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New age drive technology

New age drive technology systems with intelligent algorithms and data analytics MOTION AND DRIVES With increasing digitalisation in the production eco-system, drive technology components too are getting digitalised. In production or logistics systems most of the motors are controlled by frequency inverters, the German drive technology specialist Nord Drivesystems has now developed frequency inverters that can analyse the data from the drives in operation. D igitisation of drive technology requires the interaction of sensors, interfaces to bus systems and intelligent software. Frequency inverters are now an indispensible part of the drive system in any production facility. By inculcating aspects of digitalisation in its frequency inverters, Nord Drivesystems can now determine major operating data such as current drawn, voltage, speed, and operating temperature. This data can be used for performance analysis, intelligent condition monitoring and predictive maintenance of the drives. Predictive Maintenance is the systematic continuation of condition monitoring, it is a further development of the classic production data collection, which has been an integral part of modern industrial plants for many years. While condition monitoring only enables the state of wear to be detected, predictive maintenance can ideally schedule a maintenance date well in advance. As a consequence, this concept translates to improved plant availability, lower costs, prolonged service life of drives and, above all, least possible failures. The progress in digitalisation opens totally new opportunities to economically implement predictive maintenance at reasonable effort for geared motors of all sizes. For this reason, the company, Nord Drivesystems aims at developing and providing economical concepts for web-based condition monitoring and predictive maintenance for smaller geared motors which are used in large numbers in logistics 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. Data analysis instead of just data reading Using virtual sensors based on intelligent mathematical algorithms and the integrated PLC, Nord inverters can calculate values they cannot directly measure by pre-processing internal status data: Based on the measured electrical data, the drive power is calculated in combination with available physical gear oil parameters to allow the oil service life to be predicted with sufficient accuracy. This allows an assessment of the degree of use of the gear oil and the predicted date for the oil change. Depending on the stress, load, and installation location of the geared motor in question, these dates can vary significantly even if the system comprises geared motors of identical service life. 26 WORLD OF INDUSTRIES 2018

01 Continuous monitoring at the field level and linkage of communication, sensor and process data enables complete monitoring of the state 01 02 02 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 In another scenario, comparing nominal and actual values by way of an algorithm helps plan the prediction of wear and the ideal maintenance date: During a teach-in phase, the electrical data of the new conveyor system is determined when idling and when subjected to a load and defined as reference values. If these values are then exceeded in real operation, 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 (packaging material, adhesive tape). If the mathematical parameters of the system are known and have been converted into validated intelligent algorithms for data evaluation, predictive maintenance for the drive technology becomes possible even without any real sensor being present. Avoiding breakdown of industrial gear units Industrial gear units are drive technology heavyweights which need to handle large torques. Due to the large forces involved, small defects which are not detected in time can quickly result in complete breakdowns. This would not only be expensive, but also disastrous: Major plant components would remain at a standstill until a replacement was delivered and installed. Because of this, Nord uses condition monitoring and predictive maintenance to achieve maximum plant availability and high cost-efficiency, even for industrial gear units. This also requires intelligent frequency inverters with integrated PLC capable of making autonomous decisions. But considering the costs for gear units, physical sensors are relatively cheap; for this reason, adding physical temperature and vibration sensors is be feasible in this case. Sensorik / Prozessdaten Aktorik 03 By default, Nord frequency inverters determine major operating data such as current draw and operating temperature that can be used for Condition Monitoring and Predictive Maintenance Vibration frequencies help locate faults In particular vibration sensors offer a range of advantages. Detailed manufacturers’ databases exist for all of the bearings which are installed in industrial gear units. These databases contain the characteristic vibration frequencies for inner race, outer race, and rollers of each bearing type. Also known are the meshing frequency, the bearing frequency, and the respective speed. The individual frequencies can therefore be clearly identified and attributed to particular components. The frequency spectrum can be analysed on the basis of the time signal or an FFT analysis to clearly identify the reasons for the vibrations. The FFT (Fast Fourier Transform) analysis is an algorithm for efficiently performing the Discrete Fourier Transform (DFT) that allows a digital signal to be split up into its frequency portions and to be analysed. A detailed status diagnosis is possible by determining the frequency portions, vibration amplitudes, phase of vibrations and aligning this data with the vibration databases. This not only enables the ideal or necessary maintenance time to be calculated, it also indicates the location of the fault, and which replacement parts are required. Cloud connection for networked service Basically, it is not difficult to retrofit even existing systems with a cloud connection. All drives have an IP address of their own by which they can be reached via a router. The data of each single drive in the system collected with condition monitoring and predictive maintenance can be queried without interfering with the machine controller or the software. The intelligent drive components transfer the data via an internet gateway to a secure cloud where it is available for evaluation with filter and analysis tools. In this way, a technician located anywhere in the world can analyse the data transparently presented in a browser-based web interface, and the plant can be viewed at a glance in a clearly structured 3D illustration. It is possible in this context to define which data a drive expert needs, and which data is important for the service technician. Continuous monitoring at the field level and linkage of communication, sensor and process data enables complete monitoring of the state of Nord drive systems. Using intelligent algorithms, the correct service date can be determined individually. This is made possible on the basis of the Nord’s expertise in mechanics, electrotechnics, and electronics. Photographs: Nord Drivesystems WORLD OF INDUSTRIES 2018 27