Condition Monitoring Techniques: Advanced Strategies for Facilities Management

Effective facilities management relies on maintaining operational integrity, optimizing performance, and mitigating risks. Among the challenges facilities managers face, proactive monitoring of equipment and infrastructure conditions is crucial.

Moreover, condition monitoring techniques utilizing advanced methodologies and technologies have become indispensable tools for facilities management professionals. These techniques not only detect potential faults early but also enable predictive maintenance, preventing costly downtimes and minimizing risks.

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Key Takeaways

    1. What is condition monitoring?
    2. How does condition monitoring work?
    3. What are the benefits of condition monitoring?
    4. Condition-based monitoring techniques
    5. How to effectively implement condition monitoring?

What is condition monitoring?

Condition monitoring is a predictive maintenance method that relies on real-time data collection to monitor the health of equipment and systems. Its core objective is to detect problems and anomalies before they escalate into major breakdowns. Consequently, it reduces unexpected downtime and extends the lifespan of valuable assets.

When organizations adopt condition monitoring techniques, they regularly collect data from sensors and high-tech devices installed on the assets they want to track. These sensors monitor various parameters such as vibration, temperature, pressure, and sound. Subsequently, maintenance teams delve into this data, employing specialized techniques and software tools to analyze and interpret it effectively.

How does it work?

Condition monitoring within facilities management involves gathering and analyzing data from a range of sensors and monitoring devices. This predictive maintenance method enables facility managers to anticipate and address potential issues by continuously evaluating the health and performance of critical systems and equipment.

Outlined below are the typical steps involved in the process of condition monitoring:

1. Data collection

Sensors, meters, and other monitoring devices are installed throughout the facility to gather data on key parameters such as temperature, pressure, vibration, electrical currents, and more. These sensors may be directly integrated into the equipment or connected to a central monitoring system.

2. Data analysis

The collected data is analyzed using advanced algorithms and software tools. This analysis aims to identify patterns, trends, anomalies, or deviations from normal operating conditions that could indicate potential issues or failures.

3. Fault detection

By continuously monitoring equipment performance, condition monitoring systems can detect early signs of deterioration, wear and tear, or impending failures. This allows facility managers to take proactive measures before the problem escalates into a costly breakdown.

4. Predictive maintenance

One of the key benefits of condition monitoring is its ability to enable predictive maintenance strategies. By analyzing equipment data and performance trends, facility managers can predict when maintenance or repairs are likely to be needed, allowing them to schedule maintenance activities during planned downtime, thereby minimizing disruption to operations.

5. Risk mitigation

Condition monitoring helps in mitigating risks associated with equipment failures, downtime, safety hazards, and environmental impacts. By identifying potential issues early on, facility managers can take corrective actions to prevent accidents, minimize downtime, and ensure compliance with regulations.

What are the benefits of condition monitoring?

Even with routine maintenance, mechanical failures can still occur. Condition monitoring techniques help to take control, proactively preventing breakdowns. It operates seamlessly, conserving resources by reducing unnecessary maintenance, secondary damages, and lost productivity. Integrating condition monitoring into routine maintenance programs enhances machine functionality and long-term productivity.

There are several key benefits of condition monitoring for managing the health of machinery:

1. Monitor assets in real-time

Real-time asset monitoring involves continuously collecting data from sensors and equipment installed on critical assets. By doing so, organizations gain immediate insights into asset health, performance, and potential issues.


  • Early detection: Real-time monitoring allows prompt identification of anomalies, faults, or deviations from normal operations. This enables proactive intervention before problems escalate.
  • Improved decision-making: Access to real-time data enables maintenance teams to make informed decisions, allocate resources efficiently, and prioritize actions based on actual asset conditions.
2. Minimize maintenance costs

Condition monitoring helps minimize maintenance expenses by optimizing resource allocation and reducing unnecessary interventions.


  • Predictive maintenance method: Instead of following fixed schedules, maintenance activities are triggered based on actual asset conditions. This prevents over-maintenance and reduces costs.
  • Avoiding unnecessary repairs: Real-time data ensures that maintenance efforts are focused on assets that truly need attention, avoiding unnecessary repairs or replacements.
3. Extend asset life

Regular monitoring and timely interventions contribute to asset longevity.


  • Preventing premature failures: Addressing issues early prevents wear and tear, prolonging the life of critical components.
  • Optimized usage: By understanding asset behavior, organizations can optimize usage patterns, reducing stress on equipment and extending its operational life.
4. Prioritize maintenance activities

Condition monitoring provides insights to prioritize maintenance tasks effectively.


  • Risk-based approach: Assets with higher risk profiles receive more attention. Critical systems are monitored closely, while less critical ones follow a less intensive maintenance schedule.
  • Resource allocation: Maintenance efforts are allocated based on asset importance, safety implications, and operational impact.
5. Reduce unplanned downtime

Unplanned downtime disrupts operations and affects productivity.


  • Early warnings: Real-time monitoring alerts maintenance teams to potential failures, allowing them to take preventive measures.
  • Scheduled maintenance: By addressing issues proactively, organizations can schedule maintenance during planned downtime, minimizing disruptions.

Condition-based monitoring techniques

Condition monitoring begins with a basic inspection, where small changes such as abnormal temperatures or pressures, strange sounds, excessive vibrations, or unusual odors serve as early indicators of potential problems. However, condition monitoring methods range from the simplest checks to advanced technology.

Below are five essential types of condition monitoring techniques used primarily in facility operations:

1. Vibration analysis

Detect abnormal vibrations in rotating machinery, indicating potential faults like misalignment, or bearing wear. Thereby, enabling timely maintenance to prevent breakdowns.

How it works:

  • Sensors detect vibrations in different frequency ranges.
  • The software analyzes these vibrations to identify irregularities, imbalances, misalignments, or bearing wear.


  • Detect mechanical issues early.
  • Prevent catastrophic failures.
  • Optimize maintenance schedules.
2. Oil analysis

Examine lubricating oils to identify contaminants, wear particles, and chemical changes. Besides, providing insights into equipment health and allowing proactive maintenance to extend lifespan and prevent failures.

How it works:

  • Regular oil samples are taken from machinery.
  • Laboratory analysis checks for contaminants, wear particles, viscosity changes, and oxidation.


  • Identify abnormal wear or contamination.
  • Guide oil change intervals.
  • Enhance equipment reliability.
3. Thermography

Capture thermal images to detect overheating, insulation defects, and other anomalies in equipment and electrical systems. As a result, facilitating targeted maintenance to prevent damage and downtime.

How it works:

  • Scan equipment surfaces to identify hotspots or abnormal temperature gradients.
  • Anomaly indicate electrical faults, insulation issues, or mechanical problems.


  • Detect of electrical faults early.
  • Prevent fires or equipment damage.
  • Non-invasive and efficient.
4. Acoustic analysis

Monitor machine sound patterns to identify abnormal noises associated with faults like bearing wear or fluid leaks. From there, enabling early diagnosis and intervention to maintain equipment reliability.

How it works:

  • Microphones capture sound emissions during normal operation.
  • Algorithms analyze changes in sound patterns.


  • Detect bearing wear, leaks, or loose components.
  • Useful for inaccessible or hazardous areas.
  • Real-time monitoring.
5. Electrical monitoring

Track electrical parameters like voltage, current, and power quality to detect faults, overload conditions, or insulation breakdowns. At the same time, ensuring safe and reliable operation to prevent electrical hazards and disruptions.

How it works:

  • Monitor voltage, current, and power quality.
  • Detect abnormalities like voltage sags, harmonics, or unbalanced loads.


  • Prevent electrical failures.
  • Ensure safety and compliance.
  • Reduce energy waste.

How to effectively implement condition monitoring?

The execution of condition monitoring techniques seamlessly aligns with its foundational pillars, which encompass detection, diagnosis, prognosis, and program. These pillars form the backbone of a comprehensive approach to maintenance management. Therefore, keeping important equipment running smoothly in different industries.

1. Detection

Timing matters: Detection focuses on the “when” of a machine fault.

It includes:

  • When the issue may have started.
  • How early it was noticed.
  • The duration must be tended to until it turns into a failure.
2. Diagnosis

Understanding the “What”: Diagnosis focuses on the nature of the fault.

In this step, you will:

  • Investigate the origin of the issue.
  • Assess its current stage.
  • Evaluate how fast it’s growing.
  • Identify any machine parts that may be affected.
3. Prognosis

Forecasting consequences: Prognosis estimates the severity of the fault.

Considerations include:

  • Possible results and production loss.
  • Side effects related to safety, performance, or other aspects.
4. Programme

Scheduling repairs: The program phase revolves around the repair timeline.


  • Decide when machines need maintenance or repair.
  • Set a maintenance policy.
  • Create a timeline for corrective actions.

In conclusion, adopting advanced condition monitoring techniques represents a pivotal advancement in facility management. By integrating complex strategies for detecting, diagnosing, and predicting potential issues, organizations can proactively safeguard the health and performance of critical assets. These techniques not only enhance operational efficiency but also minimize downtime and maintenance costs, ultimately driving sustainable growth and competitiveness.

Furthermore, as technology continues to evolve, applying innovative approaches to condition monitoring will be paramount for ensuring the resilience and reliability of facilities across diverse industries. Through a commitment to continuous improvement and the application of cutting-edge methodologies, facility managers can effectively navigate the complexities of maintenance management. Thus, paving the way for a future of optimized performance and operational excellence.

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