22 Jul 2024


Drives with onboard condition-monitoring avoid sensors

The drive-based condition-monitoring software allows key parameters to be viewed on a dashboard

The German drive and automation supplier Baumüller has developed a software-based condition monitoring technology integrated into a servodrive that can avoid the need for costly sensors. The company suggests that machine-builders could use the function to create new business models that offer their customers additional data-driven services.

The condition-monitoring function uses previously recorded and analysed parameters from current and speed signals as reference values for monitoring mechanical components such as motors, pumps and fans. It uses FFT analysis to detect changes in the vibration spectrum caused, for example, by imbalances or faulty alignments.

If the system detects a significant deviation from the reference value, it can generate an error signal before any problems occur. This allows planned maintenance to be performed and prevents further damage, or machine failures. The comparison measurements can take place at fixed intervals or on demand, depending on the application. The monitoring is based on adjustable warning and error thresholds.

The retrofittable drive-based condition-monitoring software is integrated into servo controllers in Baumüller’s b maXX 5000/6000 family, which are equipped with the b maXX-softdrivePLC control platform. Depending on the application, external sensors may be unncessary, avoiding the need for separate wiring, and cutting costs.

By installing control functions and a customised API in the drive, programs can be executed so they are highly synchronous with the controller cycle.

There are different variants of the condition-monitoring software. In the simplest version, it provides a combined signal based on the temperature, power and vibration analysis of the motor. This can be shown as a red/green display.

For more in-depth analysis, the software can provide further values, such as historical changes, crest factors (the ratio of peak to effective values) as well as a “kurtosis factor” for the number of transients/outliers in the vibration signal. If the current oscillations vary, the precise deviation from the reference value can be output. The functions can be extended to include an evaluation of acceleration sensors mounted on the mechanical system.

The characteristics can optionally be shown on a dashboard display.

The drive-based software is part of Baumüller’s SmartValue modular software system, which helps to improve energy balances and to cut manufacturing costs.

Baumuller:  LinkedIn