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Title of the Best Practice

(Knowledge Acquisition Point)

Best Practices

Electric Discharge Detector

Aditya Cement Works, Shambhupura

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Title of the Best Practice

Attribute Description
Title Electric Discharge Detection (EDD) in motor bearings.
Abstract* Monitoring Electric Discharge count in motor bearings by EDD pen, to
identify the Electrical erosion in bearing of VFD operated motors.
Applicability* Across Businesses

Business Impact / Reduction in breakdowns due to premature bearing failure in VFD

Benefits * operated motors.
Problem In electric motors that are controlled by Variable Frequency Drives
definition* (VFD), induces electrical currents that may increase until they find
discharge paths to earth via the motor frame. The electric currents pass
through the bearing and when the voltage reaches a level to overcome
the lubricant film layer in the bearing, electrical discharge occurs. Over
time this can cause electrical erosion. Electrical erosion can cause
bearings to fail very prematurely causing motor failure and unplanned
Approach * Premature bearing failure happened in clinker cooler fan 2 FN
Damaged bearings are studied carefully and brainstorming done
to identify the root cause.
Mechanical causes like misalignment and lack of lubrications
were not there in the equipment.
Fluting in the bearing race ways noticed and this initiated to
check the EDD count in motor bearings.
EDD counts were more in that particular motor where as it was
very less in other similar motors.
Remedial measures taken to reduce EDD count.
EDD count found reduced and premature bearing failure not
occurred afterwards.

Process* Like all condition monitoring equipment used for predictive

maintenance, we are using the EDD Pen used in a consistent way.
Every measurement is made at the same distance and direction
from the bearing in periodic interval.
The present EDD counts are compared with the base line made
with previous data.
To get the best results the EDD measurement is used to
compare motors in the same running conditions over time, this means
that the results are compared while motor is running at same speed
and loads.
Higher EDD counts and deviation from base readings are
discussed with maintenance team and suitable remedial actions taken
to prevent break downs.
If a motor shows a reading significantly different then it is more
likely to suffer from electrical erosion than the other bearings.
For example if you measure 25 motors using the EDD Pen and
motors # 1 to # 24 show a reading between 1100 and 2400 but motor
# 25 shows a reading of 10000 this means that motor # 25 is more
likely to suffer the effects of electrical discharge currents. In this case
the bearing of motor # 25 should be checked at the first opportunity.

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Title of the Best Practice


Case Study of cooler fan 2FN 354

1. Premature bearing failure happened in cooler fan 2 FN 354
2. EDD count was measured in Feb 11 for 10sec(DE : 3538 & NDE :
3. The bearings found damaged and fluting noticed in bearing inner
4. Remedial measures taken in motor and EDD counts found
reduced in March 11(DE : 54 & NDE : 0).
5. By that the motor bearing premature failure avoided.

EDD measurement Fluting in bearing

Since the fan is one of the critical equipment in Pyro section this
avoided the breakdown of kiln by identifying the fault in advance.
Approximate production loss of one breakdown ( Unit 2 Kiln)
= 6 hrs stoppage of kiln to replace the motor
= 2250 MT of clinker (Considering average kiln out put of 9000 TPD)
= 2250 MT of clinker * Rs 1000(Approx)

= Rs. 22.5 Lacs

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Title of the Best Practice

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Title of the Best Practice

Other applicability Same can be used to motor operated through VFD

Uniqueness 1. Hand held instrument and take less time to check.
2. Safe to use since no rotating components are comes across.
3. No special training required
4. Capable of detecting electrical discharges on a time base of 10
seconds, 30 seconds or indefinite
KPI Reduction in breakdowns due to premature motor bearing failure.

Reference Being used in UltraTech Cements Ltd, Aditya Cement Works

About Author* J. Jayaseelan

Sr. Manager Technical Services,
Having 21 years of experience in the fields of Manufacturing, Project
and Condition Monitoring.

Contact details*

UltraTech Cements Ltd
Unit - Aditya Cement Works,
Chittorgarh, Rajasthan
Mobile : 09887482037

Key words Electric discharge detector, Fluting in bearings

Note - * - Mandatory fields

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