Digital condition monitoring system for overhead conveyors

15th March 2019
Posted By : Alex Lynn
Digital condition monitoring system for overhead conveyors

A condition monitoring system based on HARTING’s MICA Edge computer system is being used for the early detection of wear in the overhead conveyor systems used in production lines in the automotive and other industries. The failure of individual support frames in these conveyors can lead to the stoppage of entire production lines, but the MICA-based system detects wear at an early stage and thus prevents unplanned downtime.

Overhead conveyor systems in production lines transport components or subassemblies through individual assembly sections. Worn rollers or damage to drives can lead to the failure of individual support frames, which inevitably leads to a bottleneck of the entire production line due to the serial guidance of the overhead conveyor.

To prevent failures, the HARTING monitoring system offers a solution for digital condition monitoring of the supporting frames. Here, creeping wear is detected and a warning of a potential failure is issued in good time. The system helps reduce unplanned failure of the overhead conveyor. Maintenance costs can also be significantly reduced by condition-based maintenance.

The goal is to achieve higher overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) of the suspended conveyor. Since the condition-monitoring solution is designed to retrofit to existing systems, it is also possible to extend the lifetime of legacy systems.

The system consists of two highly sensitive sensor boxes and a MICA Edge computer which directly evaluates the sensor values and transmits them to the control system via an integrated WiFi function. The sensors continuously detect vibrations on the rotors, the frequency of the motor current, the motor current, and the temperature of the drives. 

If a threshold value is exceeded, the moving-state monitoring set sends a message to the operating equipment via the control system. Affected supporting racks are taken out of service in a targeted manner and serviced.

The condition monitoring set can be retrofitted for all types of transport systems with slow moving components, such as escalators, elevators and conveyor belts. Thanks to the IP 65/67 protection class of the sensor boxes and the MICA, the system can be operated without problem in numerous ambient conditions. 

The monitoring solution was developed in close co-operation with an automobile manufacturer and FormsMedia, a company in the MICA.network partner network.


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