Detection of bearing failure due to lack of lubrication

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Test Motors, through its predictive maintenance tool TestIM, allows to detect faults of the motor or of a component, in this case the bearing of a generator. It is a 3.7 MW alternator of cogeneration, powered by a 16-piston combustion motor.


During the months of January and February 2017, the TestIM system detects vibration increases in the cogeneration generator. After analyzing the vibration data, it is observed that the vibrations have a tendency to increase clearly and oscillate between high magnitudes. A critical bearing frequency also appears, indicating a possible breakdown in the outer race of the bearing. According to the experience of Test Motors in this type of failure, the customer is recommended as a first step of correction, to perform a lubrication of the bearing.

grafica rodamiento falta engrase

In the graph we observe that in January begin to increase the values ​​of vibration, and at the beginning of February their values ​​exceed the established limits. At the end of the lubrication work, we observe that the vibrations are kept low and stable.


According to the recommendation of Test Motors, the customer lubricated the bearings for several days. After the lubrication, the vibration behavior in the generator has improved considerably according to the data of the graph.