Bearing fault diagnosis is imperative for the maintenance, reliability, and durability of rotary machines. It can reduce economical losses by eliminating unexpected downtime in industry due to failure of rotary machines. Though widely investigated in the past couple of decades, continued advancement is still desirable to improve upon existing fault diagnosis techniques. Vibration acceleration signals collected from machine bearings exhibit nonstationary behavior due to variable working conditions and multiple fault severities. In the current work, a two-layered bearing fault diagnosis scheme is proposed for the identification of fault pattern and crack size for a given fault type. A hybrid feature pool is used in combination with sparse stacked autoencoder (SAE)-based deep neural networks (DNNs) to perform effective diagnosis of bearing faults of multiple severities. The hybrid feature pool can extract more discriminating information from the raw vibration signals, to overcome the nonstationary behavior of the signals caused by multiple crack sizes. More discriminating information helps the subsequent classifier to effectively classify data into the respective classes. The results indicate that the proposed scheme provides satisfactory performance in diagnosing bearing defects of multiple severities. Moreover, the results also demonstrate that the proposed model outperforms other state-of-the-art algorithms, i.e., support vector machines (SVMs) and backpropagation neural networks (BPNNs).
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