Acoustic-Based Machine Condition Monitoring – Methods and Challenges
The traditional means of monitoring the health of industrial systems involves the use of vibration and performance monitoring techniques amongst others. In these approaches, contact-type sensors, such as accelerometer, proximity probe, pressure transducer and temperature transducer, are installed on the machine to monitor its operational health parameters. However, these methods fall short when additional sensors cannot be installed on the machine due to cost, space constraint or sensor reliability concerns. On the other hand, the use of acoustic-based monitoring technique provides an improved alternative, as acoustic sensors (e.g., microphones) can be implemented quickly and cheaply in various scenarios and do not require physical contact with the machine. The collected acoustic signals contain relevant operating health information about the machine; yet they can be sensitive to background noise and changes in machine operating condition. These challenges are being addressed from the industrial applicability perspective for acoustic-based machine condition monitoring. This paper presents the development in method-ology for acoustic-based fault diagnostic techniques and highlights the challenges encountered when analyzing sound for machine condition monitoring.