The Corporate Report 2013: Meggitt Sensing Systems
EP Editorial Staff | December 19, 2013
Meggitt Sensing Systems specializes in highly reliable industrial vibration sensors and condition-based monitoring and predictive maintenance applications. The facility produces a wide range of Wilcoxon Research® vibration-monitoring products for industrial, process control, military and test measurement. The company offers a variety of sensors, including hazardous-area certified, 4-20 mA output, high/low frequency, high-temperature, underwater, seismic and helicopter. Hermetically sealed and manufactured under ISO 14001 and AS9100 quality standards, our sensors are built to last and offer the longest product lifetime in the industry.
Modern oil and gas refineries, nuclear reactors, manufacturing plants and smaller turbines can have thousands of essential, but non-critical, pieces of rotating equipment. Although the failure of such fans, pumps, motors, blowers and compressors is unlikely to cause a major catastrophe, it can be costly and endanger people, equipment or the environment. Employing industrial vibration monitoring helps ensure that industrial processes are not interrupted, safety is maintained, environmental laws are adhered to and maintenance can be planned well ahead of any potential failure.
Oil and gas refineries use rotating machines that variously pump fuel, water and air. These plants have their own power generating systems and cooling towers that all need to be monitored. Monitoring the motor fan at the top of a cooling tower is vital, for example, because if the cooling tower shuts down, the water won’t be available to cool other processes and so those parts will also cease operating. As companies seek to be more competitive and employ fewer maintenance staff, industrial vibration monitoring is the only effective way to keep track of the health of a vast array of equipment around the clock.
In the wind industry, industrial vibration monitoring has proven to be so effective that many insurance providers won’t provide coverage without it. When the first wind turbines were installed in Europe, their planetary-style gearboxes were prone to failure due to gear-oil overheating and mechanical wear caused by gusts of wind and misalignment. Turbines often caught fire, resulting in lengthy and costly downtime. Operators needed a way to monitor the health of their turbines and turned to vibration monitoring. When properly positioned and monitored, vibration sensors effectively identify the changes in the mechanical performance of wind turbines that are the telltale signs of a developing fault. Correcting malfunctions at an early stage can save thousands of dollars in repair fees, as well as reduce costs from lost output. Today, Meggitt’s sensors and systems help monitor vibration on as many as 10,000 wind turbines.