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which valves is faulty
which valves is faulty
motor bearing
motor bearing
the SPY in the sky
the SPY in the sky

Problem anticipation - with the
"Ultrasonic SPY 101"
you can "hear the grass grow".

Anticipate wear, assure quality, prevent breakdown

The first task of every maintenance manager is to keeping the works free of breakdown - and this, if you please, at the lowest possible cost. Since NASA placed the new "Ultrasonic SPY 101" on the International Space Station in July 2001, it is beyond dispute that this new device offers by far the best early warning and diagnostic system available - also down here on Earth !

Fault conditions in mechanical, fluid or gas systems and also in electrical units generate ultrasonic vibrations in the 40 KHz region - long before a problem could be discovered by other methods, as for example with the usual (and much more expensive) vibration measuring devices or IR cameras. The SPY converts these signals into audible sound. Thus it is possible, even before any damage has occurred, to take preventative action. What an advantage, compared with a system which only can tell you that damage has already occurred. (In units which of themselves generate strong vibrations, not even this is possible !)

The principle of ultrasonic fault-finding has been known for many years and is not questioned. But there have been till now problems with its application, with devices with inadequately sensitive and selective microphones and unable to electronically filter out the disturbances which are always present in a working factory. The Ultrasonic SPY 101 normally exceeds the clarity required to make a rapid, unequivocal diagnosis. We can with justification talk of a technical break-through.

The SPY is only 23.4 cm long and weighs 320 grams. To adjust for the required sensitivity, only one switch and one knob are required. It is hardly possible to think of simpler operation. According to the application, there is a selection of probes to be added, which receive signals out of the air or by direct contact.

Is time money ? Users report that, by introducing the SPY, they have reduced their search and diagnosis times by 80% to 90%.

With the SPY, it has become possible to walk through the works and "sweep" for the earliest signs of wear, allowing timely defensive action. For example, to change the lubrication, or to plan a repair without interrupting production. Mechanical wear can be identified long before it could be detected by any other method. The maintenance team now has the ability to identify problems long before they impact operation, and so to order spare parts and plan repairs without costly interruption of production. Thanks to the SPY, you will not be surprised by machine break-downs. Hectic, unplanned repairs are replaced by controlled situations, good for the company's costs, and for the nerves of maintenance and production staff. Some examples while we have been demonstrating

The maintenance mechanic who knows his machines instantly recognises the meaning of what the SPY allows him to hear. So it is often possible to take preventative action, before damage has even occurred. What an advantage, compared with a system which can only tell him that damage has occurred ! (With machines, which of themselves produce heavy vibration, is not even this always possible).

The "Ultrasonic SPY 101" opens up new possibilities: It really can "hear the grass growing". A few examples: From a distance of 5 meters, check that the bearings of a roof-mounted fan are working properly; or check that a compressed air system has no leaks; or that the bearings (or gears) of a CNC machine are still as new; nothing remains hidden. Minimal electrical short-circuits and lazy solenoids can be spotted, as can malfunctions in fluid and gas systems, previously requiring the whole system to be stripped to find the one defective valve.

In July 2001 came recognition for the wide-ranging capabilities of the SPY from "on high". NASA sent a SPY up to work in the International Space Station, where it monitors the condition of many systems. This decision followed an evaluation of all known devices on the world market, and of a development of NASA itself ($5 million), all of which were judged to be much inferior to the SPY. Up in the ISS, "early warning" is of particular significance, as spare parts deliveries can take 10 weeks. So far, UPS has not offered express delivery.

Rapid tests have also substituted for lengthy procedures as quality control in production situations. In this way, defects which would have got through to the customer are detected instantly. Manufacturers of electrical and electronic components, for example, identify inadequate insulation before their components are built into production units.

The list of applications is endless, and grows daily. And all are possible without dismantling units or shutting production down. Even the background noises in the works - however loud - makes no difference. Just a few examples.

Learning to use the Ultrasonic SPY 101, to be able not only to detect defects from afar, but also to gauge the condition of a bearing by close inspection, and also to develop new applications particularly relevant to one's own working environment, takes only about an hour's training.

The power costs saved by making the compressed air system of even a small factory leak-free will recover the costs of the device inside a year. ( To give 1 kW of power tool performance, 8 kW of electrical energy are needed to compress the air. Every leak in the system makes a nonsense of even this extremely high cost factor.) While doing demonstrations, without exception we find leaks in numbers which were previously not even suspected. Where leak-seeking professionals have been through the works before us, we rapidly find a further 50% to 70% more leaks than they had identified.

While the SPY is not intended to be used as a measuring instrument, it is possible to capture the signals and process these in computers. But in practice users find that with the early warning they get, such additional complication (and the implied highly qualified staff) is not necessary. The SPY has redefined the term "early warning system" and produces a radically new way of working.

The kit as delivered comprises a foam-lined case with the Ultrasonic SPY 101 and several probes (some insulated). There is also an ultrasonic wave generator for investigating non-moving objects such as tanks, aircraft hulls and sealed spaces of virtually unlimited volume. United Airlines save lots of time and big money checking the integrity of the hull sealing, with no need to compress the interior and use messy soap-and-water techniques Car makers confirm while building up the car body (and not after delivery to the customer) that the windscreens are totally watertight. Manufacturers of pressure vessels no longer need pressure testing to be sure that their tanks are sealed.

With the "PowerBeam 300", an accessory introduced at the end of 2001, the working range of the SPY can be effectively trebled, to around 100 metres. This device, which pin-points the defective unit with a laser beam, allows inspection and diagnosis in previously inaccessible parts of, for example, chemical plants and power stations. Also, the insulators on high tension pylons can be checked, often from the road, a much more cost-efficient method than those used at present.

There is also an intrinsically safe version fully certified for use in chemical and petrochemical plants.

The SPY creates new job possibilities.

For further information please contact:

Richard Chambers GmbH
Dahlienweg 14
D - 85551 Heimstetten
Fon: +49 (0)89 - 9 03 56 38
Fax: +49 (0)89 - 9 04 45 41

the "Ultrasonic SPY 101"
the "Ultrasonic SPY 101"
designed by e-motion4u/2001
Sales: Richard Chambers, Heimstetten bei München