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UNIT 50: CONDITION MONITORING AND FAULT DIAGNOSIS

Unit 50: Condition Monitoring and Fault


Diagnosis
Unit code: R/601/1422
QCF level: 5
Credit value: 15

Aim
This unit aims to provide learners with an understanding of condition monitoring techniques and
will enable them to systematically locate and diagnose faults.

Unit abstract
Industrial process and power generation plant and many other engineering systems need to
operate reliably for comparatively long periods of time. Condition monitoring can be of great
assistance in ensuring this and is an essential element of preventative maintenance. It can signal
the need for intervention to avoid expensive failures and system outages. Over a period of time, it
can also provide data to assist in the planning and adjustment of a preventative maintenance
programme.
This unit first examines the general concepts of condition monitoring, including the causes of
failure, monitoring methods and the analysis of data. Learners will then look at a range of
condition monitoring techniques such as those used to detect leaks, corrosion and cracking in
engineering systems and plant.
Learners will study and apply a range of checks, tests and other techniques in order to diagnose,
locate and identify system faults. Finally, learners will investigate the more common causes and
effects of failure and, using a range of techniques, will analyse the cause and effect of such
failure/s on system performance.

Learning outcomes
On successful completion of this unit a learner will:
1 Understand the concepts of condition monitoring
2 Understand the nature and use of condition monitoring techniques
3 Be able to locate faults in engineering systems
4 Be able to analyse the cause and effect of faults in engineering systems.

BH023332 Edexcel BTEC Levels 4 and 5 Higher Nationals specification in Engineering


Issue 1 May 2010 Edexcel Limited 2010 237
UNIT 50: CONDITION MONITORING AND FAULT DIAGNOSIS

Unit content

1 Understand the concepts of condition monitoring

Failure and breakdown: degradation due to corrosion, cracking, fouling, wear, ageing, mal-
operation, environmental effects, operational and maintenance considerations; statistical
analysis of failure rates on plant and equipment
Monitoring: arrangements and measured parameters (online and offline monitoring, fixed
and portable monitoring equipment, continuous and semi-continuous data recording, stress
analysis)
Data analysis: data analysis eg computerised systems, data acquisition techniques, use of
generic computer software (such as spreadsheets, databases), fault analysis/diagnosis, plant
down time analysis, data storage techniques, high-speed data capture, trend analysis, expert
systems, condition monitoring integrated within normal plant and machinery control and
data acquisition systems

2 Understand the nature and use of condition monitoring techniques

Vibration: broad band defect detection; frequency spectrum analysis; shock pulse method;
high-frequency analysis techniques
Leak detection: acoustic emission and surveillance; moisture sensitive tapes;
radiotracer/radio-chemical methods
Corrosion detection: chromatography; eddy currents; electrical resistance; tangential
impedance meter; IR spectroscopy; potential monitoring; thermograph; lasers
Crack detection: ultrasonic methods; optical fibres; lasers; strain gauges; electrical potential
method; eddy currents; acoustic emission; thermography
Temperature: thermography; thermometry; thermistors; thermocouple devices; RTDs; optical
pyrometers; IR pyrometers; lasers

3 Be able to locate faults in engineering systems

Information and documentation: plant personnel; alarm systems; component data sheets;
block diagrams; flow charts; dependency charts; trouble shooting charts; wiring and
schematic diagrams; circuit diagrams; system diagrams; operation and maintenance
manuals; computerised records and data; use of internet
Inspection and test: characteristics of system; online/offline testing; test equipment;
electrical/electronic/software based; self-diagnostic techniques; expert systems; safety
requirements; safety and damage limitation
Fault location techniques: appropriate sources of information identified and selected; analysis
of evidence; systematic and logical approach to fault finding; cause of fault evaluated and
verified

BH023332 Edexcel BTEC Levels 4 and 5 Higher Nationals specification in Engineering


238 Issue 1 May 2010 Edexcel Limited 2010
UNIT 50: CONDITION MONITORING AND FAULT DIAGNOSIS

4 Be able to analyse the cause and effect of faults in engineering systems

Causes of failure: mal-operation; environmental; lack of maintenance; operation outside


design specifications; infrequent use, too frequent use; the bath tub curve; reliability;
common mode failure
Effects of failure: safety, economic, downtime, loss of production etc; failure states of
components within a system
Analytical techniques: failure mode and effect analysis; fault tree analysis; cause and effect
analysis

BH023332 Edexcel BTEC Levels 4 and 5 Higher Nationals specification in Engineering


Issue 1 May 2010 Edexcel Limited 2010 239