Lots of industries are changing. At a general level, they are adapting to the digitized and much-heralded Industry 4.0, while at a specific level the automotive industry is pursuing new drive concepts. All these developments will see human-machine and machine-machine communication play a much greater role. This is also the case in industries that aren't immediately obvious, such as lubricants. Modern electric drives, such as the electric motors and generators found in vehicles and machinery, are increasingly working at high voltages and thus generating much greater alternating current fields than conventional systems. Power controllers used to regulate motor performance can therefore create "parasitic" stray currents, which can cause electrical flashovers and the passage of current in rolling bearings. The heat created can result in discharge craters, intermittent fretting and friction marks or cause the lubricating grease to oxidize and burn, which - in the worst-case scenario - destroys the bearings.
The PeOMeE project has been set up to develop countermeasures that increase production efficiency based on the online measurement of the electrical properties exhibited by conductive lubricants. It aims to obtain information specifically for Industry 4.0 by using sensor systems during the production process to record the conductivity and temperature of lubricating greases applied on machinery as well as the wear and tear of lubricants and lubricated rolling bearings. The objective is to make it possible to continuously monitor status and optimize status-oriented load control online. Project participant CARL BECHEM GmbH has been entrusted with developing a special lubricant and adapting it to the sensor system. Other partners in the project, financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), include Eich Rollenlager GmbH, Triboot Technologies GmbH, Turck duotec GmbH, the South Westphalia University of Applied Sciences and 4Inno Ingenieurgesellschaft mbH.
CARL BECHEM GMBH (58089 Hagen, Germany)