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WORLD OF INDUSTRIES - MOTION, DRIVE & AUTOMATION 3/2017

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WORLD OF INDUSTRIES - MOTION, DRIVE & AUTOMATION 3/2017

Smart monitoring of

Smart monitoring of ancillary equipment to avoid operations breakdown Sudden failure of ancillary equipment like electric motors and pumps can lead to costly production downtimes. In conjunction with Mitsubishi Electric, Schaeffler has developed a system, which measures the machine vibrations and recommends actions based on this data. This opens up new business models for service partners. Authors: Volker Erberich, Service Manager, Condition Monitoring at Schaeffler Christoph Behler, Senior Business Development Manager, Factory Automation, at Mitsubishi Electric Europe MACHINE ELEMENTS “Ignorance is not always bliss”: This principle applies for many manufacturing companies when it comes to ancillary equipment such as electric motors, pumps, and fans. While pumps are usually designed with redundancy in mind and their failure does not have a direct influence on ongoing operations, the failure of ventilation facilities, for example, can quickly result in a production slowdown or even a breakdown. There are proven systems such as Schaeffler’s FAG SmartCheck, which detect an impending failure at an early stage on the basis of vibration data. However, until now, these kinds of solutions required maintenance employees to have a knowledge of vibration technology. In conjunction with Mitsubishi Electric, Schaeffler has now developed a complete solution, which can be easily installed without any knowledge of vibration diagnosis. The “FAG SmartQB” system measures the vibrations and temperatures of machines using up to 6 sensors, detects misalignments, imbalance, bearing damage, friction, cavitation or temperature increases for example and recommends actions directly via the PLC and a touch display. This allows maintenance personnel to initiate countermeasures at an early stage, even if they have no specialist knowledge about vibration technology. Development of the FAG SmartQB The FAG SmartQB arises from customers’ requirements for a simple stand-alone solution for standard applications. This sys- tem does not require complex cabling, apart from its power supply cable. Vibration measurement is carried out using up to 6 FAG SmartCheck sensors. If increased values, which are characteristic of typical defect types, are detected during continuous vibration measurement, the FAG SmartQB outputs automatic warnings and recommended actions via the display. The system is now to be launched on the worldwide market after a test phase lasting approximately 2 years with multiple pilot customers. Partnership with Mitsubishi Electric Schaeffler developed the automation solution for the FAG SmartQB in conjunction with the factory automation business unit of Mitsubishi Electric Europe. For the last 7 years, the two companies have been partners in the e-F@ctory Alliance, which is part of Mitsubishi Electric’s e-F@ctory Concept. This concept supports companies with measures within the framework of the digital transformation, such as the integration of machine and plant data into MES (manufacturing execution systems) and ERP (enterprise planning systems) – and therefore lays the foundations for Industry 4.0 projects. For example, the machine protocol SLMP (seamless message pro- WORLD OF INDUSTRIESMOTION, DRIVE & AUTOMATION 3/2017

01 Measurement is carried out using up to six FAG SmartCheck vibration sensors 02 Display of the FAG Smart QB with plain text messages 03 Installation of the system in a main extracted air fan tocol) implemented in the FAG SmartQB enables FAG SmartCheck vibration sensors to communicate bi-directionally with Mitsubishi Electric’s PLC and to transmit the determined parameter values. The PLC processes the data into information, which is prepared as plain text messages and shown on the display. An additional integration level also allows the SmartQB to be connected with the PLC of the relevant plant via a network cable and Modbus protocol. Test installation in an aluminum foundry Schaeffler’s service partners such as Pumpen-und-Anlagenservice Holfert (PAS) in Freital near Dresden (Germany) played a central role in the pilot applications. Schaeffler and PAS installed the SmartQB on the main extracted air fan at DGH Heidenau, a foundry, producing aluminum housings for the automotive industry. A FAG SmartCheck vibration sensor was installed on the motor housing on the drive side and an additional sensor was mounted on the plummer block housing unit on the fan side, which creates the connection to the fan. The motor sensor monitors irregularities such as imbalance, misalignments and bearing damage in both the motor bearings and the shaft by means of permanent vibration measurements, the sensor located on the plummer block housing unit monitors the shaft with two further rolling bearings on the fan side. The main advantage of this arrangement is that it enables comprehensive condition monitoring using just 2 sensors; twice as many sensors are usually used in current comparable solutions. The most important objectives of the test installation were to make it possible to plan maintenance intervals for the main extracted air fan and to prevent sudden failures and expensive subsequent damage. This is also important because the ventilation system is not designed with redundancy in mind: In the case of a long downtime, it would no longer be possible to extract the exhaust air and the dust in the air would impair production in the foundry. New business models for service partners For Schaeffler’s service partners involved in this project, the installation of condition monitoring systems such as the FAG SmartQB means additional direct business. Systems of this kind also provide an opportunity to automate standard tasks and enable repairs to be carried out in a targeted manner in the case of any irregularities. Service providers can now plan their personnel resources in advance and procure the required materials at an early stage. Condition monitoring systems can also form the basis for new business models, in which service partners no longer sell operators manual measurement and individual repair services on a case-by-case basis, but use a continuous monitoring service and permanent availability of a machinery pool as a basis for invoicing. In addition, these systems can also verify the success of a repair – this may be particularly helpful in more complex cases if the cause of a defect cannot be reproduced and clearly assigned in a conventional manner. Summary and outlook Autonomous condition monitoring systems such as the FAG Smart- QB are particularly suitable for condition monitoring of ancillary equipment because they are simple to install and can be operated by maintenance personnel without any knowledge of vibration technology. Schaeffler developed the system in co-operation with its partner Mitsubishi Electric, which is responsible for the automation solution, the PLC and the text messages on the touch display. The engineers tested the system in a large number of test installations, including an aluminum foundry; it will now to be launched on the worldwide market. Plant operators can use this solution to increase the availability of machines and reduce maintenance costs by avoiding expensive subsequent repairs, for example, through carrying out maintenance in good time. Condition monitoring systems not only provide service partners with additional business, but can also form the basis for new business models, which can use the availability of plant as a basis for invoicing. In addition, condition monitoring systems offer a further advantage on the path towards Industry 4.0. They continuously collect field data, which will be evaluated in future using big data analysis and can be of significant benefit during the development, design and operation of new plant. Photographs: Schaeffler AG www.schaeffler.com About Schaeffler AG Schaeffler Group is a leading integrated auto motive and industrial supplier. The company based in Herzogenaurach, Germany, generated revenues of approximately 13.3 billion Euros in 2016. With around 86,600 employees, Schaeffler is one of the world’s largest family owned companies. The group has approximately 170 operating locations in more than 50 countries with a worldwide network of manufacturing plants, research and development centers, and sales subsidiaries. Schaeffler makes key contributions towards ‘mobility for tomorrow’ with precision components and systems in engines, transmission and chassis applications as well as rolling and plain bearing solutions for industrial applications. WORLD OF INDUSTRIESMOTION, DRIVE & AUTOMATION 3/2017

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