53 Reliability

53North provide a number of specialist reliability services using an interconnected web of tools and practices that involve both reliability, engineering and lean principles at its core in order to improve plant performances.

Condition Based Maintenance (CBM) solutions provide the back bone to 53Norths reliability services and plays a vital role in the Preventative Maintenance (PM) element. CBM support makes maintenance data driven, introduces standards with datum points for inspection, allows for predictive and preventative solutions to asset care and reduces the need for intrusive practices, reducing the amount of early life or induced failure.   The Condition Monitoring techniques utilised in the application of CBM include the 53 elements VA, SWA, UI, TI, HSD, ASC, SD, & CMS, however rather than just monitoring equipment, CBM is a strategy to act only on condition, rather than fixed time intervals leading to optimised life cycles for equipment.

The Reliability Vendor Assurance (RVA) service is designed to give the client the peace of mind that their equipment is installed to the correct standards, and it helps to remove early life faults as well ensuring designed life is achieve by reducing fatigue levels.  The RVA process is used in the asset management element ELAM, whereby design for maintenance, commissioning, Factory Acceptance Testing (FAT) and care pack developments are covered. The RVA process introduces International Standards (ISO) and known benchmarks from the FAT to ensure equipment is transported, stored, and assembled correctly.  Running checks using different technologies are used in the RVA process including Vibration, Noise, Alignment, Balancing, Temperature and many others. Any early life errors will be seen in the running conditions that fall outside of  RVA standards. Errors identified early in it’s life can be eliminated as part of the CAPEX project and rectified at the point of installation before handover to maintenance and production. This is to ensure optimum performance throughout its life.

Often machines have inbuilt parameters that are not harnessed to support conditional assessment.  53North support site with capturing, trending and creating required alarms and responses with the use of primary effects data.  Primary effects parameters may include drive temperature, torque, pressure, vacuum, or amperage which often part of the system design, however 53North can add to these parameters with the introduction of sensors such as vibration, ultrasonic, temperature or thermal eyes, valve detection, air flow, oil condition, chain stretch detection, etc.  All parameters are selected and designed to provide early indications of error.  The outputs can be linked to the 53 elements Continuous Monitoring Systems (CMS) to provide advance machine assessment, or Autonomous Maintenance (AM) solutions to support operator maintenance and increased up time and safety. 53North is able to create solutions bespoke to individual needs and based on risk-based assessment to ensure critical failure modes are mitigated.

A Reliability Performance Study (RPS) is carried out on existing assets to determine their current condition and any physical, human or latent issues leading to increased failure rates.  The study is designed to identify the changes needed to prevent continuation or prevention of poor performance.  The study uses technologies from CBM for online assessments, combined with offline inspection of components and a review of policies, procedures and schedules relating to maintenance and operation.  The study entails first using deductive logic to find the physical and human causes of the failure, and then using inductive logic to find the latent causes.

The RPS process focuses on a line asset or system to:

  • Identify Critical Risks
  • Finds Appropriate Maintenance Solutions to critical failure modes or repeat failure events
  • Evaluates the effectiveness of the current maintenance or operational practices
  • Determines inherent design issues (Machine and Practice)
  • Establish the current Condition of Equipment
  • Provide an understanding of the skill/resource profile (Including any up skilling requirements)
  • Provide Quick Wins (line performance gains)
  • Determines the Maintenance Strategy for sustainable improvements to OEE

53North Laser alignment services are carried out by highly experience mechanical engineers with the latest alignment tools available to ensure asset reliability and component longevity. Misalignment is the most common cause of bearing, seal and coupling damage reducing component life and increasing plant breakdowns. 53North services are carried out on both horizontal and vertical shaft arrangements. Correct shaft alignment reduces machine vibration and energy consumption resulting in a best practice machine setup and increased plant reliability.

53North have certified engineers to Advanced Level 3 for vibration analysis (VA) and services are backed up by an analysis support centre (ASC) based at our head office, where quality assurance of data and service efficiencies are controlled. VA services include onsite data collection and analysis, VA program set up and training for internal application, and VA from either wired or wireless continuous monitoring systems (CMS) at the ASC.  The data is reported in 53applications.com where all clients have free access to live dashboards, work order history, trends, asset care libraries and other planning and scheduling tools to support proactive maintenance completion. The VA data captured by 53North includes, Trend, FFT and Time Waveform Analysis, Autocorrelation, Toggle Plot function, Phase Analysis, Resonance or other troubleshooting capabilities.

53North utilise Stress Wave Analysis (SWA), which provides early fault detection for bearings, slides, gears and bushes no matter what the speed.  Stress waves can often prove more successful than classic vibration analysis when looking at slower speed equipment, and often acts as an early warning of pending errors on critical components. SWA technology provides insights into mechanical defects that are often not visible in standard Vibration Analysis. SWA technology surpasses specialist readings such as demodulation.  SWA utilises digital processing and ultra-fast sampling rates, sampling at 100000 times per second. This sampling rate allows constant data sampling irrespective of shaft speed giving an excellent tool for slow speed application or even partial rotation.  SWA also makes it possible to view the transient stress waves generated by friction, impacting, micro-welding, and fatiguing and also capture the actual amplitude of the movement due to the signal capture system.  All manufacturing sites have applications that lend themselves to this technology.

Thermal imaging can be carried out on electrical and mechanical components for both rotating and static plant inspections. 53North utilise this technology with certified Electrical and Mechanical Engineers to monitor and bench mark components as a predictive maintenance tool. Thermal imaging is also linked to other CBM technologies and NDT sciences to appraise static plant and understand the nature of corrosive and abrasive wear types.

Imbalance is one the most common causes of fatigue related damage to rotating machines, therefore, 53 North provide Field balancing services as a technique to balance a rotating part in place without removing it from service. The cost advantages of field balancing are apparent, in that stress is reduced on components to extend component longevity and by not removing the rotating part from the machine and sending it to a shop for balancing.

Ultrasonic Inspection (UI) is a CBM technique used to detect process, mechanical or electrically related faults.  53North are able to install online systems to critical components, to support trending and conditional assessment on bearings, or slides, including slow speed applications. Additionally, UI equipment is used to scan for HV electrical discharge, gas leakage, steam trap or valve error.  Therefore, UI devices provide an excellent troubleshooting tool and support 53Norths ESOS services, through the identification and calculation of energy losses based on decibel values linked to process data.

53North support site with capturing, trending and analysing high speed data from their assets. 53North can provide equipment to permanently or temporally record data and may include drive temperature, torque, pressure, vacuum, or amps. High speed data capture is usually used in support of root cause analysis, to identify when assets move away from datum points. 53North also use high speed cameras to monitor high speed assets visually, to inspect machine timing, transfers or support machine set up.

53North Strobe Detection is an extension of CBM technologies utilised for fast online inspections. It can used individually as a troubleshooting tool on mechanical transmission or linked to vibration monitoring with phase detection, to understand machinery dynamics. Detection can easily be carried out on drive belts, drive couplings, Fan blades and any reciprocating components. 53North carry out strobe detection to allow for a fast-online inspection to gain information and fault confirmation. Gaining this information online allows for critical spares to be sourced prior to plant shutdown and improving plant availability and reduced maintenance outages.

Critical assets or equivalent with short problem to failure intervals can be fitted with Continuous Monitoring Systems to provide the earliest warning of potential failure. 53North provide remote wired and wireless monitoring systems to meet clients needs and utilise a wide range of parameter inputs or alarms. Parameters may include, vibration, temperature, pressure, vacuum, amperage, ultrasonic, oil debris, oil condition, oil temperature, thermal thumbnail or pulse input. Outputs can be linked to a clients PLC, cloud server or other requested trigger. This service is also supported Analysis Support Center, where trained analysts can interpret machinery alarm status.

Based at the Head office in Retford, the 53North Analysis Support Centre (ASC) is dedicated to the provision of quality assurance of the data analysis of client assets. With analysts certified to Advanced Level 3 for vibration analysis (VA) customers can be assured that each stage of an assets life cycle is examined in detail, in order to provide Total Asset Care. Additionally, the ASC’s central location provides an excellent opportunity for clients to utilise its services as either a meeting or training facility.

53pplications.com where all clients have free access to live dashboards, work order history, trends, asset care libraries and other planning and scheduling tools to support proactive maintenance completion. The VA data captured by 53North includes, Trend, FFT and Time Waveform Analysis, Autocorrelation, Toggle Plot function, Phase Analysis, Resonance or other troubleshooting capabilities.




+44 114 299 5007


+44 114 299 5020

Main Office

53North Group, 53North House, Caxton Way, Dinnington, Sheffield, South Yorkshire S25 3QE


53North Group, 53North House, Caxton Way, Dinnington, Sheffield, South Yorkshire S25 3QE

Find Us On