There is one thing that machinery and systems are meant to do above everything else: run faultlessly. Operators use predictive maintenance to prevent downtime. First Sensor offers sensitive inclination sensors to assist in predictive maintenance.
Condition monitoring and predictive maintenance are terms that are heard more and more frequently in connection with Industry 4.0. What exactly do they mean?
Condition monitoring and predictive maintenance are key elements of Industry 4.0. They use sensors to obtain information concerning the statuses of machinery and systems and to initiate suitable action.Condition monitoring refers to real-time status checks on machinery and systems. Predictive maintenance, meanwhile, involves making forecasts regarding necessary maintenance work. Based on the acquisition and analysis of large quantities of data – "big data" – it is possible to detect faults at an early stage, ensuring that components can be replaced as planned without interrupting operations.
Which sensors are typically used for such purposes?
That depends on the application in question. Our MEMS inertial sensors, for example, are particularly well suited for detecting structural changes, damage and critical stress conditions. They are able to detect whether or not there is a hair underneath one end of a ten-meter-long steel girder.
In industry, inertial sensors can be employed as part of maintenance for wind turbines, which are usually difficult to access. In generators, they are used to create vibration profiles, which can then be referred to for the purpose of monitoring performance and detecting faults such as leaks. Solutions based on such sensors are very much in demand in the aerospace industry as well. In aircraft, for example, our detectors identify the deformation of the fuselage that occurs during flight. After all, when it comes to maintaining excellent safety in aviation, airlines rightly focus on comprehensive monitoring of their fleets.
What are the challenges involved in making even better use of the opportunities presented by sensor systems in the context of Industry 4.0?
In an age of ever more flexible, highly automated manufacturing with more and more new designs for production systems, real-time data transfer is of vital importance. Consequently, one major challenge is making the devices used internet-compatible and integrating them into the Internet of Things (IoT). We offer our customers various wireless solutions using technologies such as Wi-Fi, Zigbee, Bluetooth, and, in the future, 5G. As a member of the ng Connect network set up by Nokia, we are also cooperating with various organizations on digitalization in industry, medical technology, and mobility.
The capacitive inclinometers and accelerometers are able to detect extremely small changes in inclination or acceleration. They are perfect for the fields of geoengineering, condition monitoring or navigation applications.
Sales Manager Solution at First Sensor AG, Berlin-Weißensee
T +49 30 924042-37
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