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Advanced Engineering 2019

NEC, Birmingham(B40 1NT)

30/10/2019 - 31/10/2019

The UK's largest annual advanced manufacturing trade show, Advanced Engineering is your opportunity to (more)

Smart Factory Expo

Exhibition Centre Liverpool (L3 4FP)

13/11/2019 - 14/11/2019

Europe's best digital manufacturing show: bigger and better for 2019 Built around eight tech-focused (more)

Smart Sensor brings electric motors into the digital age

Smart Sensor brings electric motors into the digital age

The factory owner has a problem. The low-voltage motors on the factory floor are old but sturdy. They have years left in them. The owners understand the company has to upgrade – they know modern, intelligent factories that connect devices to the Industrial Internet of Things significantly boost their productivity and efficiency. But replacing equipment is expensive. Is there a way to realise the benefits of digitalization without a total reinvestment?

Yes there is, says ABB, which has developed a wireless, pocket sized sensor that can be attached to almost any low-voltage motor. Transmitting information over Bluetooth, the sensors require no wiring, and are attached directly to the motor’s frame. Internal sensors collect vital data points like vibration, sound and temperature, and upload that information via an ABB gateway or smartphone to the cloud where it is analysed. the results are sent back for optimising performance and predictive maintenance.

This change from periodic to condition-based maintenance means a reduction in unplanned stoppages. Sensors can be configured in minutes, and eliminate the need for manual gathering of data. ABB says that reduced hands-on monitoring also increases employee safety and helps to boost productivity.

There are also opportunities to optimise motors’ energy consumption – by combining data on the energy consumption levels of individual motors with plant operating information, it will be possible to formulate better loading strategies aimed at cutting energy costs. Taken together, ABB says that condition and performance data could provide a useful basis for reducing the overall cost of motor ownership in process plants by cutting both the motors cost of running as well as the risk and cost of not running. The data is analysed by specially developed software and provided to the plant operator in the form of graphics for maintenance planning. ABB says this can enable downtime reductions of up to 70%. At the same time, it says the lifetime of the motors can extended by up to 30% and energy consumption reduced by as much as 10%, so that the investment in this innovative form of condition monitoring pays for itself in less than a year.

ABB sales manager Steve Hughes says that the smart sensor will work out of the box with no set-up required on ABB motors, but can be easily configured to work on any third party motor. The sensors can be easily retrofitted on installed motors, and ABB has also said that selected ranges of its LV motors will be factory fitted with the smart sensor as an option.

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