Friday, May 24, 2024

Acquisition to expand condition-based monitoring for Industry 4.0

Kevin Carlin, Vice President Automation and Energy Group, of Analog Devices

Among the most recent news of the specific market, there is the takeover of Test Motors, specialized in the predictive maintenance of electric motors and generators, by Analog Devices, Inc. (ADI), which so widens its portfolio for the condition based monitoring, permitting to identify appliances’ failures before they occur and therefore expensive machine downtimes.
Headquartered in Barcelona, Test Motors offers in fact products and services that detect anomalies and problems on electric motors before they cause damages to manifacturing cycles, providing indications about how and when to carry out repairs. This takeover follows the one occurred in 2018 of OtoSense, a start-up that has developed a “sensorial interpretation” software able to detect and to recognize sounds or vibrations, as well as to identify potential problems on industrial machinery or in the motor of a car before they can cause damages.
Analog Devices provides for combining the software by OtoSense with the monitoring skills by Test Motors to create solutions that offer an advanced complete snapshot of the health state of the machine, favouring the prevention of a broader range of potential failures.
«The machine maintenance largely depends on expert technicians and engineers able to detect and to diagnose problems that can lead to unplanned machine downtimes – stated Kevin Carlin, Vice President Automation and Energy Group, of Analog Devices. – There are not sufficient skilled professionals to keep pace with the demand because the number of machines to be monitored is steeply rising. Condition based monitoring applications by ADI, implemented by the takeovers of Test Motors and OtoSense, will face the problem by supplying customers with a system able to execute the complete timely detection of anomalies, to avoid unexpected expensive machine downtimes».

BTSR Performance for system acceleration/deceleration dynamics

ULTRAFEEDER represents the new generation BTSR solution, designed to meet the most demanding “constant tension” yarn feeding needs on a wide range of machines such as: sock/stocking, seamless, large diameter knitting machines, linear machines and several types of looms. 

Thanks to a new digital technology, featuring a dual control on yarn feeding and yarn running speed, ULTRAFEEDER assures absolute performance in terms of system acceleration/deceleration dynamics, very high resolution measurement capability (0.1 mm) of the yarn fed amount, besides a drastic savings of energy consumption.

The high torque provided by the new motor, even at ‘zero’ speed, assures the utmost control precision even when a high tension (90 gr) yarn feeding condition is combined with a very low speed (0.1 m/min), without the need of using pre-tensioning devices.

ULTRAFEEDER may operate with any type of yarn in a large number of applications, with thin bare (11,17 Dtex) covered, interlaced elastomers, nylon and cotton, for manufacturing of traditional and technical articles.

Monitoring production, state and maintenance of the machine

The AiCARE system has been designed to be integrated with all types of AIDA presses but at the same time it can be seen as an external device to be implemented on already installed presses. It is also possible to install AiCARE on presses of other manufacturers.

AiCARE (AIDA Information Care System) is the device that allows customers to receive information and data from presses. This is why AiCARE system has been structured in three groups.
The first group is for production where production data is collected, analyzed and represented by dashboards to intuitively inform the production quality trend. The second group is relative to the state of the machine, the data relating to the energy consumed is therefore collected rather than the data relating to the quality of the oil or data relating to the temperature of the machine.

They are then analyzed and presented via dashboard. Moreover, if a machine parameter leaves the normal working range, the system sends an e-mail describing the anomaly. Finally, the third group is related to the maintenance of the machine, here are presented all the components used inside the AIDA presses with information on the degree of use of the component, this allows AIDA customers to predict which components are at the end of the cycle so to plan downtime.The AiCARE system has been designed to be integrated with all types of AIDA presses but at the same time it can be seen as an external device to be implemented on already installed presses. It is also possible to install AiCARE on presses of other manufacturers.

AIDA AiCARE | CWIEME Global Award 2019
AIDA AiCARE has been awarded at the CWIEME Global Award 2019 in Berlin as the best product in the Evolution 4.0 category

AIDA AiCARE has been awarded at the CWIEME Global Award 2019 in Berlin as the best product in the Evolution 4.0 category. The jury, composed of five high-level technical judges from renowned companies, have considered AiCARE the best evolution for Industry 4.0 applications related to metalforming presses. The CWIEME Awards 2019 were given out in six categories, including Product of the Year, Evolution 4.0, Start-up of the Year, Outstanding Contribution to Industry, and best E-Motor Design of the Year in partnership with DuPont as well as the Grand Prix ‘Winner of Winners’ award. The winners have been awarded on May 22 at CWIEME Berlin. Judges for CWIEME Global Awards 2019: Dr Yves Burkhardt, Head of Motor Engineering and Simulation, Valeo Siemens eAutomotive Germany GmbH; Anand Sathyan, Principal Engineer, Green Engineering, LG Electronics; Vincent Marche, Marketing Director Altair; Lohit Shringi, Global Marketing Leader DuPont; Anderson Pacheco Manufacturing Sr. Staff Engineer, Drive System Engineering, Tesla. AIDA will perform live demos of AiCARE at its stand (Halle 8 – Stand 8302) during the next Blechexpo trade show to be held in Stuttgart from 05 to 08 November 2019.

An analysis tool

Ing. Michele Archenti, Sales and Marketing Manager di AIDA Europe

AiCARE is not only a device for data collection but it is also an analysis tool. Therefore, the use of machine learning algorithms, such as SVC, allow customers to understand how production quality evolves. As for predictive maintenance, it remains a goal to reach. This is because AIDA believe that predictive maintenance must meet certain quality standards. Through the parent company’s R&D department, AIDA is implementing new predictive maintenance algorithms that can meet the high quality standards of AIDA presses.


WEG Motor Scan is an Industry 4.0 solution

WEG Motor Scan is a device that enables periodical monitoring on electric motors. Technologically designed, mainly for maintenance purposes, the device can monitor reliability of electric motors installed on an application in order to ensure process efficiency and avoid downtime risk.
In terms of operation, the WEG Motor Scan allows users to monitor motor performance through a smart device (the App is available for Android and iOS) and a web platform (WEG IoT Platform). Based on collected data and then sent to the cloud, faster and more accurate decisions may be taken, specially in cases of predicted maintenance, ensuring higher efficiency and extended motor life time.

In addition, there is the possibility of setting up the sensor to trigger alerts based on collected and stored data and in order to make the monitoring of several motors easier in the factory, it is possible to monitor all motors fitted with WEG Motor Scan on the same screen of the WEG IoT Platform.
Among other benefits offered by this solution is the optimization of maintenance routine, reduction of replacement parts, increase of electric motor life time and energy efficiency improvement.

«WEG is in line with the fast changing market trends focusing its best efforts on technology development for Industry 4.0. This initiative brings major benefits to customers at a reasonable cost» – says Milton Castella, Engineering Director of Motors and Energy Divisions. According to Milton, this solution will show exactly how the IoT concept can be turned into reality and bring benefits for a wide variety of industrial sectors.

WEG, preventive and predictive maintenance

Released on the market by WEG, the device enables electric motors to play a protagonist role in the Industry 4.0 ambit. A technological solution that allows minimizing, or even eliminating, machine downtimes and remarkably improving the manufacturing process efficiency.

Gianandrea Mazzola

Motors are always subjected to strong stresses and long operation hours and it is unavoidable they are affected by a certain wear level. However, they unfrequently break down without warning. Usually, the signs of an imminent failure are anticipated by an increase of vibrations and by the high temperature. Parameters that, if not controlled and supervised carefully, can lead to unexpected stops, plant downtimes and therefore undesired financial losses. Consequently, the constant monitoring of vibrations, of temperature and of operation time becomes decisive as well as necessary to the ends of higher competitive edge. The timely warning of potential problems allows in fact executing the due maintenance and repair interventions, thus avoiding unscheduled interruptions. Definitively, a constant monitoring can increase productivity, improve quality and rise profits. Precisely in this context, WEG, one of the major world manufacturers of cutting-edge motors and drives, presented Motor Scan.

«We are referring to a user-friendly and effective device – explains Fabrizio Arosio, automation business manager of WEG Italia – that allows the remote monitoring of WEG motors, in order to maximise the use time and to permit both preventive and predictive maintenance activities». This technology allows in fact maintenance technicians to take informed decisions about the «health state» of installed motors and to react consequently, according to the acquired data.

From the motor to the IIoT, from Big Data to higher competitive edge

Available for frame sizes from 100 to 450, the device by WEG grants immediate usability. It exploits the Industry 4.0 digital technology, which includes Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and Big Data Analytics to offer its customers a competitive edge in this dynamic and complex activity sector. Due to its devising and development, the device aims at avoiding the boring manual collection and monitoring of data, at removing the conjectures about preventive maintenance and at eliminating the inefficiency of the reactive maintenance.

The company in short
WEG is one of the major world manufacturers of electric equipment, with five main Business Units: Motors, Energy, Transmission and Distribution, Automation and Coatings. The company employs around 30,000 people and over 3,000 engineers worldwide, with a global sale turnover amounting to 9.5 billion R$ in 2017. Its solutions in the field of the energy generation, transmission and distribution allow companies working in several sectors (in particular in the field of oil & gas, water & wastewater, energy distribution and in the chemical and petrochemical sectors), to operate more efficiently and to decrease the energy consumption, the emissions of carbon dioxide and the environmental impact. Besides, WEG offers complete solutions for projects in the renewable energy ambit, through complete systems of wind turbines and photovoltaic systems.
Fabrizio Arosio, automation business manager of WEG Italia

«Motor Scan – adds Arosio – can predict and highlight a problem before it occurs. In a certain sense, it is as if we had a sort of crystal ball that allows knowing what will happen in the future. We believe that, preventing a problem before it occurs is the attainment of the best efficiency in terms of cost and maintenance. The device exploits the IIoT and the analysis to connect sensors and other devices aimed at collecting and analysing data in real time and besides it offers transparency in the adoption of immediate preventive actions. Moreover, our new solution helps customers in increasing the safety of their plants, remaining anyway competitive in this demanding constantly evolving sector». The sensor can be easily installed (even in a time following the motor installation) through a clamp and today it can detect vibrations, surface temperature, operation hours, speed and start/stop through a Bluetooth connection. For practical reasons, the collected data are stored in the cloud and users can exploit an available app for both iOS and Android, on their smartphones or tablets, to gain access to it. Besides, the access to data on laptop and desktop is enabled by a dedicated Web portal. A powerful analysis system allows processing data and anticipating possible hidden anomalies or problems according to the analysis of the frequency spectrum. Various warning levels, according to acceptable reference values of temperature/vibration, are pre-set, with the possibility of tracing performance curves on the basis of the collected data.

WEG Motor Scan collected data are stored in the cloud and can be browsed through an available app for both iOS and Android, or from laptop and desktop through a dedicated Website

The added-value of a correct sizing

«Actually – adds Arosio – simultaneously with the installation, through the input of the univocal identification code of the single motor, the device automatically recognizes dozens and dozens of further product information, from the number of coils to their type of winding. Data that, through apposite algorithms, in the future will also enable, besides other things, to control the frequency, the efficiency and the real absorption in real time of the motor».
Moreover, these data will permit to check the correct motor sizing depending on the specific application. With noteworthy saving benefits.

«In fact, it quite often happens – further highlights Arosio – that starting from the designer’s initial sizing, to comply with the regulatory tolerances and so on, you achieve a motor used not by 100% but with much lower efficiencies. In other words, motors might be oversized or also undersized with respect to the load they are intended for. Discrepancy that unavoidably leads to some inefficiencies».

Motor Scan allows the remote monitoring of WEG motors, in order to maximise the use time and to allow both preventive and predictive maintenance activities

An oversized motor consumes more electric energy owing to a low power factor that increases costs. On the other hand, an undersized motor causes overheating. Therefore, it is important to monitor the motor load and to match the motor with its effective requirements, in order to improve the system performances and generate cost saving. For a certain number of years, in fact, the achievement of the energy efficiency has been the key target of industry. However, there is a concrete problem concerning the motor-load correspondence. Some energy savings must be obtained through the «right sizing». For this reason, the future evolution of Motor Scan will include the motor measuring.

Stop to vibrations, high temperatures and possible degradations of components

As already mentioned, the rise of vibrations, the high temperature and prolonged operation time of the motor can generate some risks, with undesired effects on the process where it is used. More in detail, anomalous vibrations come from electric or mechanical unbalances inside the motor. The electric causes include the variation of the flow around the stator that produces a variation of forces between the stator and the rotor, a broken rotor bar or a short circuit that involves a part of the winding. Mechanical causes include instead an unsuitable motor base and defective bearings.

«The complications caused by vibrations – points out Arosio – can for instance accelerate the bearing yielding, resulting in recesses on the tracks at the distance between balls or rollers».

Concerning temperature, some components, especially mobile parts, tend to release unusual heat quantities when they degrade. The presence of excessive heat can indicate an excess of friction, i.e. the presence of misalignments of components that rub one against the other (and they should not).

«According to some studies carried out – underlines Arosio – they estimate that each 10° rise of the operation temperature of motor windings, compared to the setup temperature, corresponds to the 50% reduction of the insulation duration of motor windings, even if the overheating is only temporary».

The effects of a protracted operation time can finally affect the fast degradation of some motor components. This occurs owing to the accumulation of overheating and stresses.

«To prolong the motor service life – notices Arosio – it is decisive, as well as important, monitoring the operation time and ascertaining that an excessive use is avoided. Moreover, the monitoring can offer the opportunity of an energy saving, permitting to switch motors off when they are not in use».

Motor Scan can be easily installed (even in a time after the motor installation) through a clamp and today it can detect vibrations, surface temperature, operation hours, speed and start/stop through a Bluetooth connection

Reducing the motor operation time by just 10%, you achieve an energy saving that exceeds the one achievable by replacing a standard efficiency one with a high-efficiency execution. In short, the effective Motor Scan device not only allows eliminating the monotonous manual collection and monitoring of data but also makes preventive maintenance suppositions superfluous and actually annuls the inefficiency of the reactive maintenance. Besides, training maintenance technicians according to the particular requisites of predictive maintenance, it offers companies the opportunity of developing the staff’s skills, widening their capabilities and competences.

Safety and efficiency in manufacturing automation


Cosberg designs and manufactures plants to automate the mounting systems for all types of electric motors, such as for instance brushless, AC, DC and stepper, intended for several sectors, among which stands out the Automotive. An ambit where, even more than in others, efficiency and safety are essential issues.
For this reason, Cosberg can integrate all available technologies to carry out tests, measurements and controls into the plants, designed and manufactured by the Italian company: dimensional vision controls, component presence, positioning, automated contacting and related electric and tin welding, controlled dosing for the sealing bicomponent, tightness or insulation tests, checks of the noise level, electric tests and so on.
automation Control and traceability are nowadays irremissible conditions because they allow filing the “story” of each single part and, if necessary, tracing back all underwent machining operations. Therefore, on one hand Cosberg machines assure – and can prove – that each single product has been assembled in full compliance with all specifications provided for by the manufacturer; on the other hand, they must provide each workpiece with its own “package” of information, transmitting all detected data to manufacturers and thus allowing them to monitor, to prevent, to improve and to process statistics. Customers can define what kinds of controls to perform for each production and decide that each single product is labelled and monitored for the entire lifecycle, managing to store all information types: what processes it underwent (and when), on  what car it was mounted, what parameters have characterized its production and the values obtained from trials and eventual testing.
Flexibility is another very important aspect for the plants devised for this sector. In fact, for both high-end and “standard” products, there are always countless variables that give birth to endless models and variants. This has led Cosberg, in time, to study solutions offering high reconfigurability levels and drastically reduced set-up times, to meet the ever-rising trend of customizing all aspects of cars and motorbikes. Concerning this, the concept of Lean Production plays a fundamental role, as aimed at the waste reduction and focused on quality, pursuing perfection through constant improvements. Workflows are precisely engineered according to this vision, simplifying the entire manufacturing cycle and eliminating the activities that do not generate added-value, in order to make our systems more and more efficient and flexible.
automationCosberg always accepts the challenge for both aspects, traceability and flexibility, because Cosberg must work in synergy at mechanics, electronics and software to satisfy Customers’ expectations. A factor shared by both ambits is precisely the need of controlling and objectifying each operation, in order to eliminate human errors, to avoid wastes of time and resources and to supply “measurable” quality products.
Cosberg can manage all available market technologies that allow reaching these results, like for instance vision and measuring systems, linear and pressure transducers, system management software. Unavoidably, the latter must be faster and faster in filing and processing and, meanwhile, increasingly reliable and safe, as well as – not secondary characteristic – of immediate interpretation and use.
All that allows Cosberg to provide effective solutions to the scenarios that are emerging on the market – where the demand for smaller and customized batches is spreading – and in the advanced manufacturing industry, where production plants are consequently becoming increasingly adaptive, self-configurable and integrated into the manufacturing chain. In other words, Cosberg can state that its plants have already undertaken that evolutionary course that will lead, unavoidably, to that model of Factory that – rightly – Cosberg can define Intelligent.