The latest condition-based monitoring solutions offer a predictive approach to production and process plant maintenance for engineers and site operators. These ensure asset performance is optimised, whilst keeping downtime to a minimum by providing live visibility of machine status. This includes primary assets and their wear components such as motors, fans, pumps and gearboxes. Sounds great in principle but is it for everyone?
Mitsubishi Electric thinks so. The automation systems specialist now offers all this capability through an integrated package solution that collects live data from advanced measurement sensors, analyses it and then provides updates and warnings to anything from a smart phone or single HMI to multiple levels of management systems.
The SCM combines smart sensor intelligence with online monitoring and control. The ability to detect variations in machine condition comes with the facility to display information on various devices, including linking to wider control systems – leading to practical early warning signals and the ability to prevent costly downtime and loss of production.
A teach function allows the SCM sensor to learn how the machine behaves in its normal operating state and creates a memory map of the vibration readings (all machines vibrate to one degree or another). Using sophisticated analysis techniques, the sensor can detect abnormal operation locally. Further advanced methods of vibration analysis are also possible using software tools.
The ability to link multiple SCM sensors back to a single controller leads to a better understanding of the complete area to be monitored. This information can be networked to the controller and on to higher level systems in many ways, including wired and wireless connectivity. While the advanced networking capabilities will be welcome to many plant integration specialists, the fact that the system can work as a virtually stand-alone system and send the critical information to an iPad or phone will be equally well received by others.