Publication Details
Fabian Ramiro Perez Sanjines, Cédric Peeters, Verstraeten, Timothy, Jérôme Antoni, , Helsen, Jan

Mechanical Systems and Signal Processing

Contribution To Journal


The development of a reliable and automated condition monitoring methodology for the detection of mechanical failures in rotating machinery has garnered much interest in recent years. Thanks to the rise in popularity of machine learning techniques, the number of purely data-driven approaches that try to tackle the issue of vibration-based condition monitoring has also drastically improved. Instead of directly using the vibration measurement data as input to a machine learning model, this work first exploits the cyclostationary characteristics inherent to vibration waveforms originating from rotating machinery. The proposed methodology first estimates the two- dimensional cyclic spectral coherence map of a vibration signal in order to decompose the cyclic modulations on the cyclic and carrier frequency plane. While this provides an effective tool to visualize any potential modulation signatures of faulty gears or bearings, it does not allow for easy inspection over time due to its dimensions. To tackle this issue, this paper proposes an unsupervised deep learning approach to wield this vast amount of data as a tool for detecting persistent changes in the modulation characteristics of the vibration signals. In the first phase, a deep autoencoder learns to reconstruct predictions of the cyclic coherence maps based on unlabeled healthy vibration data and the machine operating conditions. Two post-processing steps improve the predictions by mitigating frequency shifts and outlier or noisy measurements. Lastly, the residual error between the predicted and the actual coherence map is then aggregated and employed for further alarming based on thresholds. The autoencoder model is trained using five years of gearbox vibration data from five different wind turbines. The methodology is then validated on two faulty and eight healthy turbines. The results confirm that the proposed approach can deliver clear indications of failure for the faulty turbine while being completely devoid of any significant alarm trends for the healthy turbines. Thanks to the combination of highly effective cyclostationary signal processing with deep learning while using the operating conditions, the proposed methodology can detect and track incipient mechanical faults from non-stationary vibration data of rotating machinery. Lastly, it is important to emphasize that the proposed method is capable of learning the healthy behavior on one turbine and predicting the expected behavior on another turbine.

DOI scopus