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Author Topic:   CSI vs. SKF
Steve Gonzales
Junior Member
posted 06-27-2001 04:33 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Steve Gonzales   Click Here to Email Steve Gonzales     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I work at a papermill and we are considering trading our CSI 2115 for an SKF CMVA 60 uls analyzer. Does anybody have any experience with the SKF box, and if so how well is it performing? How does the service SKF provides compare to CSI?

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David Gallagher
posted 06-27-2001 05:48 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for David Gallagher   Click Here to Email David Gallagher     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
You might give David Mitchel - Donahue Industries a call at 281-456-6822.

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Dan Harvey
posted 06-28-2001 09:44 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Dan Harvey   Click Here to Email Dan Harvey     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote

Do you have any affiliation with SKF?

Danny Harvey

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David Gallagher
posted 06-28-2001 10:20 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for David Gallagher   Click Here to Email David Gallagher     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
No - when our company was a field representative firm we sold IRD equipment until 1994, then SKF equipment and a variety of other PdM and Machine Control instrumentation until 2000 - now strictly concentrating on manufacturing our own line of accessories and on-line instrumentation and e-commerce at

My personal belief is that all the major vendors (CSI, SKF, Entek, etc)make a viable product that will produce results as long as the end user puts the time, energy and resources behind it to be successful. Purchasing generally boils down to relationships with the respective sales people and support provided by the manufacturer.

My advice - pick two vendors, get a loaner from each, compare and utilize each companies support staff. When it's time to get all the accessory items such as additional sensors,mounting pads,cables,balancing weights,switch boxes, etc... your most welcome to buy from me.

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posted 06-28-2001 10:30 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for KSonne   Click Here to Email KSonne     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
David, you took the words out of my mouth... try some of each.

-Kris Sonne

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Juan Carlos Chaparro
posted 06-28-2001 01:09 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Juan Carlos Chaparro   Click Here to Email Juan Carlos Chaparro     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
My belief is that both CSI and SKF have wonderful products and can support their customers with very good service. You can consider other like DLI, B&K and BN Snapshot.

Both SKF Microlog and CSI 21XX come from the same root (Palomar), but CSI has PeakVue which is a very powerful diagnostic tool. SKF has Acceleration Enveloping which is comparable with CSI Demodulation tool. It is my understanding that PeakVue surpass by far other demodulation techniques (i.e. Acceleration Enveloping, Demodulation, Cepstrum,..). So I think that “PeakVue” make a difference that you can take in account for taking your decision.

PS: That is my belief. Please some of you guys let me know if I am wrong.

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Steve Gonzales
Junior Member
posted 06-28-2001 03:15 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Steve Gonzales   Click Here to Email Steve Gonzales     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I am the only analyist in the mill and by no means an expert. I have had the opportunity to demo both the 2120 and CMVA 60 boxes. They seem basically the same. Two reasons I am leaning toward the SKF is price and service. To start the SKF is cheaper. Second, the service we have received from CSI has been poor. I guess what I was basically asking is, has anybody had any problems with SKF vibration measuring products and service?

PS: I really appreciate you're replies, and no I haven't made my mind up yet.

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Ed Bondoc
Junior Member
posted 06-28-2001 03:44 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ed Bondoc   Click Here to Email Ed Bondoc     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hi Juan Carlos,
I work for SKF; I am curious as to whether your opinion that Peak Vue is better than acceleration enveloping is based on your actual experience/experience of people you know, or literature (esp. product literature). If the former, then I would be very interested to know the application; my own experience with acceleration enveloping (SKF implementation)is that it has been an excellent tool, not only for detecting bearing defects, but also for detecting and diagnosing problems in various applications such as gears, rolls, felts, etc. As an interested party, I recuse myself from expressing an opinion about which is better, etc. however one thing I would like to point out is that the implementation of "demodulation" techniques vary from one manufacturer to another, with varying degrees of success. Your statement that "SKF has Acceleration Enveloping which is comparable with CSI Demodulation tool" is not accurate, and I hope that you are not drawing your conclusions about the effectiveness of one implementation from your experiences with another implementation.

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Marty Wilkins
posted 06-28-2001 05:07 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Marty Wilkins   Click Here to Email Marty Wilkins     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hey Steve,

If you are interested call me at (225) 658-0512 and I can provide you several paper mill contacts that would be happy to discuss experiences.

I will be in the office on Monday, July 2nd.

Marty Wilkins,
Measurements, LLC

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Robert Skeirik - CSI
posted 06-28-2001 11:10 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Skeirik - CSI   Click Here to Email Robert Skeirik - CSI     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hello, I am in the product management group at CSI. I won't post anything here to avoid commercialism, but I would be glad to chat with you about some of the reasons why the CSI solution offers superior technology - especially for the paper industry.

If you're interested, you can reply by e-mail, or call me at (865) 675-2400 Ext. 2245.

[This message has been edited by Robert Skeirik - CSI (edited 06-28-2001).]

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Juan Carlos Chaparro
posted 06-28-2001 11:28 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Juan Carlos Chaparro   Click Here to Email Juan Carlos Chaparro     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hi Ed,

I’m agree with you. Is not possible to evaluate one diagnostic tool by means of the experience of one person. Much more if my experience has been represented mainly with the use of CSI analyzers with a few or nothing experience with other ones.

Let’s see another points of view. I was very amazing when I read this title in the first quarter/1999 issue of Orbit, the Bently Nevada’s magazine: “Acceleration Enveloping – Avoit it”. You can read the following in the summary paragraph of such paper:

“Several recent articles advocate the use of this technology, but do not address basic mechanical principles that affect the reliability and repeatability of this measurement or its wide variations from one machine to the next. When possible, direct measurements are superior, are readily available, and should be employed”

I must confess that I got a big deception with BN magazine. I used to see technical articles most of them related to the dynamics of critical machinery (not marketing efforts). I also must confess that I don’t understand very well some of such articles because of two reasons: its math background and mainly my little experience with critical turbomachinery. Even though I have learned from it about orbit analysis and failure detection by using proximity probes.

Is clear that one of the implicit intentions of the article is to promote the use of proximity probes for detecting rolling element bearing defects (REBAM)..???????? I have zero experience with such technique but I can’t believe that is possible to detect race/ball problems with a proximity probe before and better than you can do it with piezoelectric sensors. I am perfectly agree with Jhon Barclay from SKF (REVOLUTIONS Magazine, Volume 7, Number 3) when he says:

“The probe installed in the bearing housing can only measure the relative displacement between the bearing’s OD and the probe tip.” This is part of one interview entitled “The True Story on Bearing Monitoring” in which Mr. Barclay states the SKF position about “Aceleration Enveloping”.

Some questions: Why Mr. Bently includes only Acceleration Enveloping in this company position? Why they said nothing about other tools like PeakVue, Cepstrum and Demodulation? Are you guys also confused about this fight?

Finally, from the topic “What is PeakVue” posted by Vernon Ledoux (01-26-2001) he explains:

“When applied correctly, peakvue and other demodulation methods are very useful for detecting bearing & gear wear in (very) early stages.
The difference between peakvue and more conventional demodulation methods (like eg. SKF, Entek-IRD and B&K use) is in the use of a peak-hold algorithm in step 4. Conventional methods use a low pass filter here.”

Hoping to get valuable information from your next posts.

Juan Carlos

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Ber van Loon
posted 06-29-2001 02:31 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ber van Loon   Click Here to Email Ber van Loon     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote

Please note that I am an independent consultant and that I do not work for CSI.

Any CSI 2120 user who has read the article "Not all demodulation methods are generically equal" (which was published somewhere around '96 on the SKF CM website), can show you that PeakVue is a better enveloping method than the demodulation method which SKF has implemented in their CMVA55. To do this, all that's needed is a 2120, a signal generator which can produce a test signal and of course the mentioned publication.

I won't go too much into detail here but _my_ test measurements clearly indicate that PeakVue outperforms the SKF demodulator. Not by much but it is enough to make a difference.
The difference is that PeakVue produces a better representation of the high pass filtered waveform than the SKF demodulation method does. In other words, the PeakVue waveform comes closer to a "true" envelope than the SKF demodulator does.

To be completely accurate it would be interesting to see how the CMVA60 demodulator performs on the same test signal.

Of course, the practical use of either method shows the real potential and the expertise of the user is what makes the difference. I believe that most manufacturers have implemented a very good demodulator which will perform very well.

When you're interested in more details, feel free to contact me.

happy enveloping!

Ber van Loon
Uptime! Condition Monitoring

[This message has been edited by Ber van Loon (edited 06-29-2001).]

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Junior Member
posted 06-29-2001 02:57 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for vibeguy30   Click Here to Email vibeguy30     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I work for a consulting firm. We have both SKF and CSI equipment. I would say it depends on how you will use the products.
CSI offers the dual channel which you can use for cross channel phase, orbits, etc. CMVA60 is single channel but comes standard with a number of good wizards for specialized single channel tests. We do seem to have more problems with the SKF units data reliability. There have been instances where data has been lost(corrupted); others where the data could not be uploaded to the database; etc.
The SKF software is easier to understand for setting up databases, but is more limited in what it can do in certain areas.
The CSI software is more versatile, but harder to understand/use.
If your machines vary in speed significantly, the CSI software can adjust the Fmax of the spectra collected because you can set the fmax to say 70 orders; but the SKF does not adjust fmax(The cpm you set is what you get).
My personal preference is the CSI stuff.
If you want to talk to me, email me and we'll work something out. Hope this helps out!!

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Junior Member
posted 06-29-2001 03:07 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for stephenjrichard   Click Here to Email stephenjrichard     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have experience with both CSI and SKF equipment. It is no secret that SKF is a less expensive solution and it does provide all the tools neccessary for a successful
condition monitoring program. And in my opinion the SKF package is more user friendly
setting up databases ,alarms and so forth.


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John Kuchler
Junior Member
posted 07-02-2001 11:45 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for John Kuchler   Click Here to Email John Kuchler     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
We have used SKF for over about 11 years and I only played around with the others doing some side by side comparisons. We have over 80 Micrologs (from the Palamar 6101 to the CMVA60) data collectors that we have purchased over the years. I can say with some confidense that the Microlog is a very reliable data collector. Very few have ever needed repair due to manufacturing defect. Some have been damaged by dropping them (one in a cooling tower, this is a very bad thing to do by the way), other than that, minimal problems.

As far as service when you need it, it's hard to be objective here and be fair to everyone. I have been reading post in this page for a while now and it appears everyone has had thier problems including us. One thing I will say, SKF's service is much better today than it was 2 years ago, but still has room to imporve (is that a fair assesment?).

Have we ever considered switching? absolutely! Everyone us in this business is obligated to keep up to speed on this for what ever respective company we work for. UNfortunately the OEM's make it very difficult to switch and you better have good reason for the added cost of doing such a task. In our case, we have not found anyone that would benefit us enough to pay for such costs.

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Dave L
Junior Member
posted 07-02-2001 09:55 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Dave L     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Work in a pulp industry with five different companys on one site.One of these company's purchased SKF gear and made us a pretty good offer to change from CSI to SKF.Whilst SKF were on site training and setting up a database for this particular site, I offered the rep to come to this site and compare the goods and bads of both software and analyser,putting them up against each other.I'm sorry to say but the rep would not be in it.
Regards Dave.

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