neural networks (NNs). The aim is to discuss techniques for the identification of failure characteristics and their source. It is shown that neural networks can be trained to identify more than one fault but these are larger and require more training patterns than networks for single fault diagnosis. This leads to much longer training times and to problems with scaleability. Therefore a modular approach has been developed. Several networks were trained each to identify an individual fault. The parallel outputs of these nets were then used as inputs to another network. This additional network was able to identify not only the correct faults but also the actual fault levels.

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