Monitoring Turbomachinery Sleeve Bearings

Drew Mackley Product Line Manager

Drew Mackley
Product Line Manager

Let’s end this U.S. 4th of July Independence day holiday-shortened workweek with a 3:27 YouTube video on Sleeve Bearing Monitoring with Dual Orbits.

Emerson’s Drew Mackley explains how this type of bearing is mostly found in turbomachinery and involves displacement probes rather than accelerometers commonly used in other types of rotating machinery.

These displacement probes typically are inputs into online protection systems to shut down the turbomachinery if vibration levels exceed a certain threshold.

For the demonstration, Drew shows a four-channel adapter to collect volts and tachometer information from displacement probes on two sleeve bearings. The displacement signals generate dual orbits useful in assessing shaft or sleeve bearing condition.

Displacement-SignalsWhat’s missing in some machinery protection systems is the ability to predict problems before they lead to a shutdown condition. Drew shows the x- and y-displacement signals—orbit 1 and orbit 2—coming from the machinery protection system from each of the two sleeves into the CSI 2140 portable vibration monitor as well as the speed of the machine from the tachometer.

Dual Orbit Plots

Dual Orbit Plots

This data coming into the CSI 2140 can help identify abnormal conditions and if the turbomachinery is OK to restart in the event of a shutdown condition. The diagnostic information is in the form of live orbit plots.

Changes in the shape of the orbit plots convey potential issues in the condition of the rotor such as shaft rub or operating near areas of resonance.

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