Case Study: Overhead Crane Monitoring

Kris Deckers, Chief Operations Officer, I-care Group


In several types of industries portal cranes are among the most critical installations. Yet, compared to more standard production assets like motors, pumps, fans or compressors, few portal cranes get the same treatment with regard to condition monitoring. Apart from the erratic operational conditions, the monitoring of drive motors and gearboxes is not all that different from the more common applications.

Monitoring the main wheel bearings is however a much bigger challenge. On top of the irregular operating conditions, one also has to cope with low speeds and very high ambient vibration originating from the contact of wheels and rails.

This case study shows the results of a successful monitoring program for portal cranes in the steel industry. Based on advanced high frequency monitoring techniques and the use of specific filters, bearing condition can be detected in a most reliable way. The application of wireless monitoring allows to further increase both the efficiency of the program, as well as to eliminate all safety risks.


1. Learn which monitoring techniques allow to successfully monitor low speed applications, even if ambient vibration poses additional challenges.
2. Learn the advantages of using wireless vibration monitoring techniques over portable vibration measurements.
3. Learn the advantages of using wireless vibration monitoring techniques over wired online monitoring techniques.


Kris has expertise in vibration analysis and industry experience in all major industries, including chemicals, automotive, power, gas and food & beverage. As a vibration analyst and services manager, Kris gained experience in several major industries in the 1990s and early 2000s at CSI Europe and Emerson Process Management, which acquired CSI in 1998.As co-founder of Coservices in 2005, Kris operated as Regional Manager for Flanders and the Netherlands. The condition monitoring services group for this region expanded to approximately 30 people by the end of 2010, when Coservices became part of Allied Reliability Group, where he became Technical Director until the merger between ARG and I-care Group in 2017. Kris has a Master of Science degree in Civil Mechanical Engineering from Catholic University of Leuven. He is a Certified Maintenance and Reliability Professional (CMRP) through the Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals (SMRP) and holds an ISO Category IV certification in Vibration Analysis.