Prevention of a catastrophic failure on a cement crusher planetary gearbox

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In a perfect world, the easiest solution to ensure maximum production uptime, would be for all industry experts to live onsite around the clock! With the aim of ensuring that dedicated experts are always in the neighborhood, I-care created its condition monitoring remote diagnosis solution. The Wi-care wireless condition monitoring system performs online, real-time analysis of a particular machine to predict eventual failure. The system performs the onsite data collection while certified analysts analyze your data offsite to deliver comprehensive recommendations 24/7. This wireless and remote strategy offers cost savings over routine-based maintenance and a very flexible solution for troubleshooting and monitoring.

The following case study represents a typical remote analysis application of a gear defect. The fault was detected in a very effective way for the customer and analyst.

Equipment, plant overview, Context

The Manufacturing site is a Cement Plant operating at close to full capacity, established for many years in Western Europe. The Equipment is a very large cement ball mill. The suspected machine components are the gearbox and its associated electrical drive (1MW). The Customer requested I-Care support after a suspected increase in vibration level. In order to do an in-depth and concise monitoring and diagnosis of the vibration on the complete assembly, the analyst decided to install Wi-care wireless system.

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Analyst diagnosis and spectrum justification: Gear frequency

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The Wi-care system is set up on the gearbox and the electrical drive in minutes using magnetic locators to cover classical vibration directions, vertical, horizontal and axial planes. Note on the right side of the picture the Wi-care speed sensor directly measuring with a key-phasor on the shaft.


Standard spectrum collected via Wi-care in the vertical axis. Display in speed units. The dominant frequency appear at 373,9 Hz and its harmonics

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On a closer zoom on 373,9 Hz appears modulation at 5Hz. The amplitude is close to 4 mm/sec RMS.


Sun : 25 teethcase study7

Planets : 99 teeth

Ring : 224 teeth

Reference speed : 997 RPM





case study2Calculated Gear mesh frequency of 373,71 Hz and its harmonics match the measured frequency of 373,9 Hz. Detected 5Hz modulation are linked to a ring defect (5.01 calculated). Amplitude trend indicate a 100% growth in a few days. The decision was taken by the customer based on analyst recommendations via Wi-care measurement to initiate the maintenance inspection. The Root cause of the gear defect is an excessive looseness in the gear assembly due to structural cracks.



ROI and time frame

Repair delay of gear and ring 3 Months
Repair cost of gear and ring 300 000 €
Gearbox replacement delay >6 Months
Gearbox replacement cost 1000 000 €
Wi-care system + install + close monitoring + expertise diagnosis + reporting < 10 k€


Wi-care product and remote diagnosis overview

What is it ?

The Wi-care™ system is the latest wireless condition monitoring system from I-Care. The system has been designed to detect, measure and analyse the root causes of excessive levels of vibration and temperature. The Wi-care system is a cost-effective tool used to report any vibration or temperature deviation in a short time. The I-CARE team of engineers using the data from Wi-care are able to give you a condition monitoring remote diagnosis at any time 24 hours a day/7 days a week. The condition based maintenance partnership has been created to give you the chance to correct a potential problem before it occurs.

Case study1The solution developed in the Wi-care system is based on a receiver connected on the internet and able to manage up to 144 transmitters, each transmitter sending vibration and temperature data. In order to reach long distance data transfer and remote locations, the WI-care involves a range extender in its network. Using a web-based portal to manage the system avoids any extra cost and any difficulties linked to software. We all know how frustrating it is when you are waiting for your data analysis and you can’t take any quick condition based maintenance decision due to software issues.

Added value?

Online monitoring based on permanent wired sensors can be expensive in many applications. Wireless monitoring with wireless vibration sensors improves the reliability of difficult-to-monitor assets with quick and cost effective installation. Wireless vibration’s added value result in a more flexible system, cutting expense and labour costs on installation and maintenance of the old wired vibration and temperature sensors. Consider that you attach the sensors using extra-strong magnets where you need them and in minutes they create a large network of real time data transmission to the gateway data manger in accordance with the range extender. The solution created by Wi-care is very flexible and cost effective because it allows the reuse of existing piezoelectric vibration sensors and turns them into wireless vibration sensors with the single action of plugging the sensor into transmitter.

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Distributors wanted

You like our wireless system; you believe your customers will be also enthusiastic.  I invite you to join our team to develop your activity via the Wi-care system.
Join the I-CARE growing network by answering our research for durable sales partnership over Europe, Africa, Asia and USA.
Send me an email at
Nicolas Bleret, I-care, Belgium
Business Development director