Condition Monitoring demos are the best way to find out if a solution is right for your organization. This guide will give you a list of questions to ask a condition monitoring supplier during a demo.

To book a condition monitoring demo with Semiotic Labs, click here.

How does this Condition Monitoring system work?

Condition monitoring solutions can differ in a number of different ways depending on the use case. Ask the supplier the following questions to get a better idea of whether this solution is the right one for you.

Which type of data does this system collect?

Condition monitoring involves the analysis of motor metrics. But the type of metric measured can vary from supplier to supplier.

Before the demo takes place, consider making a list of the types of motor metric data your plant could generate. This will give you an idea of whether this condition monitoring system will work for your plant. Popular Condition Monitoring data types include: current/voltage, vibration patterns, motor acceleration and thermal data.

How will this system collect that data?

Different condition monitoring systems collect data in different ways. For example, MCSA allows sensors to be installed in the Motor Control Cabinet, whereas hand held thermal sensors require the maintenance professional to physically inspect the machine (which might not be an option if the asset is located in an ATEX zone).

Think about how your plant could collect data, and discuss this with the supplier.

Is this an online or off-line Condition Monitoring solution?

Not all condition monitoring solutions are online. Some systems are based purely on-premise, where the maintenance information does not leave the premises.

Although on-premise solutions may sometimes be the only option (think condition monitoring on a ship, where network connectivity is limited), online systems are beneficial in most other ways. For example, if you have a company with plants in multiple locations, a central maintenance crew can monitor the health of any motor from any location. Discuss with the sales consultant whether offline or online would suit your use case best.

How effective is this system?

Once you have established if this condition monitoring system will work for your plant, it’s time to find out how effective the system is. By asking the sales consultant the following questions, you will gain an understanding of how effective the system is.

What is the failure detection rate?

If the solution routinely misses failures, the ROI of your condition monitoring project will suffer. Anything above 90% detection is considered to be high.

How does the system identify a fault?

How the system will actually identify a fault is an important question. Traditional condition monitoring required manual data analysis to determine a developing fault. But more modern condition monitoring systems (such as SAM4) use AI and Data Science to automate the analysis and automatically determine if there is a developing fault.

How much detail can the system give on the type of the developing fault?

Advanced condition monitoring systems can not only identify a developing fault, but can also identify the specific type of fault and the severity of the fault. Ask the sales consultant if this system also has this functionality.

If a fault is detected, how will the system alert the maintenance team?

This could be completely manual, completely automated, or a mix of both. Often a mix of both can be beneficial, as a set of human eyes can double check that the fault is really a fault before the maintenance team are alerted and maintenance is scheduled.

Which industries is your condition monitoring solution suitable for?

This will depend on a number of factors including the signals the solution measures, installation time and cost.

SAM4 by Semiotic Labs is suitable for any industry or environment that uses electric motors. Book a demo now!

Installation

Installation is your first real interaction with the tool. A painful or long-drawn out installation period can kill your team’s enthusiasm for a new tool or new way of working. So a quick and simple installation period can help build support for your tool.

How easy is installation?

This might seem like a subjective question, but different condition monitoring systems can differ significantly when it comes to ease of installation.

Is installation support offered?

Depending on the complexity of the installation, you might require support. Support can come in the form of on-site consultancy, over the phone support or online support materials and documentation (for example see our quick video on how to install SAM4).

AI training time

More modern condition monitoring systems will contain an AI element, which will usually take some of the data analysis burden away from the maintenance engineer, allowing the maintenance engineer to focus on conclusions and actions.

However, the AI system will often first require a learning period so that it can learn how your motor behaves, and the different workpoints the motor typically runs at. Once the system has captured this information, it can determine changes in future performance metrics which are indicative of a developing fault.

The aforementioned AI training time will vary depending on the system, however it is important to ask for an indication of how long this learning period will be. SAM4 typically requires only 2-6 weeks before the AI system has learnt what it needs to learn in order to effectively monitor your system.

Continued ease of use

Does this system have an easy to use interface?

The only way to really get a feel for this is to ask about it during the demo. Maybe ask if you can explore the interface by yourself for a few minutes. Without asking the sales rep for help, see if you can find:

  • Current motor health
  • Fault history
  • Is there a way to compare assets (possibly useful when comparing motor energy efficiency)?
  • Is there an in-dashboard tour? (For non-tech savvy users, an in dashboard tour can be very useful when demonstrating basic functionality.)
  • Does the user interface integrate with your existing CMMS system?

Ease of on-going system maintenance

Depending on the make-up of your condition monitoring system, on-going maintenance can become expensive.

As mentioned above: if your sensors are installed in difficult to reach places, then on-going sensor maintenance can be more costly and can take longer. Additionally, if your sensors are installed on motors, which themselves are situated in hazardous environments, they are likely to be damaged and break more often, which in turn increases the costs of on-going maintenance.

Sign up for a condition monitoring demo

We hope that this article has given you an idea of the things to ask about during a condition monitoring demo.

If you are interested in learning more about our specific condition monitoring solution, sign up for a SAM4 demo.