High tech solutions taking condition monitoring to the next level
In any business, downtime can represent a big problem on multiple levels. It leads to delays, costs and worst of all, unhappy customers if deadlines are missed. The occasional problem is part of life, but if it happens too often, a business’s reputation will ultimately suffer and customers will start to look elsewhere.
When it comes to the customers we service at Euroby, we always advocate a philosophy of prevention being better than cure. This is the ethos behind our regular maintenance service offering that keeps equipment going at optimum performance and identifies any potential weaknesses so that they can be resolved before they have the chance to turn into catastrophic failures.
By introducing better and more efficient monitoring systems, we can further reduce the risks of downtime. Here, technology is our friend, and the latest innovation from our partners at Flottweg represents a huge leap forward.
Motice is a digitised system that provides an early warning system to both identify and address failures ahead of time. It constantly monitors the condition of the bearings in decanters, where any changes indicate that there is trouble ahead and maintenance or repair is needed.
Technology that listens
In essence, the Motice system “listens” to the equipment. Frank Ebert is the development engineer at Flottweg who headed up the Motice project. He explained that each bearing within a decanter has its own unique geometry that can be compared to a fingerprint. This causes it to resonate at a certain frequency, and if that frequency changes, it is indicative of a fundamental change in the bearing.
There are specific frequencies that point towards damage, and these are stored within the Motice system. It means that when Motice hears a change, it cannot just identify that “something might be amiss.” It can also assess what is wrong with the bearing and how much longer it will continue to operate. Typically, this provides a three month window to schedule the necessary maintenance and repairs in a way that will cause minimal interruption.
A great step forward
Automated systems are nothing new, but before Motice, these were restricted to cut-offs. These would shut the system down if machine vibration exceeded a certain level. This prevented safety hazards but it did not provide the early warning capability that Motice delivers.
The safety cut offs will, of course remain in place as a precautionary measure, but with Motice, there is far less likelihood of them being needed. The idea of condition monitoring is to report emerging wear so that sudden system shut downs become a thing of the past.
Condition monitoring leads to predictive maintenance
A system like Motice does more than reduce downtime. It also helps ensure maintenance routines add value and are as meaningful as possible. Mr Ebert said: “without condition monitoring, focused predictive maintenance is not possible.”
This is a data driven world, and the data provided by Motice, and systems like it, means that maintenance intervals can be optimised, saving businesses time and money.