Kittiwake recently announced the launch of its MHC Bearing Checker, a small handheld device that can provide instant indication of machinery condition. The acoustic emission-based instrument is designed as a cost-effective solution to monitoring an unlimited number of machines on a periodic basis.

Based on the detection of high-frequency activity that is naturally generated by deterioration in rotating machinery, the MHC Bearing Checker’s Distress parameter removes the need for machine-specific interpretations. If the Distress parameter is greater than 10, the user knows there is a problem and can instigate further checks. A decibel level is also provided, giving an indication of the overall noise of the bearing, which increases with the rotation speed as well as with degradation of the bearing or inadequate lubrication.

Each measurement takes approximately 10 seconds and requires no setup, previous history or knowledge of machine design details such as bearing type, number of balls or race diameters. The same Distress interpretation is applied across all machine types, effectively “deskilling” the technology so maintenance professionals can take a proactive approach to predictive maintenance and make informed decisions quickly and with confidence.

“The MHC Bearing Checker provides entry-level condition monitoring at a price that makes it a feasible addition to every engineer’s back pocket,” says Martin Lucas, Kittiwake Group’s managing director. “This is a simple, cost-effective means of spotting problems in bearings, gearboxes, motors and pumps at an early stage, ultimately saving the company money by avoiding downtime.”

The unit is powered by an internal rechargeable battery, offering up to 1,000 measurements between charges. Recharging is accomplished through a micro USB port. The device can be connected to any standard PC USB port for ease of recharging.

“The MHC Bearing Checker provides an instant indication of machinery health, but the real value stems from collating historical data and trending,” Lucas adds. “Devising routes and analyzing results over time enables a better understanding of machinery and creates real intelligence on how the bearings react to changes in operation, how issues develop and how long it will last until complete failure.”

For more information, visit www.kittiwake.com.