Written by Colton Bach (Machine Saver, Inc.) and Claude Tomlinson (Trident Reliability Services)

“What kind of ROI (Return on Investment) can I expect?”

This is the million-dollar question that is the key component to why so many reliability professionals are investing in the Machine Saver solution.

Across multiple industries, capital projects and large investments from my customers always come down to one concern: “What is the bottom line of what I can expect from this vibration monitoring solution?”

Often, my customers expect a solution that helps an organization increase the bottom line immediately. With Machine Saver’s comprehensive vibration and temperature monitoring solution, you can expect a break even return within the first year when failures are detected. One example in this writeup gave over a 100% return in just half a year. There are a few ways Machine Saver seeks to decrease the time between purchase and a full return on investment.

Our 4-Part Solution:

1. Provide 24/7 monitoring to prevent bump in the night failures. (YOU ARE PROTECTED)

From having a sensor that is hard wired locally through available power, we stay away from the passing fad that is battery-powered solutions which seek to ‘wake up’ to take a snap shot and then ‘go to sleep’ to save power so their customers are only changing batteries or replacing units once a year instead of every two weeks.

By being on all the time with local power, we can ensure that we catch failures that may only take a few minutes to become present. These failures include:

  • Cavitation in pumps
  • Slugs of liquid getting into compressors
  • Disruption on fans such as ice build up or birds striking a blade
  • Intermittent failures

2. Extend maintenance intervals (LESS TIME NEEDED SERVICING MACHINES)

By providing actionable information on many different types of machinery, we can increase the time between servicing equipment.

With more actionable information and providing resources for our customers to assist in making maintenance/reliability decisions upon alarms and notifications, we eliminate many preventative maintenance practices and instead move customers into a predictive and proactive maintenance strategy. This means less time replacing parts with remaining useful life to maximizing maintenance intervals and minimizing the maintenance cost per asset.

3. Reduce downtime and maintenance costs (LESS DOWNTIME HIGHTENED PRODUCTION)

By extending maintenance intervals, less time will be required for planned maintenance outages.

With the provided 24/7 protection and early failure detection, less time is needed to perform repairs and reduce catastrophic damaged to equipment.

Machine Saver also has a multitude of local partners spanning the globe who can assist with education and training to provide a more complete reliability and maintenance program.

4. Save time through efficiencies and improvement in coordination (GET EVERYONE ON THE SAME PAGE)

Q: What happens when a sensor sends an alarm to a control room?

A: Too often, the reset button gets pressed over and over until the machine suffers a failure. With our resources available, an action plan and communications plan can be developed for your application. With these programs in place, a defined procedure will be available for your operators to follow.

Q: What happens when the Machine Saver Trivibe sensor sends an alarm signal?

A: Designated internal maintenance and reliability personnel, an offsite Machine Saver Partner and any included operators receive a text to their cell phone notifying each that an impending failure will occur within the next day(s)/week(s)/or month(s), depending on the type of failure. In conjunction, an email is sent to report on what the sensor saw as far as the high vibration or temperature. The designated internal resources discuss the report and findings, review the live machine and diagnosis the information. If the internal resources cannot resolve the issue, they can call to the offsite Machine Saver partner (free of charge) to see if he or she can assist in determining what the problem is. If the issue is unable to be resolved remotely, the offsite partner may be required to visit the site. Either way, the problem will get solved and we avoid any negligence or lack of action that is required when an alarm and high vibration is present.

The latest and best example of this solution in action happened on February 24th, 2018.

In Albert Lea, Minnesota, Machine Saver installed sensors on a line of extruder motor/gearbox sets for a small manufacturing plant. In this facility, the customer had been plagued by unexpected failures for years due to lack of a structured reliability program and virtually no ability to monitor assets. The customer had employed a vibration route but did not possess the technical knowledge needed to diagnose certain vibration information to diagnose impending equipment failures. Like so many organizations I have met in the past, they were flying blind and had very little definition of what actions to take when there is a change in information received from the vibration route.

This facility chose to get in contact with Machine Saver and employ the Machine Saver VTB Net solution on a line of machines. A few days following installation, the plant personnel noticed one of the motors running with higher vibration (Figure 1) than the rest (before the alarms were even set). There was an immediate call made to Machine Saver for guidance as to what to do. After reviewing the online portal and all the information, the site officials scheduled an motor swap during the next planned outage. The old motor was sent in and required a minor repair.


Figure 1: Machine Saver Trend (Screenshot taken from MS WebPortal)

It was opportunistic, but in this case, like many others, catastrophic damage was avoided—and the return on investment for this customer was almost immediate.

Let’s do the math:

  • Initial investment in the Machine Saver system for this extruder line: $6,182.50

That amount included (4) VTB sensors, 500ft. cable, 500ft. flex conduit, (1) MachineGate, (1) WebPortal, (1) day of Machine Saver installation with training.

  • Cost of repair: ~$2,000
  • Downtime Cost: $0 (due to proactive service work order to swap motor during scheduled downtime)
  • Time: a few days between diagnosis and replaced and repaired motor

Total investment with Machine Saver Solution and repairs: $8,182

On the other hand:

  • The customer said previous catastrophically damaged to motor/gearbox: ~$15,000
  • Investment for MS: $0
  • Downtime lost production cost: $1000/hr for roughly 24 hours while repairs are taking place (best case)
  • Time till failure: estimated 24 months

Total failure cost with Level 3-4 catastrophic event (totaling the machine): $39,000+

Calculating the break-even point based on our customer’s Return on Investment:

Using conservative numbers, the break-even point with the return on this investment was returned in 26 weeks.

ROI = (Gain from Investment – Total Cost of MS and repair) / Cost of Machine Saver Investment (does not include the $2000 repair)

ROI = ($39,000-$8,182)/$6,182= 4.985, or better expressed as a 499% Return on Investment.

With the data from this single install, the customer is now expanding the installation of the MS VTB Net Solution to their entire facility. That’s the power of Machine Saver.

What kind of ROI can I expect from implementing vibration sensors? | Machine Saver – Houston, TX