Condition monitoring is based on trending. It requires that suitable sensors be used, dedicated parameters be monitored, baseline (normal condition) be defined and data trends be captured to identify condition changes. Effective condition monitoring requires that all abnormal conditions be identified through comparisons with normal or baseline conditions. But it is not possible for each and every component of a complex power generation train to be identified in such a manner.

Major machine component considered in common condition monitoring programs are:

  • Bearings, including radial and thrust bearings

  • Seal and packing.

  • Rotor (shaft or crankshaft mechanism)

  • Auxiliaries, such as lube oil system, seal system cooling system and so on.

Regardless of the type of rotating machine, the condition of the machine can be assessed by monitoring these components.