Main­te­nance mat­ters

DEMM Engineering & Manufacturing - - CONTENTS -

WHAT SOUNDED like sci­ence fic­tion just a short time ago is now dig­i­tal re­al­ity in Aus­trala­sia in the new pre­dic­tive main­te­nance solutions pre­sented at this year’s IMVAC con­fer­ence ear­lier this month.

The In­ter­na­tional Ma­chine Vi­bra­tion Anal­y­sis and Con­di­tion Mon­i­tor­ing (IMVAC) pro­fes­sional de­vel­op­ment con­fer­ence heard pre­sen­ta­tions from tech­nol­ogy lead­ers such as the global Scha­ef­fler Group, high­light­ing ad­vances in its in­dus­try 4.0 Smart Fac­tory au­to­ma­tion and data ex­change tech­nolo­gies.

Scha­ef­fler Aus­tralia Man­ager – In­dus­trial Ser­vices, Mark Ciechanow­icz, pre­sented pre­dic­tive main­te­nance solutions, in­clud­ing the lat­est evo­lu­tions of Scha­ef­fler’s SmartQB and SmartCheck con­di­tion mon­i­tor­ing sys­tems, along with a host of dig­i­tal­i­sa­tion and cloud- based tech­nolo­gies that har­ness the ad­van­tages of in­dus­try 4.0, such as Scha­ef­fler’s BEARINX soft­ware.

“Scha­ef­fler’s lat­est pre­dic­tive main­te­nance solutions en­able ma­chin­ery op­er­a­tors to look ever more clearly into the fu­ture – they pro­vide ma­chine op­er­a­tors with vi­tal in­for­ma­tion about the fu­ture con­di­tion of their ma­chines,” said Ciechanow­icz.

Pre­dic­tive main­te­nance al­lows not only the ca­pac­ity util­i­sa­tion of fac­to­ries, mines, util­i­ties and pro­cess­ing plants to be op­ti­mised, but also makes it pos­si­ble to plan main­te­nance in­ter­vals at pre­cisely the right time for op­ti­mised To­tal Cost of Own­er­ship cal­cu­la­tions.

“An im­por­tant pre­req­ui­site for pre­dic­tive main­te­nance is au­to­mated rolling bear­ing di­ag­nos­tics, a func­tion that is used in mo­tor gear­box units, for ex­am­ple. These units are used not only in ma­chine tools but also in belt con­vey­ors, presses, and steel mill rollers, for ex­am­ple,” he said.

Scha­ef­fler BEARINX soft­ware is one of the lead­ing pro­grams for per­form­ing rolling bear­ing cal­cu­la­tions. It en­ables rolling bear­ing sup­ports to be an­a­lysed in de­tail – from sin­gle bear­ings to com­plex gear sys­tems and lin­ear guide sys­tems. All cal­cu­la­tions are per­formed in a con­sis­tent cal­cu­la­tion model. Even for com­plex gears, the contact pres­sure on each rolling el­e­ment is con­sid­ered in the cal­cu­la­tion.

“Be­cause ma­chine drives are op­er­ated vir­tu­ally with­out in­ter­rup­tion, they re­quire in­ten­sive main­te­nance in or­der to pre­vent production down­times. This is why it is so im­por­tant for op­er­a­tors to know the con­di­tion of the drive com­po­nents at all times, and why the bear­ings are be­com­ing par­tic­u­larly im­por­tant as a cen­tral ma­chine el­e­ment,” said Ciechanow­icz in his pre­sen­ta­tion to the IMVAC con­fer­ence, which is sup­ported by the Mo­bius In­sti­tute, a world­wide provider of re­li­a­bil­ity im­prove­ment, con­di­tion mon­i­tor­ing and pre­ci­sion main­te­nance ed­u­ca­tion to in­dus­trial plant man­agers, re­li­a­bil­ity en­gi­neers and con­di­tion mon­i­tor­ing tech­ni­cians.

He said the lat­est gen­er­a­tion of the FAG SmartCheck di­ag­nos­tic sys­tem now rep­re­sents a fur­ther step for­ward for Scha­ef­fler in these ar­eas. In ad­di­tion to iden­ti­fy­ing the threat of bear­ing damage, wear, and ir­reg­u­lar­i­ties such as im­bal­ance and mis­align­ments based on vi­bra­tion pat­tern changes, this sys­tem also fea­tures a cloud con­nec­tion. The sys­tem cre­ates an au­to­mated di­ag­no­sis in the cloud from the raw data sup­plied by the FAG SmartCheck and from ad­di­tional data, e.g. from the ma­chine con­trol sys­tem.

Ap­pli­ca­tions for which this tech­nol­ogy ap­plies in­clude bulk han­dling and con­veyor ap­pli­ca­tions, min­ing and energy; build­ing, con­struc­tion and ac­cess equip­ment in­stal­la­tions, such as fork­lifts and lo­gis­tics; food and bev­er­age and agribusi­ness pro­cesses, in­clud­ing pa­per and pack­ag­ing; man­u­fac­tur­ing, met­als and process en­gi­neer­ing, trans­port and in­dus­trial mo­tor and trans­mis­sion ap­pli­ca­tions, in­clud­ing pump­ing and HVAC in­stal­la­tions and util­i­ties in­clud­ing elec­tric­ity, wa­ter and waste wa­ter.

Sys­tems such as the FAG SmartCheck al­low the con­di­tion of rolling bear­ings and ma­chine com­po­nents to be di­ag­nosed au­to­mat­i­cally. What is more, stor­ing the data in a cloud also al­lows them to be used for other cal­cu­la­tions, such as drive train and rolling bear­ing sim­u­la­tions re­lat­ing to their static and dy­namic strength.

Us­ing the real load spec­tra gath­ered dur­ing op­er­a­tion, Scha­ef­fler can con­tin­u­ously cal­cu­late the bear­ings’ re­main­ing use­ful life on the cus­tomer’s be­half at freely de­fin­able time in­ter­vals. Scha­ef­fler’s BEARINX cal­cu­la­tion tool re­trieves the data from the cloud. The cus­tomer can then view the re­main­ing use­ful life of ev­ery bear­ing in the ma­chine us­ing an internet- ca­pa­ble end de­vice.

Scha­ef­fler’s so­lu­tion is based on three cen­tral el­e­ments:

• A suit­able sys­tem of sen­sors gath­ers re­li­able load data for the ma­chine and its bear­ings.

• Sim­u­la­tion mod­els cal­cu­late the re­main­ing use­ful life based on the di­men­sions of the ma­chine and the ac­tual loads.

• A soft­ware plat­form through which the cus­tomer can ac­cess the cal­cu­la­tions and re­trieve in­for­ma­tion about his or her ma­chine in­di­vid­u­ally.

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