As today’s metal forming plants become more complex, detecting and identifying issues with all of the moving parts is becoming increasingly important, though time-consuming. Traditional manual data collection processes, even when employed skillfully, can eat up several labor hours and be subject to recording errors.
Typical mills that have hundreds of machines can require thousands of individual measurements taken each month. Under typical conditions, this can consume about one to two man-weeks of measurement effort, and another man-week to analyze that data, eating up high percentages of recurring operating/labor costs.
Cut the manual monitoring leash
Wireless condition monitoring systems rooted in the Internet of Things (IoT) reduce labor costs by allowing plant personnel to instantly access condition levels from anywhere with an internet connection. Sensors placed at several points throughout a process allows users to gather information for multiple conditions simultaneously:
Most metal forming assets are hydraulically or pneumatically driven, so ensuring the right amount of pressure is being applied protects against failure or overload of assets, including:
Punch, stamp, and turret presses
Cutting, bending, and assembling machines
High-flow water lines
Monitoring in-line and ambient temperatures of any metal forming asset is necessary to ensure consistent adherence to strict tolerances to avoid overheating and asset overwork.
High humidity levels can cause corrosion and rust in both equipment and your final product. Tracking ambient and in-line humidity levels in your plant help you make the necessary adjustments to keep them within acceptable levels.
Vibration is the first indicator of an equipment problem or deterioration. Monitoring vibration and getting alerts of issues helps pinpoint the exact cause and location of a problem reducing maintenance costs and downtime.
Continuous condition monitoring also helps reduce maintenance costs by making accurate record-taking easier, allowing workers to chart them more often. Condition monitoring for predictive maintenance lets operators see which assets aren’t performing at optimal levels, helping them to:
Identify and address issues before they escalate to serious problems.
Make better decisions about maintenance activity.
Optimize assets for more efficient and effective performance.
Keeping assets at optimum working conditions helps to reduce unplanned downtime, scrap and rework.
Parker’s SensoNODE™ Gold sensors and Voice of the MachineTM Cloud Software create a continuous condition monitoring for predictive maintenance solution that is accurate, reliable, and easy to use.
SensoNODE Gold Sensors are lightweight and durable, making them ideal for placement just about anywhere on the production line. Through a gateway on the plant floor, data is transmitted to the Voice of the Machine Cloud web-based solution allowing plant managers, maintenance, and operators to record and review the data they need. This helps to:
Improve labor efficiency
Keep workers out of potentially dangerous situations
Perform diagnostics without shutting down production
Article contributed by Westin Siemsglusz, IoT market sales manager, Parker Hannifin Corporation.
Additional related content on condition monitoring and preventative maintenance: