NORD employs frequency inverters with an integrated PLC to monitor the complete drive system, evaluate sensor data, and assess the system state by means of intelligent algorithms. An industrial gear unit demonstrates the condition monitoring approach based on sensors and dedicated evaluation technology. Vibration and oil sensors provide crucial live data about the wear and tear. Vibration analysis then enables conclusions about the state of the bearings as well as the gearing, and oil analysis can help determine when the lubricant needs changing.
As the "virtual sensing" model demonstrated, predictive maintenance is also possible without external sensors and the accompanying higher costs: in this showcase, the inverter assembles the drive system's process data and calculates the maintenance time using an algorithm that also incorporates product data and application know-how acquired through decades of experience. The functionality is based on the fieldbus-independent reference architecture for condition monitoring in factory automation defined by the German Engineering Federation in technical rule VDMA 24582. In order to represent the real drive state as closely as possible, NORD has thoroughly verified calculated values against true laboratory measurements to further optimize the algorithm. These software diagnostics are a particularly efficient solution which is also suitable for small drive sizes. Customers achieve a longer product life, enhanced availability, and lower maintenance costs with this new inverter function.