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Predictive Maintenance

Structure-borne sound sensors give maintenance alarm

The vibration data of a machine allow surprisingly accurate conclusions about its level of wear. Intelligent algorithms will recognize critical patterns as a next step.

21 Jul. 2018
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Structure-borne sound sensors give maintenance alarm (Photo: Patty Varasano)

iNDTact GmbH based in Würzburg, Germany, has introduced the smartPredict sensor system, a measuring device for vibration and acoustic emission analyses. The small blue box contains structure-borne sound sensors, with which the vibration data of a machine can be recorded. The data is transferred to a PC using a PoE connection (Power over Ethernet). If the vibration information changes, it is possible to draw conclusions about the level of wear, for example in case of a milling machine. The condition of bearings and guides or even complete compressors and motors can be monitored with smartPredict as well. The system is already in practical use, for example, on a production line for electric motors and for track switches in rail traffic, where it evaluates the acoustic information that is generated by the switch hitting the stop in the final position.

For the future, the manufacturer plans to develop its own software modules that are capable of learning and can be trained on fault symptoms. The engineers are simultaneously also working on algorithms with which the system can independently recognize correlations and, if irregularities are detected, can propose a selection of error symptoms to the user that it already knows from previous operations.