Case Study: Bearing Condition Monitoring Made Easy

Ron Kittle, Managing Director, SPM Instrument


Bearing damage is a frequent cause of machine breakdowns, but it is often possible to detect problems in time for corrective maintenance. Timely failure prediction and detection is key to improving equipment and component reliability and cutting operating costs. Unplanned downtime and unnecessary repair work can be significantly reduced by periodically checking bearing condition.

The easy to use Schock Pulse Method is used to assess the condition of rolling element bearings in industrial equipment like gearboxes, motors, fans, and pumps. Through regular measurements at predefined positions, always under similar operating conditions, data can be collected and compiled into trends showing operating condition over time. This allows you to make confident maintenance decisions, such as initiating more frequent condition checks or planning repair work for a planned stop.

The Shock Pulse Method makes a proactive approach to maintenance economically feasible for everyone. It is an ideal instrument for beginners in condition monitoring, or as a supplement to more advanced instruments for evaluated shock pulse measurement. Without specialized training, potential problem sources can be detected and monitored well before damage is detectable by heat or vibration.


1. Assessing bearing and lubrication condition can be simplified and deployed without extensive vibration analysis skills.
2. Condition monitoring of bearings can be done economically and not consume a lot of time and resources.
3. Realize immediate bearing and lubrication assessment on a simplified green, yellow, red basis.


Ron has over 20 years of experience in the maintenance and reliability fields, primarily focusing on condition monitoring products related to vibration analysis across many industries. Ron has extensive experience in wireless and on-line condition monitoring systems, most recent notable work in the wind energy and mining industries. Ron’s career started in the US Army where he spent time as a Combat Vehicle Mechanic. Other early career experiences include oil analysis on high voltage transformers and work in the power generation plants where he began focusing on predictive maintenance techniques.

Ron has studied electronics at the National Institute of Electronics, holding many certifications in predictive maintenance technologies such as thermography and vibration analysis. Currently Ron is Managing Director of SPM Instruments, Inc. responsible for North American operations, providing technical services, support, and training for his customers. SPM Instrument AB has over 40 years of experience with machine condition monitoring and close cooperation with our customers in all fields of industry.