Condition Based Monitoring for Industrial Systems

Posted by Kari Grosser on Apr 17, 2017 10:20:00 AM

Challenge

A large construction aggregate plant operates 10 high horsepower Secondary Crusher Drive Motors and associated conveyor belts, producing 600 tons of product per hour. All heavy equipment requires maintenance, but the aggregate producer's costs were greatly magnified any time that the necessary maintenance was unplanned and unscheduled. The product must be supplied to the customers on a tight time schedule to fulfill contracts, avoid penalties, and prevent the loss of future business. Furthermore, a sudden failure in one of the drive motors would cause rock to pile up in unwanted locations, extending the downtime and increasing the costs.

Clearly, preventative maintenance was preferable to unexpected failures. So, twice each year, the company brought in an outside vendor to attach sensors to the motors, do vibration studies, measure bearing temperatures and attempt to assess the health of the motors. But that wasn't enough. Unexpected breakdowns continued to occur. The aggregate producer decided to upgrade to a Condition Based Monitoring (CBM) sensor system that could continually monitor the motors in real time, apply data analytics to detect changes in motor behavior before they developed into major problems, and alert maintenance staff via email or text, anywhere they happened to be.

A wired sensor network would have been cost prohibitive. An aggregate plant has numerous heavy vehicles moving around, so any cabling would have to be protected. But the plant covers 400 acres, and the cable would have to be trenched to numerous locations. Cable wasn't going to work. The aggregate producer needed a wireless solution.

Solution

Advantech B+B SmartWorx provided a complete solution.

router and wzzard b.jpgAdvantech B+B SmartWorx installed the wireless Wzzard Intelligent Sensing Platform. First, each of the company's was equipped with three industry standard sensors: current draw, vibration and temperature. Changes in any of these parameters can be an early indicator of future problems. Each motor was provided with a single Wzzard Intelligent Edge node, as each Wzzard node can connect up to three sensors. The Wzzard nodes then used wireless mesh networking to publish the sensor data to a network gateway. The gateway then sent the data to the monitoring application.

Two additional Wzzard nodes were also installed, to provide data routing support and ensure that the mesh network was robust enough to provide reliable, five nines (99.999 percent) uptime and connectivity, even though the environment included many large metal surfaces.

Why Go Wireless?

Advantech B+B SmartWorx installed the wireless Wzzard Intelligent Sensing Platform. First, each of the company's was equipped with three industry standard sensors: current draw, vibration and temperature. Changes in any of these parameters can be an early indicator of future problems. Each motor was provided with a single Wzzard Intelligent Edge node, as each Wzzard node can connect up to three sensors. The Wzzard nodes then used wireless mesh networking to publish the sensor data to a network gateway. The gateway then sent the data to the monitoring application.

Two additional Wzzard nodes were also installed, to provide data routing support and ensure that the mesh network was robust enough to provide reliable, five nines (99.999 percent) uptime and connectivity, even though the environment included many large metal surfaces.

The Wzzard Intelligent Sensing Platform

  • Wzzard wireless mesh networks cover distances where a wired sensor network would be cost prohibitive
  • Wzzard is an easy retrofit - it works with existing, industry standard sensors
  • The monitored machines need no data ports - Wzzard collects the relevant information from external sensors
  • Real-time access to data through an intuitive dashboard
  • Data analytics not only detects failures, it predicts failures
  • Alert levels set to provide real-time text message or email notification of thresholds exceeded
  • Wzzard cuts downtime and related costs
  • Wzzard makes machine condition data available wherever it is useful
  • Wzzard enables automatic alerts on your computer, tablet or smart phone

Additional CBM Quarry Applications

Wzzard could monitor additional equipment in and around the quarry for better preventive maintenance and operations:

  • Rock Breaker
  • Apron feeder to the primary crusher
  • Overhead crane
  • Dust collection/suppression system
  • Freight elevator
  • Eccentric trolley removal cart
  • Service air compressor
  • Man-lift elevator
  • Air cannons
  • Air vacuum clean up systems
  • Water booster pumps
  • Rock grapple
  • Service trolleys
  • Conveyor belt magnets
  • Conveyor gravity take-up service winch
  • Conveyor belt metal detectors
  • Conveyor belt rip detector
  • Belt monitoring systems
  • Conveyor belt weigh scales
  • Belt feeders
  • Vibratory feeders

Connect Anything - Monitor Everything

As Wzzard Intelligent Edge Nodes will connect virtually any sensor, the aggregate producer also decided to install level meters in the surge bins. Like the sensors on the motors, these sensors where connected to Wzzard Intelligent Edge Nodes, which joined the other nodes on the mesh network. If the surge bins were in danger of overflowing, the system would send immediate alerts to the operator. The data was also available to the Comprehensive Communication application in the site office, and was included in the system dashboard.

conect anything.jpg

 

Information provided by Advantech B+B SmartWorx.

Topics: Industrial Communication

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