Experienced users of ultrasound technology are finding more ways to achieve measurable results in 2018 and beyond.

   A lot of folks know that Airborne and Structure-borne (A&SB) ultrasound is a viable technology for leak detection and for troubleshooting rotating pieces of equipment. Hopefully you are using A&SB ultrasound for one of these applications in your organization. But did you know that you could be using the technology to accomplish much more? 

Frequency Drive Electrical Fault.jpg

    In the above example, waveform data collected from an ultrasound listening device (ULD) — in this case, the CTRL UL101 — and analyzed with spectral analysis in our web-based data management platform (InCTRL) reveals the presence of an electrical failure caused by frequency drives. To request and download white papers related to this topic, please CLICK HERE.

Bearing Fault.jpg

      In the above example, waveform data collected from a CTRL UL101 and analyzed with spectral analysis in InCTRL reveals the presence of a mechanical failure in a motor bearing. For decades, airborne and structure-borne (A&SB) ultrasound has been used to detect faulty bearings and to control lubrication processes. Software such as InCTRL allows the user to collect samples from each asset and represent the friction index of rotary components with a numeric value. Advanced use of the software utilizes the spectral analysis features to show specific deviations such as pitting, general wear, and other failure modes. To request and download white papers related to developing an ultrasound condition-based monitoring (CBM) reliability and/or lubrication program(s), please CLICK HERE.

      Finally, In the above example, waveform data collected from a CTRL UL101 and analyzed with spectral analysis in InCTRL reveals a mechanical deviation related to imbalance. The key to using software to detect subtle changes in ultrasonic activity is signal clarity. The UL101 has the highest signal-to-noise ratio of any ULD on the market today. This superior sound signal makes analysis simpler and more accurate.

      In addition to applications related to electrical failures, ultrasound technology and InCTRL can be used to develop lubrication programs, detect mechanical deviations due to imbalance, and perform non-pressurized integrity testing for quality control. As experienced ultrasound users continue to think outside the box in 2018, CTRL Systems is dedicated to helping them further the use of A&SB ultrasound as a first warning technology and use the information ultrasound provides to build better asset management programs. If you would like to receive more information about using ultrasound better in 2018  — or perhaps about using ultrasound CBM for the very first time  — please contact us today!

To request the following white papers, please click any of the links below: 

     Adopting ISO 29821-1 for Electrical Failure Diagnosis

     Increasing Personal Safety Using Airborne Ultrasound Inspection

     Non-Pressurized Cabin Testing in Aircraft, Automobiles, Railcars, and Heavy Equipment Manufacturing

     Precise Lubrication with InCTRL: Controlling the Lack and Excess of Lubrication with A&SB Ultrasound

     Ultrasound Condition-Based Monitoring: Data Collection and Database Management in the Cloud



UL101 Used to Find Opportunity to Improve Engine Efficiency in Speedboat

Riga, October 2016

Dear Benjamin

You may be interested in this story about using the UL101 for checking the engine and drive of a JT250 speedboat.

In the 2015 season, I was contacted by Endija Zaumane and her family. Endija is a fourteen-year-old girl and was the only female driver in the Baltic States powerboat championship.

Mr. Zaumane learned about very positive performance changes in his car as the result of his mechanic using the UL101 ultrasound technology together with SX6000.

JT250 Speedboat

The UL101 was used to get precise information about the condition of the engine and drive of the speedboat. The UL101 indicated high friction in two areas of the drive. It was also used to discover the ignition box was not in optimal working condition. The ignition box was replaced.

As a result, Zaumane became 2nd champion in 2015 in Latvia, Estonia, and Lithuania. In 2016, regular use of the UL101 helped Zaumane to become the Baltic champ due to the modifications in performance of the engine and drive of the speedboat. She recently participated in the world power boat speed contest in the United Kingdom where she set the world speed record for the JT250 speed boat class. She also set the national Latvian record in the T250 class, as well as the world record.

The results in Latvia are very promising for using the UL101 to identify friction and engine wear that can be treated with the SX6000 product to maximize engine performance and efficiency.

Many more should use the UL101 for its benefits of saving both time and money on locating and repairing present and potential mechanical problems.

Best regards,

JT250 Speedboat CTRL

Michael U. Chittka


In this link you will find the russian version of our Sx6000 video where you can see the UL101 is used for checking the condition of the engine and the workout.


UL101 Gets the Press in Germany

The CTRL UL101 has long been a critical tool for condition based monitoring and leak detection in Eastern Europe. CTRL Systems, Inc. and Richard Chambers GmbH (http://www.chambers-gmbh.de) have partnered for many years to introduce and integrate the unique CTRL technology.

Here are some recent publications that recognize the UL101 and InCTRL for its unique approach:

Further, Richard Chambers GmbH was awarded "Best Emissions Reduction Technologies Company" for their work with the UL101 and their lubricants to help reduce emissions in automotive and factories. Check out the interview with Mr. Chambers The Emissions Problem: Why Tech Solutions Matter

*The UL101 Ultrasound Detector is marketed by Richard Chambers GmbH as the "Ultraschall SPION 101" or Ultrasound Spy 101. www.ultraschallspion.de

UL101 Finds Vacuum Bag Leaks in Composite Manufacturing

Due to its sensitivity and ease of use, the UL101 has been adopted by several aerospace companies during production for finding and pinpointing leaks in vacuum bags. Composites are used in aerospace due to the high strength and low weight. This is achieved by finding the right ratio of fiber to resin. If there is too much resin in the laminate, the laminate will take on more of the properties of the resin. If there is too little resin, there will be weak spots in the composite.

The vacuum bagging is the technique used to squeeze out excess resin. The vacuum bag is done during the cure cycle. It removes trapped air between fiber layers of composite. It compacts the layers to maximize force and prevent shifting during cure. It reduces humidity, and most importantly, vacuum bagging optimizes the fiber-to-resin ratio. 

The vacuum bags are large sheets of nylon material. They need to be large enough to cover the composite material of the aircraft or wind turbine. A 190 foot wind turbine, for example, requires a vacuum bag that is 12 feet wide by 195 feet long. Occasionally, the vacuum bags come with tiny pinhole leaks, which would reduce the force applied and impact the quality of the product. (For more on wind turbine manufacturing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HaZ0kAshw6A&rel=0)

The UL101 Ultrasound Leak Detector is used to locate the leaks very quickly. Several quality control technicians are trained to use the UL101 to find leaks in a noisy plant environment (vacuum pumps, heavy machinery, etc.). Once trained, the technicians sweep the vacuum bag, listening for leaks with their UL101 Detectors. Once the leak is located, the pinhole can be sealed. The UL101 is used to confirm the seal is complete.

(sample video of NASA finding a vacuum leak on the International Space Station)

UL101 Demonstrates Reduction in Automotive Fuel Consumption

The following is referenced from a letter written by Ventspils Technical College in Latvia:

UL101 and Tacho-Spion

Ventspils Technical College, in cooperation with SIA Promex, on 14th December 2015
carried out an experiment on the motor of a Ford Transit 2.0 TD (74 kw) with about 800,000
km already driven. The aim of the experiment was to check whether the product SX-6000
reduces fuel consumption, and also the noise level of the engine. It also served as a practical
lesson for students as to how SX-6000 products should be applied in daily work.

At the start, a measuring vessel with a capacity of 1 litre was added to the petrol system,
to check exactly how much diesel the engine consumed before treatment when running idle. At the same time, the friction noise from the engine was measured at various points, using the
ultrasonic device CTRL UL101 Ultrasound Detector

After I hour's running and measuring the fuel consumption, SX-6000 oil system cleaner
was added to the engine, and it was run for 20 minutes, after which the old oil was drained out.
The oil filter was replaced and the engine was then refilled to 80% of its capacity with new
engine oil. The engine was cooled to below 40°C, and then, after the surface coating SX-6000
was added to bring the oil content to 100%, the processing was carried out according to the
manufacturer's instructions.

After the processing was completed, the measuring vessel was again filled with I litre of
the same petrol like before used, and the engine was run idling for exactly t hour. Then the
noise levels were measured again with the CTRL ULl0l.

After the experiment, we concluded that the use of the product SX-6000 had reduced
the fuel consumption by about 8% (the manufacturer guarantees 5%). The measurements with
the UL101 ultrasonic device showed a significant reduction in the engine noise. These changes could also be heard in the car cabin, running much more smoothly and quieter than before SX-6000 was applied.

Published with permission from
SIA Promex, Titurgas iela 20, Baloži, Ķekavas novads, Latvija, LV-2128

UL101 Saves $10,000's in Power Plant for Reheat Vacuum Leak Checks

     A Client Power Station of CTRL Systems, Inc. utilizes the UL101 Ultrasound Detector for offline reheat leak detection.  The Station has a number of 700 MW boilers.  When a boiler unit is removed from service for any reason, a “reheat vacuum check” is performed to ensure there are no failures that must be addressed while the unit is offline.  

     The UL101 is able to detect if a small crack is present.  It is first verified that vacuum is at or above 25” HGV.  Once vacuum has been verified, a walkthrough of the reheat (18’ wide X 69’ long X 20’ in depth) is done slowly with the CTRL UL101.  This walkthrough is performed in two locations as they also check other surrounding surfaces such as the Platen Inlet Pendants, Platen Intermediate Pendants, and Finishing Superheat Pendants, which also have vacuum on them as well.  

     In the event that a check either was not performed or a leak was missed and the unit was returned to service, the unit would be offline again likely within 24 to 48 hours for repairs as it would not be capable of running for any length of time with a leak.  

The cost of the repair if leaks are not located and repaired is estimated: 

  • $80,000 to $90,000 in craft labor,
  • 60 to 72 hours of lost generation which could be upwards of $240,000 (at only a $5 MWHr margin, a low margin in the summer or winter if the plant is running hard), 
  • and $90,000 of fuel cost for start-up. 
Power Plant

5 Reasons to Use Ultrasound as a Predictive Maintenance Tool and 5 Reasons to Take a Systematic Approach

          Predictive maintenance is a systematic approach utilizing multiple techniques by reliability engineers and technicians that is designed to help determine when lubrication, repairs, or equipment replacement should be performed based upon the condition of the asset. Repairs are only performed when warranted, which offers significant costs and time savings over preventive (time based) and reactive (run-to-failure) maintenance practices. 

5 Reasons to Start With Ultrasound as a Predictive Maintenance Tool

  1. Emergency Situation – UL101 indicates and locates problems faster than traditional methods.
  2. Help Fighting Fires – UL101 minimizes time for diagnosing and extinguishing those fires that appear with regularity
  3. Your organization lacks time or manpower – UL101 + InCTRL is easy to use; the first step to a healthy plant
  4. Budget is limited – start with a technology that is used for multiple applications
  5. Want to address quality control or leak detection issues only  

5 Reasons to Take a Systematic Approach to Ultrasound Predictive Maintenance

  1. Measureable Results – CTRL works with our clients to identify Key Performance Indicators (KPI) and Return on Investment (ROI) 
  2. Documented, Repeatable Procedures - duplicated at multiple sites for best results
  3. Trained Workforce – Combat turnover and retirement losses. Ultrasound experience is easily shared with new employees
  4. Expand using ultrasound from energy savings to predictive maintenance of critical assets
  5. Data Easily Available for Analysis - mid/upper level management can utilize the data to make critical, financial decisions that would benefit the organization


CTRL Systems, Inc. helps our clients achieve their goals through both product purchase and support contracting for a systematic approach, depending upon individual needs and budgetary constraints.

A predictive maintenance program is, by its definition, a systematic approach to maintenance. Most organizations fail to implement predictive maintenance tools like ultrasound, vibration analysis, infrared, etc. because they purchase tools. CTRL Systems can help our clients and partners with the critical steps to implementing a successful predictive program include the following:
•    Identify critical assets based upon predetermined criteria
•    Establish performance metrics (KPI's)
•    Define conditions and procedures for testing using the UL101 and InCTRL
•    Train and educate multiple levels of personnel within the organization on use and benefits of ultrasound PdM
•    Define a timeline for implementation, cost benefit analysis, etc.

UL101 Finds Electrical Problem in Transformer

 Transformer Cable

Transformer Cable

Before the UL101 ultrasound detector was being used for routine maintenance in their electrical system, an aluminum mill had an issue with this connection on a 2000 kV transformer at one of their facilities. The "former" technician did not buy the correct sized cable, though. They decided to put three cables together in one crimp figuring those 3 together would carry the same rated ampacity as buying the recommended cable. It went by for several years like that but no one knows at what point the cable got as corroded as it did.

The UL101 was purchased and the maintenance technicians were trained as part of the predictive maintenance program. Electrical inspections are now performed quarterly in panels and on the transformers using both ultrasound and infrared. 

Once the UL101 was utilized, it was discovered that this connector was producing ultrasound caused by the corrosion. However, infrared did not detect the problem due to no heat being emitted. The transformer was turned off during production off-hours and visually inspected. The corrosion was apparent when looked at closely. The corroded cable was replaced and put back into service at a cost of $200. 

There are two other scenarios that could have occurred if the UL101 was not used to discover the partial discharge from this connector. 

  1. Corroded connection shorts tripping breaker, shuts down equipment unexpectedly - estimated $8,400 cost avoidance savings ($3,300 probability weighted benefit)
  2. Corroded connection shorts tripping breaker, shuts down equipment unexpectedly, transformer gets damaged beyond repair, must be replaced with new - estimated $118,000 cost avoidance savings ($59,000 probability weighted benefit)

The UL101 continues to be utilized for routine inspection for the electrical and mechanical predictive/preventive maintenance programs. And now, InCTRL is being integrated into the program for recording, trending, analysis, and reporting. 


Market for Compressed Air Ultrasonic Leak Detection

Many of our customers bought the UL101 and PowerBeam 300 for leak detection. In fact, according to various customer surveys, 50% of our client base only uses the UL101 ultrasonic detector for compressed air leaks (They should take advantage of other applications as well). 

There are many approaches to compressed air leak detection. We spoke with a customer recently who performed 10 air leak surveys last year at various customer sites throughout the Midwest. They stated that their clients were aware of the problem: not enough compressor capacity, too many leaks. A problem defined is a problem half solved. 

But what do companies want from a leak detection program? This client suggested they simply wanted them to find and tag the leaks. Many customers want the leak detector to quantify the leak in order to estimate savings or prioritize repairs (note: ultrasound cannot quantify cfm loss). We have found that the most successful clients are the ones that are invested - time and money - to a healthy compressed air system, but not every organization has time and money.

What does your organization want?

  1. Ultrasonic Leak Detector
  2. Flag and Tag Service (repairs add-on)
  3. Power and flow monitoring / measurements
  4. Turn-Key supply/demand optimization for a completely healthy system

email your response: info@ctrlsys.com 

UL101 Tests Low Pressure Valves & Steam Traps in Petro-Chem Plant

Recently, the UL101 was put to the test. A certain petro-chem plant uses steam throughout its process to produce fungicides, herbicides, and insecticides. The steam flow and pressure differential within the steam system is just a few psia. This makes the detection of internal by-pass leaks very difficult. However, due to the high sensitivity and great signal-to-noise ratio of the UL101, the technicians were able to distinguish proper steam trap and valve operation.

The UL101 does not require changing frequency to listen to different applications, which makes operation of the detector rather simple.  The sensitivity and signal-to-noise ratio is incomparable to other ultrasound detectors. For these reasons, the UL101 can be used to easily diagnose valves with a single point of contact. If, for example, a valve is open, the UL101 detects the steady flow of gas or liquid as it passes through the valve. When the valve is closed, no sound can be heard. If the valve is closed, and sound can be heard through the headset and/or displayed on the InCTRL screen, there is an internal by-pass leak through the valve. 

InCTRL records the steam trap opening/closing as heard through the UL101.

UL101 and UT2000 Used For Quality Control of Freight Cars

The UL101 Ultrasound Detector is used together with the UT2000 Universal Transmitter to test freight cars for leaks during manufacturing and quality control.  Each rail car, some are as long as 80 feet (25 m), is tested. The UT2000 is turned on and placed inside each compartment of the freight car. The UL101 Receiver is used to scan gaskets, hatch covers, and more for leaks. If a leak is detected, repairs are completed and confirmed using the same process. 

It is important that all leaks are quickly discovered and repaired. The freight cars carry grain, rice, sugar, fracking sand, cement and much more. It is imperative that the product does not get wet during transport. Prior to using the UL101, each car was inspected visually. A person used a flashlight from the inside of the car. Another person looked for the escaping light. This process took a long time and was not always accurate. Using the UL101 saves a lot of time and has been 100% accurate for leak checking.

NASA uses UL101 on International Space Station to find a leak

Node 3 Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly (CDRA) Leak Check Status: Yesterday, Kelly located a likely source of the leak in N3 CDRA during the inspection with Ultrasonic Leak Detector (ULD - "UL101 Ultrasound Detector"). This leak was discovered following the installation of the new CDRA beds back in May of this year. Ground teams will be reviewing the data and developing a leak repair task for the crew to perform in the future. Overnight, the N3 CDRA was activated and operated nominally following the replacement of Air Selector Valve (ASV) 104, and it is actively scrubbing Carbon Dioxide (CO2). ASV Spares Correction - Yesterday's Daily Summary Report stated that the next CDRA ASV spare is expected to arrive on HTV-5 which is incorrect. The next pristine spare is expected to arrive NET Orb-4. There are two degraded spares that can be cleaned on-orbit if needed.

UL101 and SoundCTRL Used For Diagnosing Aircraft Engines

In response to the release of InCTRL Mobile, we received the following information from a long-time user of the UL101: The UL101 is a complete tool now. I used it so very well with SoundCTRL for diagnosing aircraft engines in the engine test bed in a leading aircraft manufacturing government organization. 

Engine diagnosis is another example of using the UL101 in the aviation industry. CTRL Systems, Inc. has worked with many different aviation organizations (both commercial and government) for the integration of the UL101 from production quality control to support/aftercare of the aircraft. 

A few examples of using the UL101 for aircraft include:

  • Bleed Air System Leak Detection
  • Valves for Internal By-Pass Hydraulic Leaks
  • Cockpit Pressure and Fuselage Testing
  • Vacuum Bag Leak Detection
  • Fuel Tank Leak Detection
  • Pitot Static System Leak Detection
  • Many more including Oxygen lines, actuators, spark plugs, exhaust system, etc. 

NASA Facilities Use UL101 and PowerBeam for Electrical Inspection

CTRL Systems, Inc. is well known for its work with NASA in design and provision of ultrasound technology to meet NASA's strict standards. The UL101 is used on the International Space Station and was standard equipment on all Space Shuttles as the result of CTRL's capability to deliver the highest quality product as a "space hardened" version. 

But CTRL's work with NASA did not stop with product delivery to space. The UL101 is being used by several laboratories and facilities throughout the NASA organization. One facility uses the UL101 together with the PowerBeam 300 for routine preventive maintenance of the medium and high voltage overhead power lines and transformers for which it is responsible. They are able to quickly inspect by listening for any arcing or buzzing sounds. No sound is expected from the insulators. Any ultrasound noise is an indication of partial discharge in the form of arcing, tracking, or corona. Such electrostatic discharge is the result of dirt or carbon deposits that, if ignored, could lead to arc flashover and insulator failure. 

Inspection of the electrical system provides early indication, before catastrophic failure. Once a noise is discovered, the insulators are cleaned with an industrial wax. The UL101 is used to determine that the sound is no longer present, an indication that the insulators have returned to optimum, safe operating condition. There has been no catastrophic failure or accidents since the UL101 and PowerBeam 300 has been used.

CTRL UL101 Replaces Rain Test For Shelter Systems

One of the clients of CTRL Systems, Inc. is an industry leader in the design, engineering, manufacturing, integration, modification, testing, and repair of tactical shelters, modular containers, and custom enclosures.

After pre-screening 100% Gichner Systems Group, through its Gichner Shelter Systems and CMCI subsidiaries, is the industry leader in the design, engineering, manufacturing, integration, modification, testing, and repair of tactical shelters, modular containers, and custom enclosures.

Each of the constructed shelters is tested for leaks by quality control. The shelters are run through a rain shed to determine if any water gets inside. It is imperative that the shelters are leak proof since they could be used in various climates to store mission critical electronic equipment.

The staff was trained on use and operation of the UL101 and UT2000 ultrasound test equipment for testing non-pressurized vessels for leaks. After pre-screening 100% of the shelters with the ultrasound method, they were passed through normal quality control procedures. There was a "very good correlation" between the ultrasound leak checking and the actual rain test results.

As a confidence trial, three additional shelters were tested with ultrasound that had known leaks. The UL101 found each of the leakage points. All three containers were then tested with the rain system and showed the same results. 

Using the UL101 and UT2000 helped reduce the rain test sample rate from 100% to just one rain test per day, saving an enormous amount of labor costs and time. 

UL101 & SoundCTRL Used by TachoSpion in Germany takes 250,000+ Vehicle Measurements

Every running motor produces ultrasonic noises.
Just as with the human voice and finger-prints.

The source of the ultrasound can be identified, recorded and analysed, motors from different manufactures have individual sound signatures.

Every engine has its own individual “voice“, which changes through its lifetime, and it is dependant on the degree of wear and the present frictional status.

Therefore our testing method with Tacho Spion (Speedo Spy) gives a clear picture of the condition of the engine, which results from the quality and frequency of service, the way it has been driven and as well as the real distance being driven.

The principles of ultrasonic fault-finding are well known in the industry mainly developed to check on large high tec systems. Ultrasonic sounds are often indicators of defects, and with the extreme sensitivity of the UL 101, these can be detected in early stages.

SpeedoSpy has been used since 2001 to analyse over 9.900 motor/chassis combinations.

This results in a total of over 250,000 measurements, each tied in to the indicated driven mileage and has produced a statistically valid data-base for our present and future tests and evaluations.

To achieve an accuracy of ± 10% miles compared with the odometer reading is dependant on the real distance being travelled, on the quality of maintenance and the type of driving (city or highway, passive or sportive).

The measuring takes only a few minutes and requires no disassembling of the engine.

The measured values are compared with the data-base online, and the results are available instantly.

Just like the engine, other components can be checked, such as:

Water pump
Power steering pump

Courtesy: Michael Schmutzenhofer
Tacho-Spion / SpeedoSPY

Mob:  +49-177-2725197
Tel:  +49-821-26710288
Fax:  +49-821-792836

Use UL101 for Safe Inspection of Electrical Cabinets

The UL101 is a proven technology for electrical inspection. Electrical discharge produces ultrasound, which is detected by the UL101. This discharge can be the result of arcing, tracking or corona (medium/high voltage). The ultrasound detected by the UL101 is converted down into the audible range and output through a headset. A distinct buzzing can indicate the presence of an electrical discharge and an early indication of potential hazard such as arcing or tracking (can sound like frying eggs).

The UL101 is used to sweep the cabinets before they are opened, a major advantage over infrared inspection. If there is any indication of intense ultrasound, steps can be taken to minimize the risks of arc flash. 

The recording in image was taken of ultrasound in a transformer where no heat was present. The sound demonstrates the need to safely clean the transformer before it becomes damaged to the point that arcing or tracking occurs.

Major Indian Oil Refinery Saves $28,000 USD In Just 1 Department

A major public sector refinery in India implements a compressed air leak & Nitrogen detection survey using CTRL UL101 Ultrasound Technology in recognition of its green initiatives and energy savings program.

An air balance study indicated that there were several leakages in the air distribution system of this oil refinery. Apart from this; due to air leakage, desired air pressure was not maintained in the unit battery limits. As a result, hampering in the process was occurring intermittently. Low air pressure due to leakage can trip the process units, which has a large impact on different units. 

Most of the air leaks were not visible or audible and could only be detected with the UL101 Ultrasound Detector. Further, it required that the UL101 technologies be used by technicians having the expertise and understanding to archive the savings on a sustained basis.


•    The compressed air leak survey over two surveys in one year in one department helped the refinery to reduce their loss from 508.00 Nm3/hr to 239.86 Nm3/hr.
•    The Refinery consists of 20 Units/Dept, The leak detection survey carried out for both Plant air and Instrument air for just one department.
•    The monetary value savings due to reduction in leaks is approximately $28,000 USD / Year.
•    This was then extended to the other 20 departments also, and is an ongoing exercise.
•   Even though the refinery has two CTRL UL101 devices, annual service and monitoring is still provided for measurements to success.



Ultrasound Condition Based Monitoring Provides Early Indication

Ultrasound inspection of motor bearings and gearboxes is a proven non-destructive method for condition based monitoring. Using the UL101 together with software for comparative and baseline analysis has immediate impact to the bottom line through cost avoidance.

There is no single ultrasound characteristic that will, when considered alone, help determine the condition of a component under test. Digital indicators of relative measurements such as decibels or root mean squared (RMS) should not be solely used for trending. A significant change in average amplitude is just one indication of a problem. However, change in amplitude can also indicate change in speed and load. 

Another factor to consider when monitoring bearings is the quick spikes in a signal, called EPS by CTRL. These events are loud impacts relative to the average amplitude that indicate excessive wear. Further, these events occur much earlier in the ultrasound frequency range than indicated by vibration or heat. 

Monitoring a bearing routinely for both average amplitude and events is a good practice for establishing what a good bearing should "sound like." Changes to the characteristic sound indicate changes to the condition of the component under test. Addressing the potential problems early will avert catastrophic failure, save production downtime, parts swapping, and man-hours.

UL101 Finds Leaks in Nitrogen System

A client posted the following after purchasing the UL101 and PowerBeam:

I used the UL101 in our plant in South Carolina. This was the first time any kind of leak detection was done in the plant that was built in 2006.

One of the first leaks I found was a crack in a NPT to compression connector. These are used on our nitrogen system in the production area, and there are probably close to 100 of these connection used. We found a slight crack with the UL101 in the casting on the NPT side. When tightened onto the tapered threads of the NPT, it opens up to be very visible. But the leak was never heard over the noise in the production room. I found a total of 6 of these cracked fittings. Later on, I set the connector up to compressed air and a flow meter. At a 110 psi it was leaking 11 CFM, a very significant leak.
These connectors probably got cracked from over tightening during instillation in 2006. 
The other major leak I found, was on a 1 inch pipe where it was threaded into a coupling. (The thread was cracked) This was also a nitrogen line used as a main trunk across the building. And also installed in 2006.  I first spotted it, (heard it) using the Power Beam. It was laying on the buildings purlin about 12 feet above the floor. I knew the pipes were up there, (2, one inch pipes, one for air and one for nitrogen)  but you could not see them from the floor. I heard it with the Power Beam, and later used a man lift to get up there to determine exactly where the leak was.  
We will now check all new piping projects when completed, rather than letting them leak for years.