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Automation Technologies 2/2016

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Automation Technologies 2/2016

Measurement technology

Measurement technology is paving the way to fast test reports SENSORS AND MEASUREMENT Dirk Schaar The report should be pretty straightforward to generate at the end of a testing process. Not all measurement systems can achieve this. By installing an integrated solution in the new test facility, Voith Turbo BHS Getriebe can now save time and money. I examined the measurement technology provided by Delphin Technology in Sonthofen and am impressed with the result. „Take the next right and you have reached your destination,“ states my navigation system. Just a few more meters before I arrive at the factory premises of Voith Turbo BHS Getriebe GmbH at the site in Sonthofen, Germany. Clemens Kraus, the manager of the test facility, is expecting me and would like to show me the new measurement technology in the new transmission test plant that has recently been completed. Voith has developed and produced large gear units in the Allgäu region for more than eighty years. Regardless of whether it is in the oil, gas, chemical, energy production, automotive, aerospace, steel, mining or in other industries – they are used in all sectors where speed and torques extend the limits of what is technically possible. The range of products includes spur, integral, planetary and multipurpose gear units, as well as clutches and rotor turning gears. The turbo gear units, for example, safely transfer up to more than 170 MW at low vibration and low noise emission levels. Their max. speed reaches up to 80,000 rpm and more than 17,000 gear units with a total installed output of more than 100,000 MW have been shipped to customers around the world. Author: Dirk Schaar editor-in-chief AUTOMATION TECHNOLOGIES A new construction was required „It is not unusual for our products to clock up more than 250,000 operating hours, which demonstrates their high level of reliability. To guarantee this, all BHS products are subject to a continuous improvement process and particularly a precisely coordinated quality assurance process. This is the only way the power density and excellent level of efficiency of the gear units can be guaranteed,“ explains Clemens Kraus. To meet the growing market requirements and increased gear unit sizes at the Sonthofen site, the construction of a new assembly hall with a second, interconnected testing facility was started in 2012. „Despite two shift operation, the old testing facility did not enable us to test the required quantity of gear units as the market demand for BHS turbo gear units was so high. We reached the limit of our capacity and decided that a new construction was required,“ continues Clemens Kraus. Two electric motors with several megawatts of power drive the gear units that are being tested for an average duration of five hours. This ensures that every product undergoes a load-free acceptance run before delivery. During this process, the measurements for various variables, such as the shaft vibration, housing vibration, oil supply pressures and temperatures, oil volume flow, speeds and torques are recorded. As the noise emissions are an important acceptance criterion, noise levels are also recorded with a handheld device at a defined distance from the gear unit. If all of the parameters during the test run are within the acceptance limits, the test run is completed, the measurement values are recorded and the gear unit and test report are transferred to the next department following disassembly. An integrated solution was required The task of the new testing facility was defined quickly. Any existing problems, sources of errors and inefficient working methods definitely had to be avoided. „In the old testing facility we had to manage at least four different independent measurement systems and finally generate the final measurement report by hand without AUTOMATION TECHNOLOGIES 2/2016

02 The ProfiMessage devices now monitor all of the parameters 01 Clemens Kraus (left) and Frank Ringsdorf at one of the two measuring consoles 03 Clemens Kraus (right) explains the system to chief editor, Dirk Schaar, – the temperature satellites can be seen in the foreground data being consistently backed up because these outdated systems did not enable the reasonable export and import of data. On their own, all of the systems are very suitable for their testing applications but do not work together,“ explains Clemens Kraus looking back. In addition, the actual drive control took on measurement tasks for which it had not been designed. „In 2012, we went to the SENSOR+TEST trade fair in Nuremberg with the clear objective of finding a provider and a system that would enable the simple, fault-free and effective creation of reports. At the same time, all of the measurement values for a test run should be saved centrally in a single data record and be backed up on a regular basis,“ remembers Clemens Kraus. The search initially included the known suppliers of the old systems. However, the Voith team quickly realized that these companies did not provide a suitable solution. Other candidates were also quickly removed from the list again. Ultimately, it was Delphin Technology from Bergisch Gladbach that was awarded the project. „We were very impressed with the appearance of Delphin and they immediately indicated that they were willing to provide us with a user-specific solution. Unfortunately the other companies were not able to offer this. We would have had to take an off-the-shelf system and would have had to do the post-processing ourselves, providing us with another solution that was not integrated. We also noticed that the employees at Delphin were always interested in thinking of ideas for us as the customer,“ explains Clemens Kraus. The vibration measurement technology, a central part of the products provided by Delphin, was particularly convincing. Discussions followed by creation of a plan Frank Ringsdorf, Member of the Management Board responsible for Technology at Delphin Technology AG, is also attending our meetings and reflects: „For the project to succeed, it was important that we initially completed an in-house pre-engineering process at Voith to determine what we actually wanted to implement. In other words, we did not blindly start planning but instead worked with the customer to develop a solution.“ The measurement technology specialist supplied two mobile measurement technology consoles adapted to requirements and equipped with measurement recording devices, ProfiMessage, and the standard Delphin software, ProfiSignal, to measure temperatures, vibrations and other parameters. The temperature satellites and connection to the control system from Siemens were installed in accordance with the agreed specifications. „The measurement technology and drive control now only communicate with one another to provide the control unit with the values required to monitor the limit values. We have therefore consistently separated the drive and measuring technology so that nowadays each component completes the task for which it was produced,“ explains Frank Ringsdorf. Using the new technology, six shafts can now be analyzed simultaneously in one gear unit. The second measurement console could even be extended by a further two shafts. Additionally, up to 48 temperature measurement channels can be connected to the two temperature satellites. The handheld device used to measure noise levels is now read out via USB and transferred to the Delphin system. Objective achieved Following completion of the assembly line, the new testing facility has now been in use since the spring of 2014. After just half a year, it is already clear that Clemens Kraus‘ team has got very close to achieving its objective. „We have considerably improved the userfriendliness of the system and the test report that we receive today is as we imagined it would be. We have been able to considerably reduce the amount of work and can now generate the report without any far reaching gimmicks and in particular just like our customer expects“, explains a happy Kraus. The foundations have now been laid and we can now start the second development stage during which all of the measurement systems will be fine tuned again and requirements will be checked. The devices for measuring the housing vibration are going to be replaced again in the next few weeks and changed to the Expert Vibro from Delphin that has significantly higher performance levels. „With Expert Vibro we will be able to achieve an even higher level of accuracy. Quality can then be improved by a factor of ten,“ explains Frank Ringsdorf looking to the future. Clemens Kraus concludes: „Thanks to the new construction, we are now back at a measurement level that we can safely control. Compared to the past, we have increased our testing capacity by at least a third and have also achieved a far higher level of process safety. This is in part down to our excellent collaboration with Delphin..“ Photographs: Dirk Schaar About Delphin Technology The company founded in 1980 develops, produces and sells high-quality hard- and software products for industrial measurement and testing technology. The main areas of application are in measurement data acquisition and analysis, quality assurance, test stand automation, vibration measurement, remote monitoring, mobile measurement data acquisition as well as laboratory data acquisition and automation. Delphin products are, amongst other things, being used by companies involved in process engineering, mechanical engineering, the chemical and pharmaceutical industries and power engineering. The headquarters are based in Bergisch Gladbach, Germany. AUTOMATION TECHNOLOGIES 2/2016


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