The global site of the UK's leading magazine for automation, motion engineering and power transmission
9 October, 2019

Product and Supplier Search

Condition monitoring service aims to prevent large motor failuress
Published:  24 February, 2011

ABB has launched a condition monitoring service for large induction motors, aimed at spotting potential motor failures long before they happen. The service, called MACHsense-P, can detect problems with bearings, rotor windings, balance, alignments and voltages.

"This service could extend the working life of thousands of motors, running in critical applications worldwide,” predicts Cajetan Pinto, ABB’s r&d manager for motor and generator servicing.

The service is based on an instrument (above) which monitors machine data including vibrations and electrical signals. These are analysed by software that generates reports that rate any defects by severity and recommend any repairs needed.

A technician can test up to six motors a day. The customer is given an immediate summary of the motor’s performance, rating it in four key areas: bearings, cage rotor, installation and power supply. Later, a more detailed report is produced focusing on motors highlighted as being of concern in the initial summary.
The system uses algorithms to pick out specific signals, explains Pinto. “If you’re concerned about bearings, our system can isolate the signals coming from the bearings itself,” he says, adding that more than 60% of failures in squirrel-cage motors occur in the bearings. “When bearings develop faults, they can lead to catastrophic failure.”

According to Pinto, older monitoring systems generated too many errors, mainly because motor noise could confuse the readings: “No one has looked at data the way we do,” he contends. “We recently filed three patents for our methodology.”

The MACHsense-P service will be available either as part of a regular maintenance plan, or as a one-off to troubleshoot a specific problem.
For details, contact

Next year, ABB plans to expand the service to include synchronous motors and wind generators.

  • To view a digital copy of the latest issue of Drives & Controls, click here.

    To visit the digital library of past issues, click here

    To subscribe to the magazine, click here

    To see the latest Products & Services Directory, click here



Birmingham 2020The next Drives & Controls Exhibition and Conference will take place in Birmingham, UK, from 21-23 April, 2020. For more information on the event, visit the Show Web site


"Do you think that robots create or destroy jobs?"



Most Read Articles