Using Computed Order Tracking To Detect Gear Condition Aboard A Dragline
Organization: The Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Jan 1, 2007
This study investigates the application of computed order tracking with subsequent rotation domain averaging and statistical analysis, to the drag gearbox of a dragline used in a mining environment. Computed order tracking is a fault detection method developed to deal with the varying speed conditions often found in industry and has been proven effective in laboratory conditions. Its application to real situations, however, requires some adjustment to deal with issues such as inadequate speed data and the fact that the drag gear rotates in two directions. This provides a unique opportunity to observe the performance of the order tracking method in a bi-directional rotating environment, allowing an investigation of the relationships between the results obtained from each operating direction. A monitoring station was set up aboard the dragline and data was captured twice daily for a period spanning approximately one year. The data captured consisted of accelerometer and proximity sensor data. The key on the shaft triggers the proximity sensors, allowing speed and direction to be measured. The measured speed is interpolated by using various speed interpolation techniques. Then the interpolated speed is used to complete the order tracking procedure that resamples the vibration data with reference to the speed. The results indicate that computed order tracking can be successfully employed in real environments. Furthermore it is shown that the rotation direction that opens the gear-tooth crack gives a better indication of incipient failure. It is therefore important not to disregard either direction when monitoring rotating machinery of this kind.