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U-SENSE VIBRATION FOR CONDITION MONITORING OF MACHINES
u-sense vibration is a compact sensor for condition monitoring designed specifically for continuously running pumps and drives.
Intelligent sensors have been simplifying machine maintenance for many years. Vibration analyses can be used to detect wear and tear before it causes faults or malfunctions. This means operators can create service and maintenance plans based on their actual needs, not a rigid timeline. Many manufacturers already fit their machines with such sensors at the factory. However, customers do not automatically have access to the data. Instead, manufacturers tend to use the information themselves to offer corresponding maintenance contracts or prompt parts replacements. Industrial service provider Yncoris was not satisfied with this approach and planned its own solutions.
The chemical specialist and the IIoT enabler – a strong partnership
Yncoris is known as a leading industrial service provider, as well as the operator of the Knapsack chemical park at Cologne, Hürth. The company provides not only power, but also different gases and liquids through a system of pipelines for production at the site. This system includes hundreds of pumps that need to work reliably. Occasionally, Yncoris also uses the services of a pump manufacturer who has equipped its units with vibration sensors. However, the company did not want to be too dependent on an external service provider, for more than just financial reasons. In particular, they wanted to ensure sensitive data did not leave the plant grounds. To do so, the company installed a separate system with the necessary infrastructure to collect the desired measured values.
Yncoris got experts from Weidmüller on board to handle technical implementation. The company offers a complete sequence of sensors, from data acquisition to pre-processing and communication, to analysing all options for generating added value from information. However, customers have the freedom to use only the modules they need. Chemical companies, in particular, shy away from implementing digital projects in production due to the high-security requirements at play. Because of this, the Weidmüller concept was ideal for Yncoris in several ways: it was able to be retrofitted, and it had interfaces where Yncoris could take over the data early on. The u-sense vibration sensor is the heart of the concept.
Sensors close to the machine
u-sense vibration is a compact sensor for monitoring the condition of machines based on vibration analyses. Overall vibrations are monitored according to DIN ISO 10816, and FFT-based frequency analysis (fast Fourier transform) is also supported. It was designed especially for continuously running pumps, compressors and drives. One highlight is its suitability for retrofitting: thanks to a battery power supply, wireless data transmission and IP66 protection, the compact sensor can be easily installed even on older machines. An M8 screw connection and adaptor are available as standard features for attachment.
Pre-processing of acceleration data on key statistical figures and vibration spectra is handled in the sensor itself. The results are collected by the Weidmüller Gateway IoT-GW30 as digitally measured values and processed further. The Gateway makes it possible to temporarily store the data collected by the sensor, as well as visualise it and transfer it to a cloud or local system. These performance features convinced Yncoris as well.
From field test to standard
Even the initial tests proved successful. Maintenance fitted multiple pumps with the sensors. The company’s IT department used the Weidmüller gateway to collect data and visualise it in its own network. In the next step, the information and sensors were integrated into an IoT platform. This allowed the company to compare its own measurements with data collected by the pump manufacturer. The results matched. Yncoris then equipped the pump test benches it had designed with the self-developed solution, and is now able to glean an extensive range of data. The company maintains around 800 pumps per year. In addition to maintenance, a u-sense vibration sensor can be mounted on the pump on an interim basis to record vibrations in freshly maintained pumps when running through the characteristic curve. In the future, the pumps will be monitored at their work location with a permanently installed sensor.
The sensors on the pumps now make it possible to compare the vibration curves for defective and maintained equipment. The different damage patterns from the different units deliver extensive and reliable data. This, however, is only the first step. Combined with expertise from the pump workshop and maintenance experience from the chemical park, Yncoris can generate information with maximum benefit for everyday system operators. Instead of a simple measured value, in the future operators will receive notifications like “There is an indication of damage.” This relieves them from interpreting measured values in the course of their everyday work, which is already challenging. The company also wants to provide full data for deep diagnostics for specialists.