There is a rapidly growing need to optimally manage the integrity of physical assets over their entire life cycles, from design to decommissioning. This requires maintaining assets in a fit-for-service condition while simultaneously extending the remaining useful lives of such assets. Engineering assets are increasingly used past their original design lives. This happens in the context of growing safety and environmental concerns as well as continuous financial pressure. This is a complex multi-disciplinary process which requires thorough understanding of the technical and managerial aspects relating to the integrity of such assets.

Asset integrity testing on Gautrain

Above: The C-AIM Consult team doing work on the Gautrain.

Our services

The Centre for Asset Integrity Management (C-AIM Consult) at the University of Pretoria provides expert services on the structural integrity and performance of physical assets in automotive, mining, power generation, oil and gas, railway and water utilities.

These services are broadly focused on:

  • Design for reliability (finite element analysis, modal analysis, compliance testing, and accelerated testing).
  • Data acquisitioning (sensors, feature extraction).
  • Condition monitoring (failure modes and criticality, non-destructive testing).
  • Diagnostics (anomaly detection, fault identification, confidence bounds, fluctuating conditions).
  • Prognostics (statistics and physics-based models for residual life).
  • Lifecycle decision support (data fusion, decision reasoning, maintenance, cost modelling).
  • Standards and databases (asset management standards, testing standards).
  • Input loading (inverse problems for establishing input loading on structures and machines).
Within the context of:
  • Identification of critical assets.
  • Standards and databases (asset management standards, testing standards).
  • Input loading (determine input loading on structures and machines).

The C-AIM Consult services domain may be schematically summarised as follows:

Asset integrity management

Specific expertise:

  • Vibration, dynamics and structural fatigue investigations and troubleshooting.
  • Response reconstruction.
  • Environmental stress screening (vibration) and durability testing.
  • Structural integrity and fatigue testing.
  • Rollover Protective Structure (ROPS) and Falling Object Protective Structure (FOPS) testing.
  • Finite element analysis.
  • Vibration monitoring.
  • Experimental modal analysis.
  • Dynamic modelling of mechanical systems.
  • Sound and noise analysis.
  • Environmental impact assessment (vibration).
  • Human vibration measurement and assessment.
  • Rotating machinery and turbomachinery dynamic analysis.
  • Dynamic measurement using non-contact optical methods.
  • Automotive noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) and structural integrity investigations.
  • Mining machinery and mining vehicle noise, vibration and structural integrity investigations.
  • Mill vibration investigations.
  • Truck structural fatigue testing.
  • Railway vibration assessment.
  • ROPS and FOPS certification.
  • Building, foundation and civil engineering structural vibration measurement.
  • Vibration monitoring systems for gearboxes and electrical machinery.
  • Noise abatement projects.
  • Whole body and hand-arm vibration investigations.
The C-AIM Consult laboratories are equipped with an excellent infrastructure of servo-hydraulic testing machines and controllers, and is able to perform complex multi-axial load tests as well as simple single-axis fatigue and characterisation tests. The facilities include 100 kN and 630 kN universal testing machines, an assortment of smaller servo-hydraulic actuators, various servo-controllers, sophisticated test software, and an 8m x 9m isolated test block with base plate for setting up multi-actuator fatigue and characterisation tests. The laboratory has unique capabilities for reconstructing field measured responses in the laboratory and testing under controlled conditions. This includes a road simulator as well as sophisticated dynamic characterisation capabilities.

The laboratory also has a scanning laser vibrometer as well as a portable laser vibrometer for non-contact vibration measurements. Vibration monitoring research has prompted the development of a variety of rotating machine fault simulators, which are used in the accelerated testing of machine elements and the development of new vibration monitoring algorithms.

Sound measurement capabilities include sound level meters as well sound intensity probes. The laboratory has an extensive human vibration measurement capability including seat pad accelerometers and hand-arm vibration sets.

More details can be found at http://caimlabs.co.za/index.php/lab-facilities.

For more information, please contact us.