Hannover Fair covers Condition Monitoring | Automation.com

Hannover Fair covers Condition Monitoring

January 29, 2009 - The concept of TCO (total cost of ownership), already familiar to vehicle owners, is becoming increasingly important in the industrial sector. The focus has shifted from productivity and automation to the total cost of ensuring high availability. Techniques for reducing this cost will feature at the Conditioning Monitoring Systems special presentation during HANNOVER MESSE (20-24 April 2009), targeted at plant and machinery engineering suppliers.

"Motion, Drive & Automation" (MDA) is the international flagship fair for power transmission and control technology held every two years during HANNOVER MESSE (20-24 April 2009). The fair is a showcase for trendsetters in the hydraulic, pneumatic, electrical and mechanical power transmission sector to impress their peers. According to Deutsche Messe project manager Manfred Kutzinski, "The event has again attracted a large contingent of high-caliber exhibitors, in spite of the difficult economic environment at present."

To satisfy the expectations of visitors on the look-out for innovative, more efficient solutions, Deutsche Messe is supporting the establishment of some special presentations at this year's event, such as Water Hydraulics in Hall 23 and E-Motive in Hall 24. And the special presentation on Condition Monitoring Systems (CMS) will be making its third appearance, also in Hall 24, right in the middle of the motive power and fluid engineering exhibitis. This is an ideal location, given the intensive use of state-of-the-art monitoring systems in plant and machinery today.

Oil quality check systems as a standard machine component or for retrofitting to existing plant
Ideas that were formerly the preserve of a few idealists and trendsetters in the plant and machinery engineering sector are now finding their way into the mass market. Oil analysis devices are a good example of this trend. In the words of Peter Michael Synek, Project Manager for the German Engineering Federation ((VDMA) and co-organizer of the CMS show: "Just a few years ago CM systems were still large, expensive devices, but now we are seeing low-cost solutions that can either be built into machines from the outset or retrofitted as and when required."

For example, the CMS show in Hall 24 will feature Argo-Hyto's "mini-laboratories," costing less than 1,000 euros. These devices constantly monitor the condition of hydraulic systems. The sensors, the result of a joint development project between the manufacturer and the Institute for Fluid Power Drives and Controls (IFAS) in Aachen, have undergone rigorous field testing by a concrete pump manufacturer and a supplier of machines for the paper industry. The complex viscosity measurement process can now be carried out by these small sensor components. The hydrogen fluid data is immediately allocated to the relevant ISO or NAS classes, showing the current status and any changes that have occurred. Such changes may be caused by stress (high shear forces) or impurities leaking into the oil.

So before any damage to a machine or vehicle actually occurs, the sensor sends the control system a control value or alert to a sudden problematic change in the hydraulic oil. "This clearly illustrates the real economic benefits condition monitoring can deliver - which is why we decided to locate CMS right in the middle of MDA," explains Kutzinski. These systems have now made the transition from 'nice to have' optional extras to an essential plant component, providing clear information on operating defects that could potentially lead to high service and repair costs.

Savings from preemptive repairs
'Automatic event detection' is an apt description of the thinking behind the trend towards CM systems - but all such precautions depend on the reliable analysis of the measured values. This process is also carried out in the oil analysis sensor. This has all the expertise required for effective operation of early warning systems and reports the results to the control system via an RS232 interface or an analog value transmitter (4 - 20 mA).

Deutsche Messe is again expecting an attendance of around 20,000 visitors at this year's Condition Monitoring Systems show. Hydraulic system users in particular will find much to interest them, given the continuing advances in online oil analysis and the constantly decreasing cost of this technology. System users now face a clear choice: to make an investment of less than 1,000 euros, or decide to live with the ever-present threat of damage to a pump, motor or major component.

Essentially a single oil analysis sensor in the system is all it takes to capture the current system condition and provide the data required to improve availability. CM sensors are highly versatile components, able to detect oil quality, the presence of different oil grades, the use of rapidly biodegradable hydraulic fluids, oil contamination and many other control indicators required for smooth-running plant and machinery.