It’s never been easier to find out what’s going on with your machines. Thermography, oil analysis and vibration monitoring give you the best picture you’ve ever had of the condition of equipment. But data doesn’t always add up to answers. And more data doesn’t necessarily mean a clearer picture. So how can Industry 4.0 help you make the best use of the data available?
Industry 4.0 – sometimes described as “the next Industrial Revolution” – uses the cloud and the Internet of Things to make data more readily available so it can be more effectively applied or acted on. Essentially it’s about maximising connectivity – and for machine condition monitoring that means helping you keep constant tabs on key measurable parameters, without having to be standing by the machine and without having to wait for a written report.
By bringing all this data together in one place, instantaneously by using processing algorithms, you’ve got all the information you need, at your fingertips, to help you make quicker and more accurate decisions about equipment maintenance and repair.
It’s like a doctor giving a preliminary diagnosis after listening to your chest with a stethoscope, then getting it confirmed with an X-ray and maybe a blood test too. But using Condition Monitoring decision making with Internet 4.0 connectivity, there’s no need to book a second appointment. You get the information instantly, in real time.
Sharing for success
Getting the right data in the first place depends on having the right monitoring equipment. The waste and recycling sector is a tough environment where rugged, robust devices are essential. It’s also essential to know what’s worth monitoring. With vibration being a fact of life for many items of equipment in the sector, it’s not likely that overall parameter vibration monitoring will reveal any useful results, so you need expert advice on what signal processing and monitoring will be most use.
With real-time monitoring in place you’ll need safeguards too. For example, you’ll want to ensure that alerts and alarms can’t be reset until they have been acted on. And they should be configured so they’re not interacting with live systems. After all, you don’t want a faulty sensor triggering an automatic safety shutdown which could cause hours of unnecessary downtime.
When you’ve collected all this valuable data, it’s important to consider where it should go to be most useful. For example, sharing it with ERIKS via the cloud gives you the opportunity to take advantage of years of know-how and multi-machine, multi-industry experience, which can help you spot issues earlier and take more effective remedial action more quickly.
Bringing it all together
Much of the technology that’s required for machine condition monitoring with Industry 4.0 is already available. It might even already be in place on
Inverters and PLCs, for example, have huge amounts of information embedded within them. All that’s required is for it to be extracted, monitored and analysed. Many devices already monitor efficiency, but not condition. However, combine the efficiency data from these devices with condition data from others, and you have a comprehensive “portrait” of your machine which only requires analysis and interpretation to put you in the picture.
Cloud-based monitoring also gives you’re the opportunity to benefit from aggregated data across other machines.
The joined-up data can tell you what’s happening to identical equipment on the site or other sites. So if a similar issue has arisen and been resolved, you’ve got a shortcut to knowing what action to take.
Let’s assume you have your monitoring devices in place. They’re providing you with large amounts of valuable data. Now how can you use it in the smartest possible way to reduce your maintenance costs and downtime, and optimise your productivity? The opportunity to take early remedial action is one benefit, as we’ve already discussed. But that doesn’t have to be limited to ad hoc reactions to potential emergencies.
With ample data to analyse, and based on extensive industry experience, ERIKS could help you develop a smart maintenance plan combining preventive and predictive maintenance. We could also advise on the most advanced, energy-efficient, reliable products on the market, and support that advice with Total Cost of Ownership tools.
That will provide you with the information you need to upgrade whenever you’re ready, to achieve even better productivity and energy-use performance, with lower maintenance costs and a longer service life.