Engineering-rate Sailors at Southeast Regional Maintenance Center (SERMC) are responsible for maintaining an incredibly complex variety of equipment – gear boxes, pumps, turbines, blowers, compressors, fans and others.
Industrial equipment seldom fails without providing some kind of warning.
More often than not the signs of looming failure, such as elevated vibration levels or high internal temperatures, go unnoticed during routine tasks. Small vibrations are difficult to detect and cause the equipment to run less efficiently.
Eventually the equipment will fail, resulting in major maintenance expenses due to failed bearings, couplings or other expensive machine components. However, those hidden clues, if discovered early, can pinpoint the nature, location, and even the severity of developing problems.
To that end, SERMC recently hosted Mr. Darin McDaniels from Emerson to hold training on the most modern vibration analysis equipment, which is used to more easily evaluate and diagnose the Navy’s critical equipment.
The training provided a valuable learning opportunity for several SERMC Sailors pursuing the Outside Electrical Navy Afloat Maintenance Training Strategy (NAMTS) Navy Enlisted Classification (NEC), which requires Sailors to evaluate, diagnose and repair internal failures.
The new analysis tool is non-intrusive, meaning the four “channels” can be attached to the exterior of equipment while a portable spectrum analyzer records waveform signatures. Analysis of this data makes it possible to diagnose:
•Mechanical wear in bearings, belts, couplings, gears, and support structures.
•Imbalances and misalignments.
•Other defects such as lubrication failure, bent shafts, etc.
Information gathered by the portable device is collected and used by SERMC Sailors to correct any problems before they become severe enough to negatively affect the gear.
“Our ability to deliver ships out of maintenance availabilities on time, with the highest quality is critical to the Fleet. Our technicians’ ability to use vibration analysis on Fleet equipment helps improve SERMC’s ability to deliver first -time quality while saving valuable resources,” said SERMC Commanding Officer, Capt. John Lobuono.
“It’s much cheaper in the long run to keep shipboard equipment running efficiently than it is to rebuild or replace a piece of gear,” said Electrician’s Mate 1st Class Carlos Genoa-Vargas. “The equipment we return to the Fleet is highly calibrated and will run at peak efficiency.”