Book Review

Handbook of Condition Monitoring
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Handbook of Condition Monitoring

By: B.K.N. Rao (Ed.)

Hardcover - 604 pages
Published by: Elsevier Advanced Technology
Publication Date: November 1, 1996
ISBN: 1856172341

Table of Contents

  • The Need for Condition Monitoring & Maintenance Management in Industry
  • Condition Monitoring - The Way Forward
  • Vibration Monitoring
  • Gearbox Diagnostic Technology
  • Condition Monitoring of Ball/Roller Bearings
  • Consideration for the Most Effective Vibration-related Machinery Improvement Program
  • Cost Effective Benefits of Condition Monitoring
  • Condition Monitoring in Manufacturing and Engineering Industries
  • Condition Monitoring of Machine Tools
  • Condition Monitoring of Hydraulic Systems
  • Diagnostics of Electro-pneumatic Systems
  • A Review of Condition Based Maintenance for Electrical Machines
  • Condition Monitoring of Power Plants
  • Oil Debris Monitoring
  • Artificial Neural Networks in Condition Monitoring
  • Temperature Monitoring
  • Knowledge Based Systems for Maintenance Management
  • Corrosion Monitoring
  • The Application and Benefits of Cost Effective Maintenance
  • The Benefits of Reliability-Centred Maintenance
  • Total Productive Maintenance - A Pillar of World Class Performance
  • Modern Maintenance Management Systems
  • Patents Relevant to Condition Monitoring and Maintenance Management
  • Selected Bibliographies
  • Advertiser's Buyers Guide
  • Editorial Index

Our Review

To me, any book that calls itself a "handbook" is intended to be used as an occasional (or frequent) reference book, to be used whenever guidance is sought on a particular topic. It with this in mind that I read the Handbook of Condition Monitoring, edited by BKN Rao.

The book weighs in at a hefty 603 pages, with 24 chapters on a wide range of topics, ranging from the general (such as Vibration Monitoring, and Temperature Monitoring), to the specialised and eclectic (such as the highly theoretical chapter on Articial Neural Networks in Condition Monitoring and the very detailed chapter on Condition Monitoring of Machine Tools). All the major Condition Monitoring technologies are covered, including Vibration Analysis, Oil Analysis and Thermography, although the book does have a quite heavy bias towards Vibration Analysis, and hardly covers NDT approaches, such as Ultrasonics, at all.

The challenge in writing a book on such a technology-driven subject as Condition Monitoring, is ensuring that the book is up-to-date and includes the latest technologies. This book was published in 1996, and most of it remains relevant today, although you won't find any information on leading-edge technologies such as Ultrasonic assessment of bearing condition (except for a small reference to SKF's SEE technology), or variable speed vibration analysis. The first chapter bravely includes a list of Maintenance Software and their vendors which is now hopelessly out of date - but it also includes some very useful tables outlining Condition Monitoring methods that are available, and where they are best used. The second chapter discusses Condition Monitoring - The Way Forward, and this is still highly relevant, and offers considerable food for thought.

Where the book excels, I believe, is in giving numerous examples, and quoting a variety of industry studies that demonstrate the huge benefits that can be achieved from establishing an effective Predictive Maintenance program. This will be of value to Condition Monitoring practitioners, as well as to those who are considering embarking on a Predictive Maintenance program. The chapter on the Cost Effective Benefits of Condition Monitoring, which includes a useful methodology for estimating the benefits that may be obtained in your own site is particularly useful.

As is often the case with handbooks of this nature, each chapter is (for the most part) written by a different author. There are some well-credentialled authors and organizations represented here - including representatives from Entek, SKF, as well as leading academics from colleges and universities in the USA and the UK. The chapters that they have written tend to fall into one of two categories - they either cover a particular area of Condition Monitoring technology, or they cover the application of relevant CM technologies in a particular situation. Here is where the book starts to have some difficulties as a reference manual. The same topic can be covered (albeit with different emphasis) in many chapters in the book. If you want to learn about Oil Debris Analysis, for example, you will find useful information in four chapters - Oil Debris Monitoring, Gearbox Diagnostic Technology, Condition Monitoring of Hydraulic Systems, and Condition Monitoring of Power Plants. This, in itself, wouldn't be a major problem, except that the book's index only refers you to two of those four chapters.

In addition, there are four chapters that are not directly related to Condition Monitoring at all, that appear to be after-thoughts and are located towards the back of the book. These cover Reliability Centered Maintenance (RCM), Total Productive Maintenance (TPM), Cost Effective Maintenance, and Maintenance Management Systems. It is becoming increasingly clear in most organizations that there is a need to ensure that the Condition Monitoring program is fully integrated with the organization's overall maintenance strategy. RCM, TPM, Cost Effective Maintenance and Maintenance Management Systems are clearly important parts of any organisation's Maintenance Strategy, but the linkage between these programs and Condition Monitoring is not well discussed in these later chapters. I believe that the book would have been better served by having one chapter dealing with the implications of these programs for Condition Monitoring, and by having this chapter at the start of the book (setting the scene and dealing with the big picture first).

Nevertheless, there is much to like about this book as a useful reference.

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