Traditional internal combustion engine vehicles have low transmission bearing failure rates in their lifespans. However, the prolonged lifespan of electric and autonomous vehicles can surpass the reliable life of bearing designs, which poses a risk of bearing failure and loss of propulsion. Compared to replacing bearings on a fixed schedule to ensure reliability, a bearing health monitoring system is a more cost-effective solution. Despite extensive research on bearing condition monitoring, implementing well-known methods such as vibration spectrum analysis in vehicles can be challenging due to vibrations from vehicle components and the road. This paper explores and compares the effect of various pre-processing techniques on the spectrum of a faulty bearing with various fault levels. To achieve this objective, faults with the width size of 0.1 mm (mild), 0.5 mm (moderate) and 2 mm (severe) were injected into the inner race of a ball bearing. A bench setup was then used to capture the vibrations of multiple vehicle components including the faulty ball bearing under various speed/ load conditions. Phase domain transform, envelope and Fourier transform were used as the core signal processing steps, and advanced signal processing methods for removing discrete frequencies from other components and enhancing the fault signature were explored. 4 health indicators were then developed from the vibration spectrum of the vibration signals and calculated for the captured data. Next, for each fault level, the area under Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve was calculated and used as a metric to compare the performance of our health monitoring system for classification of faulty and healthy bearings. For our best health indicator, the results show that applying minimum entropy deconvolution, and spectral kurtosis-based band pass filtering increases the ROC area from 0.40, 0.99, 1.0 to 0.86, 1.0 and 1.0 for the mild, moderate, and severe inner race faults, respectively. This implies that although applying only phase domain transform, envelope and Fourier transform might be enough for moderate and severe faults, advanced signal processing is needed to enhance the fault signature for early detection of mild faults.
How to Cite
bearing health monitoring, fault injection, signal processing, vibration analysis, prognostics, ROC
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