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Condition Based Monitoring for Industrial Systems

A large construction aggregate plant operates 10 high horsepower Secondary Crusher Drive Motors and associated conveyor belts, producing 600 tons of product per hour. All heavy equipment requires maintenance, but the aggregate producer’s costs were greatly magnified any time that the necessary maintenance was unplanned and unscheduled. The product must be supplied to the customers on a tight time schedule to fulfill contracts, avoid penalties, and prevent the loss of future business. Furthermore, a sudden failure in one of the drive motors would cause rock to pile up in unwanted locations, extending the downtime and increasing the costs.

Clearly, preventative maintenance was preferable to unexpected failures. So, twice each year, the company brought in an outside vendor to attach sensors to the motors, do vibration studies, measure bearing temperatures and attempt to assess the health of the motors. But that wasn’t enough. Unexpected breakdowns continued to occur. The aggregate producer decided to upgrade to a Condition Based Monitoring (CBM) sensor system that could continually monitor the motors in real time, apply data analytics to detect changes in motor behavior before they developed into major problems, and alert maintenance staff via email or text, anywhere they happened to be.

A wired sensor network would have been cost prohibitive. An aggregate plant has numerous heavy vehicles moving around, so any cabling would have to be protected. But the plant covers 400 acres, and the cable would have to be trenched to numerous locations. Cable wasn’t going to work. The aggregate producer needed a wireless solution.

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  • SUPPLIER
  • Advantech B+B SmartWorx (Advantech)
    Founded in 1981, B+B SmartWorx, formerly B&B Electronics, provides intelligent M2M and IoT connectivity solutions for wireless and wired networks. The company designs and builds device connectivity and network infrastructure products that deliver intelligent connectivity at the “edge” of networks in remote and demanding environments. At the start of 2016, B+B SmartWorx became part of the global Advantech family, and will be operating as Advantech B+B SmartWorx. As part of the company’s Global Industrial IoT Business group, B+B SmartWorx will lead Advantech’s new Intelligent Networking Business Sector in developing smart networking products.
  • INDUSTRIES
  • Energy
  • FUNCTIONS
  • Maintenance
  • CONNECTIVITY PROTOCOLS
  • USE CASES
  • Predictive Maintenance
    Predictive maintenance is a technique that uses condition-monitoring sensors and Machine Learning or rules based algorithms to track the performance of equipment during normal operation and detect possible defects before they result in failure. Predictive Maintenance enables the reduction of both schedule-based maintenance and unplanned reactive maintenance by triggering maintenance calls based on the actual status of the equipment. IoT relies on Predictive Maintenance sensors to capture information, make sense of it, and identify any areas that need attention. Some examples of using Predictive Maintenance and Predictive Maintenance sensors include vibration analysis, oil analysis, thermal imaging, and equipment observation. Visit our condition-based maintenance page to learn more about these methods.
  • CUSTOMER
  • Aggregate Producers of Wisconsin (APW) is a non-profit, statewide trade association dedicated solely to the concerns of crushed stone, sand and gravel producers, and to businesses that provide goods and services to the aggregate industry.

  • SOLUTION
  • Advantech B+B SmartWorx provided a complete solution.

    B+B installed the wireless Wzzard Intelligent Sensing Platform. First, each of the company’s was equipped with three industry standard sensors: current draw, vibration and temperature. Changes in any of these parameters can be an early indicator of future problems. Each motor was then provided with a single Wzzard Intelligent Edge node, as each Wzzard node can connect up to three sensors. The Wzzard nodes then used wireless mesh networking to publish the sensor data to a network gateway. The gateway then sent the data to the monitoring application.

    Two additional Wzzard nodes were also installed, to provide data routing support and ensure that the mesh network was robust enough to provided reliable, five nines (99.999 percent) uptime and connectivity, even though the environment included many large metal surfaces.

  • DATA COLLECTED
  • SOLUTION TYPE
  • SOLUTION MATURITY
  • Mature (technology has been on the market for > 5 years)
  • OPERATIONAL IMPACT
  • Impact #1
    [Cost Reduction - Connectivity]
    Wzzard wireless mesh networks cover distances where a wired sensor network would be cost prohibitive.  
    Impact #2
    [Process Optimization - Predictive Maintenance]
    Data analytics not only detects failures, it predicts failures.
    Impact #3
  • QUANTITATIVE BENEFIT
  • Benefit #1

    Wzzard cuts downtime and related costs.

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