Condition monitoring system saves EUR200,000 per year

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Aleris Aluminium is saving around EUR200,000 per year thanks to an FAG condition monitoring system installed on its rolling mill machinery.

Condition monitoring system saves EUR200,000 per yearAleris Aluminium, based in Koblenz, Germany, manufactures rolled aluminium products. The company has installed two FAG DTECT X1 condition monitoring systems from FAG Industrial Services (part of The Schaeffler Group). A total of 16 sensors and two, eight-channel DTECT X1 systems monitor the pedestal bearing on the bridle roller, 14 bearings on the deflector and flatness monitoring rollers, and 12 bearings and four gears in the mill pinion gears.

Ten sensors are positioned on the bridal rollers to monitor the two pedestal bearings on each roller. Another sensor monitors the condition of the two bearings on the deflector roller input. A further sensor is used to monitor the condition of the two bearings on the flatness monitoring roller; two sensors monitor the mill pinion gears.

On four separate occasions the DTECT X1 system has detected damage to critical components at the plant, enabling Aleris Aluminium to take the appropriate maintenance measures and prevent any unplanned machine stoppages. After installing the DTECT X1 systems, Aleris Aluminium has calculated the annual cost savings to be around EUR200,000, which comes from three main areas: faster repair times and material savings on roller bearings, which amount to some EUR30,000 per year; avoiding chatter marks was calculated to be worth a further EUR120,000 per year; and the elimination of stand fires due to overheated roller bearings amounts to around EUR50,000 per year.

Remote monitoring service

In addition to this, F’IS is also providing remote condition monitoring services to Aleris Aluminium via two GSM wireless modems, one on each DTECT X1 unit. Evaluation of the condition monitoring data is carried out by F’IS experts at its Diagnosis Centre in Herzogenrath, Germany. Any irregularities are immediately evaluated and reported to the customer, along with any recommended remedial action. Aleris Aluminium receives a monthly report from F’IS on the condition of the monitored machines and F’IS guarantees a minimum warning time of four weeks before any failures. The remote monitoring also monitors strip speed (conversion to roller and gear speed) and motor current (load).

The DTECT X1 series is a cost-effective range of online monitoring devices that enables permanent frequency-selective monitoring. The advantage of the DTECTX1 system is that it includes features that are usually only available in far more expensive online systems. The basic model is available as two- or eight-channel versions with external multiplexer. All commonly used acceleration, speed and displacement sensors can be connected to the system. Depending on the version used, process quantities such as speed, temperature, torque and pressure can be recorded. The signal measured by the sensor is broken up into its frequency components using Fast Fourier Transformation (FFT), which enables monitoring of amplitudes for previously specified threshold values within very narrow, defined frequency bands, including the triggering of an alarm if these values are exceeded. Therefore damage can be detected at an early stage by means of frequency-selective monitoring.

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