Ultrasonic Bearing Inspection and Condition Monitoring

U E Systems Europe B.V Stand: B34

Predictive & pro-active inspection of rotating equipment with an instrument such as the Ultraprobe has many advantages.

Avoid production downtime by anticipating bearing failures and preventing lubrication issues.


Ultrasound can be used on all bearing speeds – including on slow speed bearings, as low as 1 RPM.


60 to 80% of bearing failures are lubrication-related. Identify a lack of lubrication and prevent over-lubrication.


Permanent mounted ultrasonic sensors can monitor bearings 24/7. Create trends and setup alarm levels.

Advantages of Ultrasound for Bearing Condition Monitoring

An ultrasound bearing inspection program provides:

- Early warning of bearing failure

- Detecting a lack of lubrication

- Preventing over-lubrication

- Advanced software to assist your work process & efficient analysis

Ultrasound can be used on all bearing speeds (high, medium and low). In addition, since ultrasound is a high frequency, short wave signal, it is possible to filter out stray, confusing background noises and focus on the specific item to be inspected.

How ultrasound bearing inspection works:

Ultrasound instruments detect friction. Mechanical movements produce a wide spectrum of sound. One of the major contributors to excessive stress in machinery is friction. By focusing on a narrow band of high frequencies, the Ultraprobe detects subtle changes in amplitude and sound quality produced by operating equipment. It then heterodynes these normally undetectable sounds down into the audible range where they are heard through headphones and observed on a display panel for trending, comparison, and analysis.

It has been established that ultrasound monitoring provides early warning of bearing failure. Various stages of bearing failure have been established:

- An 8 dB gain over baseline indicates pre-failure or lack of lubrication.

- A 12 dB increase establishes the very beginning of the failure mode.

- A 16 dB gain indicates advanced failure condition

- A 35-50 dB gain warns of catastrophic failure.

Bearing Lubrication with Ultrasound

As many as 60 to 80 percent of all bearing failures (catastrophic, functional and premature) are lubrication-related.

In addition to selecting the correct lubricant, use UE Systems’ ultrasound instruments to identify a lack of lubrication and prevent over lubrication conditions.

Set a baseline for each bearing, test routinely to note decibel increases. When a bearing reaches an 8 dB gain over baseline with no change in sound quality, it is in need of lubrication. When applying lubricant, stop when the dB level drops to baseline. It’s just that easy!

The UE Systems Grease Caddy is an instrument developed specifically for supporting your lubrication practices.


- Cost effective instrument for lubrication engineers

- Simple to operate

- Keeps your hands free to lubricate with the help of mounting bracket or belt holster

Bearings Remote & Online Monitoring

There are multiple options for remote and online bearing monitoring: Remote Access Sensors, 4Cast (excellent for slow speed bearings and critical bearings) and the OnTrak SmartLube (IIoT solution).

Predictive & pro-active inspection of rotating equipment with an instrument such as the Ultraprobe has many advantages.

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