Damage and Wear Assessment Using Condition-Based Monitoring

NCMS Project #: 140324


  • Limited weapon system availability and lack of reparable spares.
    • Unscheduled DoD Depot machinery downtime causes lost man hours, reduced capacity, and increased cycle time leading to reduced weapon system availability.
    • Manufacturing and plant/asset operations need to be maintained to ensure continued functionality. Preventative maintenance is not sufficient to avoid unscheduled and costly downtime of equipment.


  • Availability:
    • Early detection of a change increased equipment availability
    • Improved machine maintenance leads to increased production and therefore weapon system availability
  • Cost: Scheduled maintenance saves $$ in lieu of urgent maintenance.
  • Reliability:
    • Early prediction of plant equipment failure will result in repairs prior to production of substandard parts
    • 53% of machine changes were detected earlier using AE technology over vibration technology
  • Cycle Time: Less machine downtime resulted in higher throughput


Condition-Based Maintenance Technology

  • High-frequency Acoustic Emission (AE) signal was demonstrated as a viable solution.
  • AE has shown the ability to detect faults earlier than more traditional and established methods of condition monitoring.
  • Strong complement to vibration analysis.

AE prototypes demonstrated the following attributes:

  • Unscheduled maintenance reduction
  • Machine condition qualitative assessment
  • Comparative analysis with identical machines
  • Rate of degradation monitoring.
  • Provided information as to when intervention was required.

DOD Participation:

  • U.S. Army (Red River Army Depot)
  • U.S. Marine Corps (Albany and Barstow Maintenance Centers)
  • U.S. Navy (Fleet Readiness Centers Southwest and Southeast and Portsmouth Naval Shipyard)

Industry Participation:

  • Ford Motor Company
  • IMES
  • Wayne State University
  • NCMS

Final Report