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Machine Condition Monitoring Using IoT with Examples

Machine condition monitoring using IoT

In a technology-driven culture, there are also more ways of driving industry equipment efficiently. 

Have you heard of machine condition monitoring yet?

We are going to talk about what it means for your current manufacturing performance and what special problems it can solve.

These technologies offer real-time monitoring of every valuable part of your production. By constant monitoring of machinery state, you can significantly cut on financial risks and keep machine conditions fail-proof. With machine condition services you can empower multiple components that influence your manufacturing progress to run smoothly and efficiently. To add, the possibilities of predictive maintenance will save efforts, time, and costs.    

Nowadays, the idea of the technical feasibility of monitoring the most critical components of your production processes is really brilliant. There is no doubt it helps your business to remain on top under any circumstances.

 

What is Machine Condition Monitoring?

Traditionally, industrial machine repair services could cause long downtimes, unnecessary expenses, and real risks resulting in continual extra efforts. Previously, equipment maintenance was implemented on the basis of schedules, repair plans, or situations when the warranty expired. 

Today, by adopting modern approaches to machine condition monitoring you will save plenty of your resources. But, what does it actually mean?

Machine condition monitoring or condition-based monitoring is the process of monitoring machinery conditions while in operation. The data generated by machines will provide you with real insights into what maintenance measures are required at a particular time. As a result, you will be able to permanently analyze such machinery components as motors, compressors, fans, pumps, gearboxes, blowers, and so forth. By taking measurements of pressure, temperature, and vibration, you are more likely to identify early malfunctions resulting in costly shutdowns. By the way, on the basis of real-time machine condition data, you can make more accurate predictions. It is named predictive maintenance, an opportunity that will ensure high ROI and overall production profitability. 

By applying these techniques, your manufacturing processes will be running on a cost-effective and time-consuming basis. In turn, it will ensure the long-term and effective operation of entire machine systems.

 

Difference Between Condition Monitoring and Machine Monitoring

To show you the whole picture, you should note there is a specific difference between condition monitoring and machine monitoring. 

In the case of machine monitoring you are provided with a simple machine status: if the machine is operating or not. It is especially useful when manufacturers need to react to possible machine downtimes quickly. This generated machine uptime data is helpful to the maintenance team to react proactively to possible events. 

So as you can guess, this approach is more primitive and certainly fails to provide clear diagnostics to predict failures and adjust processes to optimize overall performance. The second drawback of machine monitoring refers to resulting cost overruns. Simple machine downtime tracking triggers the constant necessity of making fixes every time something breaks down. As a result, the problems won't be solved and maintenance costs will rise each time. Over-maintenance is often too expensive and time-consuming.     

Oppositely, condition monitoring differs by possibilities of making fault diagnostics based on different conditions measurement. This way, you can determine machine work during any running phase. It is defined as a more adequate approach, as it can deepen you more into machine analytics and help you plan needed maintenance beforehand. By applying such techniques, manufacturers can also harness real-time conditions to maintain long-lasting machine performance, optimize assets and avoid unplanned downtime. Predictive maintenance of condition monitoring saves costs and time because all actions are strictly scheduled to prevent damages and can be planned while necessary. 

   

Benefits of Condition Monitoring

Now, let us present to your view a list of the most useful benefits of condition monitoring.

  • Condition-based maintenance;

  • Reduced machine downtime;

  • Improved equipment performance and efficiency;

  • More profitable revenue streams;

  • Improved quality of machine parts;

  • Real-time automation of machine condition state.

 

You may know, many factors could physically affect production equipment. Frequently appearing indicators of out-of-range parameters could lead to reduced time of machine service and costly damages. That is why the benefits of condition monitoring are extremely essential to overall production efficiency.

Apart from saving on unnecessary maintenance, you are getting more accurate insights. Your maintenance team will be able to make important decisions concerning equipment on whether to continue its usage or not. In such a way, manufacturers will be no more wasting on additional repairs costs and time, or start full machine replacement before its maximum efficiency is reached. 

Daily production will bring improved quality and increased amount of products accordingly. All these factors are crucial to potential limitless and extensive production processes. With opportunities for real condition-based monitoring, you will be able to predict downtime events and save much of your costs in a long-term perspective.      

 

What Conditions Can You Monitor On A Machine?

A wide variety of machine data can be monitored and assessed correspondingly. Depending on your production goals, you can monitor particular conditions that influence your future machine performance. These conditions are essential to analyze to maintain high equipment efficiency, record important operation trends, and predict failures. Important to note that you are free to embed old equipment with external sensors or connect it with digital and analog IO.

After these steps are finished, you can start capturing measurements. Next, this given picture will help you to monitor the state of health of your equipment and alert you of emerging impending machine failure. 

However, we suggest paying attention to some specific set of conditions that will help affect your maintenance activities and make predictive analysis. 

Vibration

By monitoring vibration patterns, it is possible to spot changes in more than 15 minutes before a human operator does. The tracking of emerging problems of vibration patterns can provide deeper insight into its durability or a failing tool. 

Temperature 

A wide variety of potential problems can be analyzed by taking temperature measurements. One of such changes in machine temperature may signal an impending machine failure, overheating, any potential risks, and even complete machine breakdown.  

Load

Misalignment of a load of a particular machine is a natural thing. Constant work of a machine tool with material may lead to an increase in load to cut material properly. So, dull cutting materials is the first signal of the possible ending of tool life.     

Torque

You can easily identify anomalies in the rotational force of the machine. As a result, you will be more informed of how to prevent machine failures and what changes are happening during job runs.    

Bearing Wear

All manufacturing equipment may be subjected to huge damages if losing a moment of bearing tracking. Often it happens during startup and slowdown times. The condition of the bearing is important to monitor to save on maintenance costs and avoid downtime events. You can also reduce machine costs by the reduced amount of critical failures.   

Acceleration

Based on the program, acceleration or deceleration do not often start at a set speed. So, additional tracking of this parameter is more relevant.

Spindle Speed

By analyzing the spindle speed or revolutions per minute (RPMs) of spindles, your team can monitor the causes of emerging tool breakage or how this speed affects an increase in wear of the tool.

 

Machine Condition Monitoring Techniques

It is possible to apply several machine condition monitoring techniques to take measurements of critical machine parameters. Here are three of them:

Manual Monitoring

As implied, this type of monitoring means equipment inspection manually. A human operator is a person who is in charge of gathering and documenting data, possible equipment failures, and other relevant information. However, there is a special drawback of this analog technique. Human intervention often lacks the required accuracy. That’s why some sort of mistakes may still occur. Before adopting a manual monitoring approach, you should choose an appropriate digital dashboard to ensure complete visibility on the shop floor.     

Machine Control and Sensor-based Monitoring

With the help of digital and analog I/O of the machine control or embedded sensors on machines, it is possible to collect and assess data. But, you are likely to meet some challenges. Mainly, in manufacturing environments, there are often some external conditions that can make sensors more vulnerable and affect their correct functioning. Basic sensors are often severely affected by chemical and heating conditions. That's why it is important to oversee its immune system thoroughly and choose more secure and resilient sensors presented on the market. 

Leveraging IoT

That is the most advanced type of monitoring equipment conditions. As you may already know, IoT technology allows generating different types of data per your precise inquiries. Along with monitoring machine conditions remotely, it is possible to utilize cloud-based software to perform useful analytics and aggregate more valuable data and even more. Condition-based maintenance is happening in real-time.    

Dashboards for Machine Uptime Monitoring

By building a dashboard for machine uptime monitoring, you can automatically accelerate the process of improved system performance. After the machine data is collected, you can visualize it. Moreover, it is essential to analyze data based on particular key metrics. In such a way, your manufacturing processes will present more precise values of machine parameters. 

Our Lanars team is ready to build your own machine uptime monitoring dashboards. We can compose plenty of data widgets and make your condition monitoring more accurate and instant. Whether the machine parameters are in average, actual min, or max state, we can offer you tracking the calculated values to represent them on a dashboard directly. It means you will be off the need for multiple dashboards collecting each condition separately.

In this view, all conditions outlined earlier, for instance, temperature, vibration, or load will be possible to see all together. By the way, we can combine machine condition monitoring with remote alarm or troubleshooting for all the machines on the shop floor. This additional feature is quite important for overall system efficiency due to the possibility of acquiring full machine diagnosis. This, in turn, gives you a unique opportunity to identify and solve machine issues before they may cause severe damages. 

 

What Equipment is Needed for a Condition Monitoring System?

You can generate more value by choosing the right equipment needed for a condition monitoring system. As a rule, it's better to connect industrial devices to a cloud platform to take real-time measurements that can be analyzed and stored remotely. So, IoT-connected devices and sensors for machine condition monitoring are the first steps necessary to integrate into your smart system. 

Different condition monitoring devices such as vibration, power, and temperature sensors will facilitate the process of monitoring machine parameters. Also, it will be easier to find correlations or detect some unfavorable machine conditions. PLC and HMIs can be monitored remotely as well. In such a way, your tech team will find and solve problems faster.

A possibility of remote data access is an essential component of such systems. Such connected devices as robots, sensors, PLC will measure required conditions and send them to the cloud. As a result, any authorized party will have an opportunity to access this data from smart devices from anywhere at any time.       

By the way, certain industrial communication protocols will ensure your IoT-connected infrastructure maintains stability and efficiency. The most common are OPC-UA, Modbus, Siemens, BACNet to gather data in no time.   

   

What Would Be the First Steps to Build a Condition Monitoring System?

To ensure your resulting condition monitoring solutions will run smoothly, there are specific steps you need to consider first. Due to the numerous kinds of industries that exist, machines can be different too. You should understand what you want to achieve from machine health monitoring. It can be enhanced quality, failure prevention, workers’ protection, or an increase in machine uptime. As long as you analyze the history of equipment and evaluate previous maintenance expenses, you will focus on the right areas to be improved. That’s another reason why it is essential to determine what machine data you will assess to meet your individual goals.   

Once you've decided what exact parameters to measure and monitor, affordable sensors should be installed. They are often connected to PLC and measure typical condition parameters.

Next, the data is collected directly from the equipment at the edge. There, this data is also prepared to be transferred to the secured storage of the IIoT (Industrial Internet of Things) platform. This data transmission is sometimes prone to high vulnerability. But, with intelligent control devices and robust web platforms, this data transportation will be highly secured.

Lastly, the resulting data set will be the ground for building predictive maintenance strategies. These records are valuable to store to understand machine trends, recognize primary signs of machine breakdowns, and detect causal correlations.     

Example of IoT Solution for Machine Condition Monitoring

With great honor, we would like to share with you our project - an IIoT solution for chemical plants based on smart sensors. As an example of this case study, we expect you to know more about how it works in practice and what business outcomes it delivers.

Primarily, this solution was designed as a web-based infrastructure for remote monitoring of industrial fluids. The central idea is to provide customers with a state-of-the-art industrial fluid properties (concentration and temperature) monitoring system. 

Our task was to achieve greater client performance and scaling up production processes by optimizing metalworking companies. As a result, the remote liquid level monitoring system was designed from scratch, both with hardware (sensors, controllers, electronic system for exporting and processing data) and software. 

We've managed to create compact, highly sensitive sensors, a control unit for data storage with ancillary hardware, and software for remote coolant tank monitoring systems. Thus, we are pretty sure the solution that was being developed for three years is now ready to help meet the initial business goals. Your condition monitoring solutions can indeed become valuable in boosting all production processes. 

Anyway, if you have any questions left, look through the full case study on our official website or contact us to ask them directly.

Conclusion

There are plenty of industries that are greatly satisfied with the huge opportunities of condition monitoring systems. It happens due to machine health monitoring offers a long-term and stable performance of equipment, saving budget and time all at once. The industries of manufacturing, oil and gas, petroleum, aerospace, defense, and others are leveraging machine condition monitoring systems to avert failures and ensure reliable operation of the equipment. 

With this advanced solution, you are guaranteed of having full visibility and accuracy in needed maintenance actions. There is no more need for unnecessary diagnosing expenses as you will be aware of what specific measures are needed at the right time. 

This decision turns out to be much more profitable compared to average annual downtime costs, including lost production and labor costs as well. By simple deployment of machine condition monitoring software, you provide a solid foundation for your steady industrial and financial growth.          

FAQ

Remote patient monitoring or (RPM) is known as a form of the telemedicine industry. It is a method that uses technology to monitor, analyze and store vital health data. It also allows remote interaction between care provider and patient and data exchange within a single healthcare delivery system.

The implementation of a machine condition monitoring system does not require big investments. We are ready to build affordable solutions for your industry. Feel free to contact us to know more.

A factory equipment condition monitoring system is an intelligent solution for improving overall production productivity. This system includes regular maintenance cycles during which your factory can significantly decrease costly shutdowns and parts inventories, schedule repairs timely, and improve overall equipment performance.

Want to create your own IoT solution?

Contact us and we will help

 

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37531.08.2021
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