Machine Condition Monitoring: Keeps Your Machines Fit and Fine
Condition monitoring for machines within an industrial facility helps in keeping track of the machine’s health and performance with time. Along with condition monitoring, parameters like temperature, current, vibration, and revolutions per minute, i.e. RPM are measured. The technique is an indispensable tool in order to monitor machine conditions in a real-time scenario. This is further useful in avoiding unanticipated downtime, tailor preventative maintenance schedules for the fulfillment of the usage demands in industrial operations, in addition to collecting necessary data for further diagnostic and predictive maintenance. Thus, machine condition monitoring offers ease and convenience in improving the overall equipment effectiveness, OEE; and overall production effectiveness, OPE.
The increasing adoption of IoT in various industries will contribute to propelling the machine condition monitoring market demand. With the surging adoption of IoT in industries, it has provided convenience in monitoring machine performance even while staying at a distant place. The increasing adoption of IoT in industries is further propagated by the growing digitization worldwide, thus, fueling the consumption of connected devices at a large scale. Also, technological innovations in machine condition monitoring solutions have led to the launch of cloud-based condition monitoring solutions, further augmenting the market growth. Furthermore, the adoption of IoT and web-based monitoring tools have helped in reducing the unplanned machine downtime that decrease the product and service turnaround times, and hence, contributed to lowering the production costs to a greater extent. An industrial IoT platform containing machine monitoring features has raised interest among the manufacturers to turn to IoT-driven condition monitoring for identifying issues that could affect the production quality and further assist in the replacement of faulty parts before the situation worsens.
The presence of companies offering condition monitoring solutions is contributing to driving the market growth at present and in the future. For example, National Instruments Corp. offers condition monitoring for rail and heavy equipment. This is because of the fact that the maintenance of a fleet of heavy equipment is challenging during the movement or distribution. The use of wireless sensors capable of collecting insights from harsh environments and communication via condition monitoring software in predicting and prioritizing maintenance is gaining momentum. The company offers online monitoring software for avoiding logistical stress that is linked to fleet maintenance. The information comprises data ranging from wheel bearings on rail cars to gearboxes deployed on open-pit mining machinery. Products and solutions include InsightCM, NI monitoring devices, and InsightCM add-Ons.
Emerson Electric Co. condition monitoring solutions offers routine monitoring of equipment resulting in necessary data for generating information regarding the machine condition. The company’s solutions are particular to a specific application and delivers data through accurate machine condition diagnosis.
Products include machinery health analyzer, wireless vibration transmitter, machinery health expert, processor card for machinery health monitor, channel output relay module for machinery health monitor, prediction processor card for machinery health monitor, transient processor card for machinery health monitor, wireless Bluetooth headphones for AMS 2140, impact hammer for use with AMS 2140, vibration strobe light, and break away cable. The company in 2020 news release announced its collaboration with Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems Americas for the development of digital technologies, software, and services for helping utility consumers. This partnership is poised to drive operational excellence in the North American region. The collaboration is further focused on digital solutions for the optimization of performance and reliability, enabling predictive and artificial intelligence-driven maintenance strategies, in addition to the automation of operational decision making. Such collaborations will further contribute to bolstering the machine condition monitoring market growth.
Significant product launches in machine condition monitoring are further fueling the market growth indicating innovations in the industry. Advantech Co., Ltd., in October 2017, announced the launch of a machine condition monitoring software for convenient sensor signal acquisition, signal analysis, feature extraction, data management, and interpretation, and alert notifications for online condition monitoring and smart inspection. The company, along with this software, is providing its customers an extensive solution for machine monitoring and management focused on the fulfillment of the multiple application needs. The software is compatible with varied Advantech DAQ computers and cards that allow customers in the quick installation or seamless integration into the monitoring system or device. Additionally, the software consists of a user-guided graphical interface that can be of great help to engineers and system integrators for easy configuration settings without any programming. Furthermore, condition monitoring offers 3 modes that include scope mode, intelligent inspection mode, and condition monitoring mode.
In 2020, ACOEM Group announced the launch of a novel ecosystem for the augmented mechanic, RT-300. The mobile and connected solution is aimed at simplifying the process and thus provides all the relevant information in a proactive manner, contributing to making right and accurate decisions at the time of maintenance operations. This involves a conjunction of instantaneous diagnostic tools, precision lineage, and cloud connectivity to report and gain access to the machine history, fit for unique 4.0 maintenance solution. The provision of an in-depth machine health report will further help in reducing the time between the decision and intervention of a machine operator to a greater extent, further contributing to providing assurance for enhanced production performance and quality.
STMicroelectronics, in 2020, announced the release of a novel vibration-sensing solution for optimizing the enabling of smart maintenance of factory equipment. The vibration sensor along with a supporting multi-sensor evaluation kit is poised to escalate the development of the condition-monitoring systems for boosting productivity through the derivation of the equipment maintenance needs.
On-premise versus cloud-based: It has been noticed on a wide scale that there is an ongoing evolution from an on-premise platform to a cloud-based platform. In order to store data on-premise, a vendor or a supplier will require a data center containing many dedicated servers for sensor data collection and processing. The amount of data to be stored is quite limited as per the local data center storage capability. Hence, this limits the operational ability of an on-premise condition monitoring system. Also, the distributed nature of the industrial manufacturing facilities does not allow the manufacturing of a data center close to a piece of machinery to be monitored, in such cases, cloud-based platforms offer the best solutions. As cloud computing allows the storage of huge amounts of data in the cloud and this data can be easily deduced through connected machines. Also, it is possible to scale up storage capacity.
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