13 June, 2024

Smart pneumatics monitor

26 September, 2017

"What does machine downtime cost the company and how important is it to me to significantly reduce the probability of such an event?” asks Wolf Gerecke, director strategic product management at Aventics. In answer to these questions, Aventics has developed a product that detects and reports wear on pneumatic systems before it can result in a failure.

 Recording operating data with existing sensor technology

According to Aventics, the major advantage is that the SPM uses already available sensor signals, processes them at a decentralised location and uses this data to derive reliable information on the machine’s state. This does not put a load on the machine control nor does it require high bandwidths to send great volumes of data to a server. Gerecke provides an example: “Shock absorbers are one of the most frequent causes for unplanned downtime. To monitor the wear of a shock absorber, the SPM breaks down the end switch signals to evaluate the cushioning sequence. Based on changes in the cycle time for a cylinder’s stroke in the millisecond range, the system can detect when the efficiency of the shock absorber is reduced over its service life.”

On request, the module not only monitors the degree of wear but also the current energy consumption. Users can take measures for optimisation early on and thereby meet the requirements set out in the EU Energy Efficiency Directive. Since last year, all companies with 250 employees and more must complete an energy audit and furnish proof of a certified energy management system to ISO 50001 or an environmental management system to EMAS.

 Algorithms analyse the data

Algorithms written by Aventics based on the company’s application experience analyse this data internally and make the information gained available. This generally takes place via the integrated OPC-UA server, though other communication methods such as MQTT or cloud connectors are also possible. Pre-defined recipients can also be informed directly by e-mail or text message.

Condition monitoring, the collection of operating states and their prediction as the basis for anticipatory maintenance concepts, offers direct advantages for customers using IoT applications. Because they can anticipate wear before it leads to machine downtimes, they allow machine manufacturers and users to significantly increase the availability of their equipment. “Anyone can calculate the value of the SPM themselves by comparing the costs for the SPM with one day of unplanned system failure,” said Gerecke.


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