Tried and Tested Tube Mill Monitoring

Dennis Swanepoel, Lead Technician , Wearcheck


The focus is on tube mills used for coal milling in the power generation industry. The drive train typically consist of: Motor (>2MW), Gearbox (>8Ton), Girth Gear(>7meter) driving a tube mill with a >70ton ball load. Power generation losses typically amount to 135MW if the mills are shut down unexpectedly.

The presentation combine over 10 years of experience in the field of Tube Milling applications, highlighting various special methods in the fields of; Oil Analysis, Vibration Analysis, Advanced Signal Processing, Operational Deflection Shape analysis, Thermal Analysis, Operational Visual inspections

There will be some specifics regarding the advances in the condition monitoring field and how it affected the analysis process.


I started my career attaining my National Diploma(S4) in Mechanical Engineering and becoming a Performance and Testing Technician in the Power Generation Industry. I have been in the field of Condition Monitoring for past 16 years. Starting out as an apprentice I managed to improve my knowledge in condition monitoring in various industries and becoming involved in training. In my first years in condition monitoring I managed to be certified by Technical Associates as a trainer for their courses and started specializing in ODS and Modal Analysis. I have worked in various industries and are qualified in Vibration, Thermography and Oil analysis. I also specialize in operational Deflection shape analysis. Currently my main duties is shared between starting up new service contracts, Special Investigations, Training (Mobius Training Partner)
Industries that I have worked in include Power Generation, Coal Mining, Platinum/chrome refinery and mining, Waste Water Treatment, Food, Paper and Sugar Mills. My most recent achievement was to pass the Mobius CAT IV course and starting up two service contracts in the Power Generation Industry that include vibration, thermography, oil analysis, alignment.