Magnetic Field Assisted Predictive Maintenance (MFAPM)

Magnetic field assisted predictive maintenance (MFAPM) is a maintenance system whereby failure causing debris in a process or engine is removed for analysis with the aid of magnetic field in order to determine the failing component, and plan ahead for it removal before leading to partial or entire system failure. Through this,failure of a particular machine or a process component can be predicted and the removal of the failing component can be schedule in line with planned maintenance or allow shutdown period or time agreed ahead of failure.

This involve the ability to collect wear debris or other contamination from the process or an engine. The debris collected is analysed in the laboratory in order to determine the type and source of materials in it. Therefore, the failing component is determined from the materials found in the debris. An example is where a lot of white metal is found in the debris, then it could be said that the bearings materials are wearing resulting in the failure of the bearing and hence the shutdown of the entire system if not addressed early. It is more common that contamination is a major cause of failure in mechanical equipment than failure of the structural parts of the component itself.

Contamination may be as a result of the following: wear particles, corrosion particles, water ingression or particles in the air.The source of contamination also include manufacturing process, assembly process, service operations, casting and machining debris, polishing compounds, fluid contamination, metallic debris, seal material, etc

The contamination particles, if not removed on time can result in the deterioration of the machinery or engine or process. Thus, it is more beneficial to ensure the removal of contaminationparticles from fluid e.g engine (lube) oil, fuel system, pipeline, transmission andhydraulic systemas well as other fluid systems in rotating equipment or a flow process.

The conventional filters have the capacity of removing contamination particles of sizes in the range of 30 microns to a limit of 10 microns. However, particles less than 10 microns are critical to the journal and main bearings in a rotating equipment, hence the need for removal.

The easiest way to remove them is by magnetism. The choice we have is between conventional magnet and rare. earth magnet. The rare earth magnet exhibit a wide radial magnetic field with the ability to attract particle from an appreciable distance compared with N-S magnetic field from conventionalmagnet and 15 times stronger than the conventional one.

Hence radial magnetic field is employed in filtration of lubricant, hydraulic, water, gas, crude and fuel. The radial magnetic field filtration products have the capacity of removing contamination particles of 30 microns and below to submicron level. They come in different forms: permanent filters in form of Y-strainer as an example or used with a replaceable filter in form of pads. It can remove both ferrous and non-ferrous particles from fluid.