How to Avoid Mechanical Failure with IIoT

Article Tags:
Mechanical failure
Unplanned downtime

Mechanical failure has been, and continues to be, a major source of frustration within the industry — causing unplanned downtime, unexpected gaps in production and lost revenue. Advances in technology are continuously evolving and IIoT and Smart products are becoming more and more relevant. Networking industrial equipment and directly connecting the mechanical assets to the IIoT infrastructure provides a variety of options far greater than the current process of viewing the equipment’s performance from a control system. Taking advantage of this technology, the Industrial Internet of Things a more robust and progressive form of communication, applications across the industry are realizing a more comprehensive view of their machinery that is more reliable, safe, precise and automated. PLC-driven monitoring means the equipment is talking in a data-specific language. IIoT algorithms provides real-time performance analytics that deliver actionable alerts that advise what is wrong, with which piece of equipment, what to do to resolve the issue, as well as the time frame it needs to be completed; all with the intention of avoiding over maintaining and unplanned downtime.

The results of owning and operating an IIoT Smart Gear Drive will shorten the start-up/MTTR (mean time to repair), increase up-time/MTBF (mean time between failure), provide higher OEE (overall equipment effectiveness), improve inventory management and maintenance costs, and improve the accuracy of maintenance and replacement events for your operation. Essentially, there are three significant ways digital connectivity can make your life easier through the incorporation of Smart IIoT technology:

Reliability and Sustainability

Real-time data provides total system health. Knowing your oil is only 10% used up or nearing the end of its life, or that the running temperature or vibration is trending, along with alerts to tell you what is happening, where and what to do about it can significantly impact asset management.

Safety First

Digital connectivity allows the user to see what is happening in real time without the need to send industry professionals out to “look and see”, up close and often dangerously close, to what is happening with the equipment. Many applications are in remote, high or generally inaccessible locations. Smart IIoT technology provides the option to no longer need to send a maintenance worker to check on a gear unit, take an oil sample or provide other, potentially unnecessary and routine maintenance checks.

Optimize Your Assets

Understanding where the system stands on its current life curve — in your plant, application and environment — accommodates for more accessible and timely maintenance events and expedites the need for spare part replacement purchases.

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But can these advancements in IIoT technology truly deliver?

A recent mine installation provided the user with notifications of a specific coupling performance. The IIoT system detected the coupling imbalance as well as a latent gear vibration, allowing both issues to be corrected. In the case of the coupling, the Smart technology provided a solution to an ongoing problem, while the gear vibration was detected and corrected many years before it would have been detected by traditional equipment and inspection. In addition, the system picked up and analyzed the impact from the blasting being performed at the mine face. The mine contained a high amount of dust in the air, which created the need for gear box maintenance. The system provided the necessary email alerts to maintenance and, by doing so, the maintenance team was able to take the necessary action when needed. Maintaining the unit at optimum running temperature increases the life of the lubricant, extending the time between oil changes and eliminating unnecessary oil sampling. Providing oil health by % of life used provides assurances that the lubricant is doing its job.
The Industrial Internet of Things and its ties to Industry 4.0 has proven to be an asset to the modern day factory. To learn more about IIoT, and the impact it could have on your operation, contact our technical support group at 1-866-REXNORD.
For more information on Rexnord IIoT Solutions, visit our DiRXN platform page.

Donna Akers

Donna is Commercial Marketing Manager for Rexnord’s Material Handling business unit. As a 40 year veteran of Rexnord Power Transmission, she has held leadership roles in developing, producing and marketing some of Rexnord’s most critical products. Donna graduated from Purdue University with an AAS in Mechanical Engineering and the Milwaukee School of Engineering with a BA in Industrial Management.