Condition Monitoring

Connect Insight to Execution.

Deliver maintenance-based insight into the equipment driving your operations ensuring safety, reducing downtime, and improving reliability.

Real Results

Companies that implement condition-based maintenance programs have healthier and more reliable equipment as well as a healthier work environment for employees, free from hazardous working conditions. Ultimately, more reliable operations means better operating margins

reduction in days to identify defects
reduction in unexpected downtime
reduction in maintenance costs

Why Perform Condition Monitoring?

All maintenance and reliability programs have essentially the same goal: to ensure the plant’s production capacity effectively and efficiently. The best way to accomplish this is by being proactive.

If left alone, machinery defects will eventually cause a functional failure leading to unplanned downtime. So, the earlier you can detect the defect, the more time you have to deal with the situation and avoid getting into an emergency state. If an organization can find and fix the defects early enough, the number of emergencies, and the number of schedule interruptions, will decrease drastically.

The Benefits of Condition Monitoring

One of the major benefits of condition monitoring is that the technologies offer an abundance of information about the nature of the defect and, to a large extent, the physical cause of the defect. By using some of these technologies, specific defects are identified, such as ‘inner race defects found on both pump bearing,’ instead of the general indication of ‘pump making a strange noise.’ This reduces the troubleshooting time and costs associated with parts swapping until the problem is solved. It also reduces the total amount of downtime for a repair, increasing availability and possibly even productivity.

This knowledge also significantly enhances the root cause analysis process and eliminates the possibility of this same defect occurring in the future.

You could say that the biggest value of condition monitoring is being able to help prevent unexpected failures. It also helps you plan and schedule the outage and, therefore, not experience the surprise of machinery failure when least expected.

Condition monitoring assists the planning and scheduling process in three ways:

  1. It identifies the defects early enough to allow the planning and scheduling process to take its natural flow. Nothing must be expedited or rushed, and production schedules do not have to be changed at the last minute.
  2. It gives the planner something specific to plan. Because of how precise the problem can be pinpointed; the planner can kit a specific collection of parts and have confidence that the required parts are there; and the maintenance technicians will not have to stop the job to go find what they need.
  3. Early detection of the fault means that more parts can be ordered, and fewer parts must be kept in stock.

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Look Smart

SmartCBM is Allied Reliability's condition-based maintenance solution that’s designed to detect component defects that could lead to unplanned downtime or unnecessary expenditures.

Through the application of condition monitoring technologies, statistical process control, and specific failure-mode-driven repair recommendations, we partner with you to design, implement, execute, and optimize your condition monitoring maintenance strategy – ensuring the uptime and reliability of your equipment.

Flexible Deployment Options

Today, the market is flooded with data collection technologies, but data alone will not help improve your bottom line. You need smart data. Data that helps predict component failure as soon as possible.

Utilizing Allied Reliability’s Failure Mode Library, our experts prescribe the mix of methods necessary for the early detection of failure-causing defects. Our proprietary failure mode library is derived from the analysis of over 3 million components from over 1500 facilities and identifies common components, parts, failure reasons, and inspection methods that detect the defects causing the failure.

Flexible Data Collection Options

Allied Reliability’s unique approach to condition monitoring integrates a full range of data collection options. From route-based to sensor-based collection, from inline to wireless periodic monitoring, our experts help you identify the right approach for each of your assets, resulting in a more holistic and cost-effective solution.

Data can be collected in the following ways:

  • Human senses ─ what we can see, hear, feel, smell, and even sometimes taste.
  • Measurement instruments, such as dial indicators, snap gages, and calipers. Both types fall under what we call preventive maintenance (PM).
  • Yet another type of data collection is condition monitoring, which falls under the category of predictive maintenance (PdM).

Comprehensive PdM Data Collection Methods

While many service providers offer a vibration condition monitoring tool, vibration detection is just one piece of the puzzle. Our experts leverage our experience and failure-mode library to recommend a customized PdM data collection approach including vibration, oil, infrared thermography, ultrasound, motor circuit, and other analyses as required.

Infrared Thermography

Manufacturers of infrared cameras are now making low-cost solutions of adequate image quality that work great for infrared programs just getting started. This technology is capable of finding both electrical and mechanical defects, and it is very easy to understand and accept.

  • Electrical defects – Most defects in electrical apparatus create localized heating, which is easily detected with an infrared camera. Problems with electrical apparatus are almost always due to loose and/or dirty connections.
  • Mechanical defects – Defects like misalignment, v-belt and sheave problems, bearing defects, and lubrication problems all produce heat within the components. This heat is easily detected by the infrared camera.

Note: Infrared thermography is not the most preferred method for detecting mechanical defects, as the defect is already significantly down the defect progression path before the localized heating begins to occur.

Infrared Thermography


This inspection method is both powerful and inexpensive; however, as mechanical inspection technologies go, it is the biggest bang for the smallest buck. It is also a good choice if you want to have operators, mechanics, and electricians participate in the PdM program. Ultrasonic devices are used to listen to:

  • Rotating machinery – to detect bearing faults, gear problems, electrical problems in motors, lubrication issues, and cavitation in pumps.
  • Electrical apparatus – to detect the presence of arcing, tracking, and corona. Arcing and tracking are both damaging to the electrical equipment and increase the potential for arc-flash
  • Stationary equipment – to find defects in valves and steam traps

Ultrasound also adds value to your lubrication program, by eliminating the common problem of over/under lubricating bearings. The ultrasonic energy coming from a bearing can help determine whether the right amount of grease has been added to the bearing.

Ultrasound Challenges

The ultrasonic device takes sounds that are above the range of human hearing and transforms them into something we can hear. The main challenge is that the analysis is qualitative and is based on the trained ear of someone familiar with the ultrasonic signatures of healthy and unhealthy equipment. Another challenge is that while it is powerful in finding high-frequency problems, it is powerless against low-frequency problems like imbalance, misalignment, and looseness. So, ultrasound is not a like-for-like replacement for vibration analysis (discussed below).

Oil Analysis

Oil analysis is one of the most commonly used PdM technologies. Its original application in the manufacturing world was to detect water and the depletion rate of additive packages in the lubricant. This technique has since been expanded to include the detection of changes in:

  • The lubricant chemistry, itself
  • Wear particles (indicating defects in the components)
  • Contaminants from outside of the lubrication system (indicating a sealing problem or poor storage and handling practices)

There are several tests for each of the aspects. The best oil analysis program identifies the reasonable and likely failure modes for each of the machines that qualify for the oil analysis program and then specifies to the oil lab which tests are to be run for which samples. This declaration of tests for a given sample is called a "test slate."

Vibration Analysis

By far, the most powerful and comprehensive PdM technology for detecting defects in rotating equipment is vibration analysis. The vibration signature is collected from a rotating machine and then analyzed by a person. The signature is a collection of spikes called “peaks.” These peaks represent different forces at play on the rotating drive train.

The analysis of the peaks is the linking of their frequency to the known frequency of rotating drive train defects. For example, shaft misalignment happens at a different frequency than gear problems do, or bearing faults, or even electrical problems in motors. Each of these has their frequencies, and each has their own patterns in the vibration signature. Therefore, the test slates are not the same for all pumps, as they operate in different environments and under different running conditions.

The data can be collected via different devices. Some are hand-held and can be carried from machine to machine during data collection, while others are permanently installed devices that connect to the PLC network in your plant and provide continuous monitoring.

Motor Circuit Analysis

Last, but not least, this specialized PdM technology focuses on motor circuitry. The motor circuit includes the motor windings and the wires that connect the motor to the starter. The entire circuit needs to be tested to detect the presence of insulation problems, contamination problems, and other mechanical issues with the motor.

  • Offline MCA – This is performed when the motor is off, and the rotor is secured in place. These offline tests help the analysts detect any insulation issues between the three phases of the motor, as well as any issues between the phases and the electrical ground of the motor.
  • Online MCA – This method tests for the presence of any torsional loading on the motor. Most torsional loading comes from inside the motor due to loose or broken rotor bars, or broken welds on the end ring of the rotor. However, some torsional loading can come from outside the motor, such as misalignment, coupling problems, or in extreme cases, even bearing faults.

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On-Demand Webinar

Learn about our SmartCBM® mobile app – giving you a view of equipment performance across your entire operation and granting you the freedom to execute workflows on your mobile device.

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White Paper

Get an introduction to CBM and the associated technologies, how to use these tools, key performance indicators to monitor program effectiveness, and more.

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Blog Article

Learn how proactively monitoring assets, to provide early defect identification, allows you to address issues early - before they compound and cause further damage.

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Connect Insight to Execution

Schedule a demo to talk with one of our reliability experts and learn how we can help secure the strength of your bottom line with healthier equipment using the SmartCBM® condition-based maintenance solution.

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SmartCBM (formerly iReliability) Tool Suite

Our offering is underpinned by a world-class set of proprietary tools for monitoring and reporting on the condition of your assets. These tools enable the development of a maintenance strategy listing necessary activities and their frequency to mitigate design-failure modes to maximize equipment reliability and availability. Our reliability software suite, SmartCBM® (formerly iReliability), has a new look for an enhanced experience. For a guided tour of the new interface, watch SmartCBM® Software Suite: Redesigned Interface. i-reliability

SmartCBM Mobile App

SmartCBM Mobile provides current, on-the-go high-level business views down to site specifics for individual facilities/plants and even to the specific asset and component level.

This app gives your organization an easy-to-use mobile solution for quick, complete viewing of your CBM program in real-time.

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Success Stories

See how Allied Reliability’s solutions have had an impact on business operations for companies in a variety of industries.

Industry: Automotive Rubber

Wireless monitoring prevents production loss

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Industry: Automotive

Predictive maintenance program delivers ROI

Read the Story

Industry: Chemical Processing

Continuous monitoring saves time and money

Read the Story

Industry: Plastic Fabrication

Delivering value with semi-continuous data collection

Read the Story

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