Condition Monitoring

Optimize operations, minimize downtime

Optimize operations, minimize downtime

Optimize operational processes and minimize downtime: The new iComm Box from igus helps with this. With the communication module, the i.Sense sensors for condition monitoring from igus motion plastics can be seamlessly integrated into the superwise service. Intelligent algorithms provide a detailed condition analysis of the monitored machines and systems. The superwise dashboard provides information in real time and enables optimal monitoring and control. A decisive advantage: the costs for data transmission are already included in the product price.

Stopping a system immediately before a mechanical defect leads to expensive consequential damage: This works best when technology supports the human eye in monitoring. igus has therefore been offering intelligent sensors from the i.Sense series for several years, which monitor the condition of moving machine components such as energy chains, cables, linear guides, plain and spherical bearings and slewing ring bearings. In the event of an anomaly, they immediately trigger a message or an automatic system stop in order to avoid expensive consequential damage.

"The new communication module now offers a cost-effective and simple way to extend the functionality of these sensors," explains Richard Habering, Head of the Smart Plastics Division at igus. It connects the sensors to the superwise service from igus, enabling fast and reliable data transmission. All messages are saved with measured values ​​in the i.Cee portal from igus and can be evaluated at a later date for diagnostic purposes. In addition, intelligent algorithms use the sensor data to calculate the movement profile of an energy chain, for example. Based on the detailed analysis, precise predictions can be made about its condition. The superwise dashboard clearly displays information on service life, maintenance recommendations or information on anomalies in real time. "This ensures that no potential service life is wasted and at the same time the risk of failures is minimized," says Habering.

Fast return on investment with maximum safety

Potential users of the communication module include companies in the process industry such as sewage treatment plants and concrete plants, container cranes in ports and the manufacturing industry, including automobile manufacturers. The new solution enables a quick return on investment, as it can optimize maintenance management and prevent expensive downtime. "One minute of system failure costs up to 10,000 euros in the automotive industry. If we prevent just a few seconds with the iComm Box, and that is quickly achieved, the investment has already paid for itself," emphasizes Habering.

And this is how the iComm Box works, illustrated using the i.Sense EC.P sensor, which measures tensile and shear forces in the energy chain: The measured values ​​are sent via a cable to an evaluation module in the control cabinet, which can be connected to the PLC in order to initiate an automatic system stop in an emergency - for example if a guide channel becomes loose. A new feature is the possibility of connecting this evaluation module to the iComm Box via another cable. The communication module then sends the data to the superwise dashboard via the mobile network - encrypted, separate from the customer's TCP-IP network and therefore with maximum security. There are no costs for this transmission. By purchasing the module, the user acquires a data flat rate for ten years.

Igus assumes responsibility for monitoring

In the personalized dashboard, the customer can see the remaining service life of the networked components in percent at any time, as well as the optimal time for the next maintenance. "The dashboard is intuitive, easy to use and makes monitoring child's play," says Habering. If companies still don't have time to monitor the systems themselves, Igus takes over responsibility for the applications as part of the superwise service.

The i.Cee portal is directly connected to the igus CRM system. This means that the sales staff are always informed of all messages and automatically receive a corresponding task. For example, in the event of a system shutdown, in order to arrange for quick deliveries. They report proactively when something needs to be done. The customer therefore doesn't even have to look at the dashboard. "With this service, we are strengthening our customers' human resources and thus their productivity in times of a shortage of skilled workers," explains Habering. “With the iComm Box, we offer an all-in-one system so that you can be optimally prepared for the challenges of Industry 4.0.”