Baumüller offers a new drive-based software solution for monitoring mechanics
Condition monitoring solutions allow operators to keep track of the condition of many machines on a regular basis. They make it possible to detect wear on motors in due time and help avoid machine downtimes. However, if this function is performed via sensor, it can quickly get very costly, depending on the type of machine and the number of motors used, such as in a textile machine.
Drive and automation specialist Baumüller has now developed a new software solution allowing a completely sensor-free implementation of condition monitoring. The Drive-Based Condition Monitoring software is integrated directly into the servo controller and can therefore be easily retrofitted. The drive-based software solution is another intelligent function from the Baumüller SmartValue modular software system. It helps to improve the energy balance in production and lower manufacturing costs. With Baumüller SmartValue, Baumüller offers numerous drive-integrated solutions, such as for recording, documenting, and optimizing the energy consumption of the drive system.
Sensor-free monitoring function in the drive
The new function uses previously recorded and analyzed process parameters from the current and speed signal as reference values for monitoring the mechanics, such as the motor, fan and hydraulic pump. FFT analysis can then be used to detect changes in the vibration spectrum. These vibrations are attributable, for example, to imbalance or faulty alignment.
If a significant deviation from the reference value is detected during operation, an error signal can be output in good time. This allows planned maintenance for the motor and prevents further damage to or the failure of the machine. The comparison measurements can be timed to take place at fixed intervals or on demand, depending on the customer’s requirements and the application. Monitoring is based on adjustable warning and error thresholds. Machine builders can use the measurements for new business models in the area of data-driven additional services.
Drive-integrated PLC enables condition monitoring
The converters of the b maXX 5000/6000 family are equipped with the integrated high-performance b maXX-softdrivePLC control platform. This enables control functionalities and a customized API to be installed directly in the drive. This way, programs can be executed so they are highly synchronous with the controller cycle. Baumüller has also used this intelligence in the drive for its new condition monitoring solution and allows the function to run in the firmware. The intelligence thus migrates into the drive. Depending on the application, an external sensor is not strictly necessary. This saves the effort required for separate wiring and reduces costs.
Readable characteristic values
The new Drive-Based Condition Monitoring software can be integrated in different variants. In a simple version, the converter provides a collective value from the temperature, power and vibration analysis of the motor. This can be clarified in the visualization, for example in the form of a red/green display.
For more in-depth information, the software can provide further values, such as the historical progression, the crest factor (ratio of peak to effective value) as well as the kurtosis factor for the number of transients/outliers in the vibration signal and standard deviation. Upon a change in the current oscillations, the exact value that has deviated from the reference value is then output. The range of functions can also be extended to include the evaluation of an external acceleration sensor. This can be freely positioned on a mechanical system and the measured values can be additionally analyzed.
The damage characteristics can also be optionally output on a clearly organized dashboard.