Manual relubrication of rolling bearings still characterises everyday operations in many parts of industry. Automatic lubricators represent significant progress, but still require route-based control. In general, manual errors in the relubrication of machines are one of the main causes of rolling bearing failures. The specialists at Schaeffler wanted to fundamentally solve this problem and developed Optime C1, an IoT solution for the relubrication of rolling bearings using intelligent, automatic lubricators.
In conjunction with the Optime app, the system ensures that incorrect lubrication due to too much or too little lubricant, the wrong lubricant, contamination, a blocked supply line to the bearing or empty lubricators can be reliably avoided.
Complex lubrication management is simplified
Maintenance personnel can obtain an overview of lubricators with a critical fill level, with a fault in the lubrication supply and, on the basis of an integrated temperature sensor, lubrication points with increased temperature at any time either via the Optime app, the web-based Optime dashboard or via their own software tool. For maintenance personnel, Optime C1 eliminates the need for regular inspection rounds and the maintenance of complicated tables or software for planning relubrication in the plants. Their use is only necessary for targeted maintenance activities, which the app automatically indicates. The complex lubrication management is thus considerably simplified.
Clear and retrofittable: system solution with few components
The battery-operated Optime C1 is screwed onto the Concept 1 automatic lubricator from Schaeffler. The latter contains, among other things, a communication module and the temperature sensor. The overall solution also includes a gateway and the app. The Optime C1 automatically networks the Concept 1 relubrication units into a mesh network. The recorded and calculated data during operation, such as the remaining days until the next lubricant filling, is sent by the mesh network via the gateway to the cloud and from there to the app. The installation of the components per lubrication point and the configuration in the app require less than two minutes. Dozens of lubrication points on pumps, fans, compressors, aggregates, conveyor drives, etc. are thus equipped with Optime C1 in the shortest possible time and can thus be deleted from the existing control lists. The intelligent lubricator only reports when it needs the attention of the maintenance team.
Open system: API interface to maintenance tools
Schaeffler Optime C1 is designed as an open system and offers an API interface for data exchange with existing maintenance tools. Relevant information is therefore available to maintenance staff in the app, the web-based dashboard and optionally also in their own software tool.
The product will be available for order in Europe from January 2022.