7 months ago



Geared motors: Test area

Geared motors: Test area examines drive units thoroughly Conveyors in large intralogistics applications or baggage handling systems often have lengths of several kilometres. Such complex systems are powered by hundreds of geared motors. Experts from Nord Drivesystems gather precise knowledge about the behaviour and control of drive technology in an application test area in Bargteheide, Germany. There, new products and technologies are also tested. MOTION AND DRIVES How do geared motors behave in practice? What conclusions about the service life and maintenance of a drive unit can be drawn from the operating data of a frequency inverter? Where does further optimisation need to be made to a new drive concept? To provide customers with optimally tailored products and innovative service concepts Nord Drivesystems seeks the answers to these questions in its own test area. The test system consists of an oval conveyor belt with rising and falling sections, as well as a bypass section with input and discharge points from the main route. The individual conveyor belts are driven by various types of Nord geared motors and frequency inverters. The fifteen drive units are networked with standard interfaces and can be monitored through the web. The frequency inverters and motor starters are controlled via a Profinet bus, but the Nord Drivesystems drive technology can also handle all other common bus systems. Industry 4.0: Drive data in the cloud As with all Nord drive units, the drive units in the application test area are fully Industry 4.0 ready. They regularly transmit their status data such as current consumption, speed and voltage via the bus cable using the UDP communication protocol, without affecting the control communication. To keep the data volume as low as possible only the values which have changed since the last transmission are sent. The status data are transmitted via an Internet gateway to a secure cloud, where they are available for further analysis and evaluation. Fault conditions and drive overload can be visualised and detected. In addition, status data can be evaluated for energy management and remote maintenance. Another important aim is to develop and provide economical concepts for web-based condition monitoring and predictive maintenance for smaller geared motors which are used in large numbers in intralogistics applications. For these systems, additional physical real sensors, such as those which are used for condition monitoring in industrial gear units are often too expensive. Virtual sensors i.e. pre-processing of internal status data enable determination of oil temperature and oil ageing for predictive maintenance without the use of physical sensors. NORD is currently working intensively on solutions for status monitoring with the aid of virtual sensors. For this, we use all of the facilities of our own application test area. 20 WORLD OF INDUSTRIES 4/2019

01 02 03 Obtaining qualified insights Further application data such as the data from connected sensors and actuators can be saved in the cloud at any time. Among other things, Nord Drivesystems has equipped the drives in the test area with encoders, in order to obtain deeper insights into the actual behaviour of the drives. By inserting a heavy object onto the running belt, dynamic properties are required in order to achieve the required torque. By means of the encoder, it can for example be determined whether the geared motors can provide the planned acceleration in reality with larger loads on the conveyor belt and actually meet the customer’s requirements. At the same time, Nord determines relationships and dependencies on ambient conditions in real use, which cannot be obtained with purely test bed operation under standardised conditions – valuable know-how for providing advice, troubleshooting and maintenance on the customer’s premises. Target and actual comparison with algorithms By means of light barriers on the conveyor belts in the application test area, the frequency inverter detects whether there is a load on its conveyor belt. If no load is present, it measures the electrical data and compares these values with a reference value. If this is exceeded, the inverter detects that something has changed in the mechanical system. This can be caused by increased friction, wear, a damaged bearing or gear unit or a trapped foreign body. By comparing the virtually determined status data with real measurements, mathematical relationships can be derived for the system and data evaluation algorithms can be validated and improved. Stresses to the system due to continuous operation or frequent starting and braking can be determined. The question of what information can be derived from the measured values with the aid of algorithms and how this can be utilised for predictive maintenance is tested in practice by Nord Drivesystems together with pilot customers. 01 Intralogistics solutions such as the Nordac Link field distributor are fully Industry 4.0 ready and can transmit important drive status data for predictive maintenance concepts into the cloud 02 In the application test area, drive experts from Nord Drivesystems obtain deeper insights into the actual behaviour of drive units in practical use via encoders and light barriers 03 The status and operating data of the example system can be analysed and evaluated in the cloud and clearly visualised in a web-based browser view Realistic simulation of conveyor applications The objective is to be able to determine the normal current and load values for the customer’s installation during a learning phase. In future operation, algorithms will monitor whether all operating parameters are within the normal range. Calculation models which are produced with the aid of the application test area also help Nord Drivesystems in the planning of customers’ projects: The characteristics of a conveyor belt can be simulated on the basis of a mathematical model. Parameters such as belt friction or the inertia of the belt are known. Together with the values from practical tests in the application test area, a conveyor system can be simulated with adequate precision in order to provide the customer with more precise design recommendations than would be possible with merely the planned performance parameters. This avoids expensive over-engineering. Of course, the test area is also used as an illustrative demonstration to customers for the topic of Industry 4.0. Thanks to the link to the cloud, the application test area can also be demonstrated at exhibitions and on-site visits throughout the world. WORLD OF OF INDUSTRIES 4/2019 21


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