At this year’s Hanover Messe (25–29 April 2016), Schaeffler will showcase specific products for digitalised production and machine monitoring with its Drive Train 4.0 technology exhibit. The focus of this exhibit will be on two new digital services for every type of drive train: the calculation of rolling bearings’ remaining useful life based on real load spectra, and automated rolling bearing diagnostics.
Machine builders and operators can visit the Schaeffler stand (Hall 17, stand A37) and the Predictive Maintenance 4.0 booth (Hall 17) to see demonstrations of these new services by Schaeffler engineers. The new generation FAG SmartCheck – a system for diagnosing the vibration behaviour of bearings and machines – which can now be connected to a cloud, will also be making its debut in 2016.
By enabling the remaining useful life of rolling bearings to be calculated based on real load spectra recorded during operation, Schaeffler offers machine builders and operators an efficient option for reducing total cost of ownership (TCO) as well as unit costs.
In order to calculate real load spectra during operation, machines need to be equipped with sensor technologies that match the application, data from the machine control system, a BEARINX model of the machine, and a connection to the Schaeffler cloud. When the real load spectrum is available, an automatic calculation of the nominal rolling bearing rating life is made using Schaeffler’s BEARINX calculation tool via the cloud-based software platform. The respective nominal remaining useful life for each bearing on the machine or system is derived by subtracting the current runtime from the calculated rating life. Although these complex calculations go unnoticed by the operator, they are carried out automatically and cyclically during operation. The customer can then view the remaining useful life of every individual bearing position in the machine using an Internet-capable end device.
The continuous calculation of rolling bearings’ remaining useful life opens up the following possibilities:
- Active control of machine capacity utilisation with a view to predictive maintenance
- Higher capacity utilisation for individual axes and entire machines
- Requirements-based maintenance intervals according to real load conditions
- Use of real field data and load spectra for improved design optimisation and re-engineering of machines by the manufacturer
Automated rolling bearing diagnostics
Vibration monitoring systems are one of the most reliable methods of monitoring the condition of rolling bearings and for detecting the early onset of damage to bearings and other machine components. Schaeffler has many years of experience in this field.
However, as the use of sensor technologies becomes more and more prevalent, the volume of measurement data available is increasing. The Automated Rolling Bearing Diagnostics service, which will be presented by Schaeffler in Hanover, allows this data to be automatically and intelligently evaluated. The results are then displayed to the customer in the form of recommended actions. The prerequisite for this is the new generation FAG SmartCheck vibration monitoring system, which will be unveiled for the first time in Hanover. This compact measuring system records the raw data from every assembly and transmits this to the cloud. Improved calculation and analysis algorithms are continuously updated and available for processing this data on Schaeffler’s software platform, which customers can access from their end devices without the need for any additional software installation.
Dr Hans-Willi Kessler, Vice President of Service Products at Schaeffler, explains: “We have used our long-term experience to develop a system that is capable of automatically processing very high volumes of data. This means that our customers receive analyses and recommended actions that previously had to be carried out by experts for every individual case.”
FAG SmartCheck detects bearing damage, wear, imbalance, misalignments, and miscellaneous irregularities based on changes in vibration patterns. Depending on the system type supplied, defects can also be detected on a variety of components, such as rotor bar fractures and gearbox damage.
To date, FAG SmartCheck has predominantly been used as a local system that includes both the analysis algorithms and a rolling bearing database. The FAG SmartCheck demonstration in Hanover will feature a direct link to a cloud, to which data from FAG SmartCheck will be transferred. Automated diagnosis signals are processed from the raw data transmitted by FAG SmartCheck and any other data that is available (e.g. from the machine’s control system). This means that vibration data is not only processed in the FAG SmartCheck itself – it is also processed in the cloud, which offers greater processing power and more extensive analysis options due to the combination of this data with other machine control data. This increases the reliability of the diagnosis information the customer receives. For highly critical applications, users also have the option of directly contacting Schaeffler’s vibration specialists, who are certified according to DIN ISO 18436-2, via the cloud. These services will also be demonstrated live at Hanover.
For more information about digitalised production and machine monitoring, please visit www.schaeffler.co.uk.