The smart products from the isense range include a sensor for continuous measurement of push and pull forces (EC. P – Push/pull detection) as well as a sensor to detect chain link breakage (EC.B – Break detection). The service life of moving chainflex® cables can be predicted exactly until the warranty period expires. For the period thereafter, a sensor called CF.Q (Cable Fracture/Quality) has been developed. The remaining service life is estimated by monitoring the electrical parameters.
For condition measurements, such as acceleration or temperatures, the EC.M (Motion) can be used, the measured values are the basis for further more complex calculations. The PRT.W (Wear) sensor provides wear status of the slewing ring bearings . For all linear drives, the DL.W (Wear) sensor provides timely wear status. This data is only a small part of what makes the isense product family a strong and smart tool for the 'Industry 4.0'. These sensors only become useful when linked to the icom module, a data collection module that imports the measured values of the isense product family into the system.
Richard Habering presents the new developments in smart plastics during Hannover Messe (HMI)
A data concentrator – that can transfer the measured values to a system of the isense product family. How the sensor data can be further processed depends on the respective system chosen. igus® currently offers four variants.
To record the data the EC.M sensor is installed on the moving end of the energy chain. It detects values such as acceleration, speed, temperature and completed cycles, and, from them, determines the distances completed as well as the remaining service life of the system. Wear detection with the EC.W sensorAn abrasion sensor measures the wear, depending on the product, at the crossbar, at the pin/bore connection or at the liners and sends a signal when the limit is reached.
For roller chains, e.g. series P4, the pin/bore connection is the mechanically most stressed component. Integrated directly in the chain link, the EC.I sensor measures the percentage wear of the pin/bore connection without contact and in this way enables the timely planning of replacement or repair.
Use of the EC.P sensor saves maintenance personnel from having to travel many kilometres - thanks to its status information always being available and which can automatically be passed on to the isense system. The principle has been successfully used as the so-called push/pull detector system by igus® for 14 years.
The EC.B break detection sensor from igus® reduces the amount of work of maintenance technicians tasked with looking after crane installations and gantries. This applies from classical smaller indoor cranes in production facilities right up to the huge cranes used in ship-building. The EC.B sensor can detect breakage of a chain link caused by parts falling into the system or similar. In the past, this problem was often a critical factor in the failure of a crane as breakage of a chain link automatically leads to overloading and failure of the opposite side.
The CF.Q sensor indicates changes in the electrical properties; and allows detection of impending cable failure in advance. The electrician then decides what priority the replacement of a cable has and what the consequences of a defect might be.
Tensile forces acting on the cables of an e-chain system® can significantly reduce the service life! The CF.P system measures the forces directly at the strain relief and indicates the need for action in a timely manner.
Sensors measure and check the position of the energy chain. In this way, the machine is prevented from continuing to operate when mechanical faults occur; meaning that total loss of the chain or an electrical shutdown due to cable damage are a thing of the past.
has reached a level normally associated with the end of the guide‘s service life. A plastic element that has an integrated sensor and can be retrofitted, signals the need for replacement in good time.
Mounted in a milled slot below the sliding elements of the PRT, the PRT.W sensor measures the wear and tear and can indicate the required replacement promptly via the icom communication module before a cable failure.
Simply by integrating a machine programmer
Sensors (EC.B break, CF.Q – cable monitoring) on e-chains® and cables acquire the measured values
Machinery can be switched off in two ways: directly by means of the NC contact or through evaluation via an I/O interface of the customer's PLC
Customers can arrange for the data to be sent to them via a serial interface (RS2322/UART) so that they can evaluate the data themselves.
An additional industrial PC is needed to display the messages via the customer's intranet.
No connection to the Internet and therefore no comparison of the maintenance recommendations with an online database
Manual update of service life information through comparison with the igus® database necessary. Good overview on the IPC: All impending failures in the production environment are displayed
Ideal for production managers and shift supervisors who are interested in facilitating their everyday work in component manufacturing or service provision and want to deploy their maintenance technicians efficiently.
Quickly and easily installed streamlined SW solution
All messages are displayed on an additional industrial PC
Wide variety of topologies and standards (Profinet, Ethernet, EtherKat, CC-Link IE), OPC-UA, MQTT
Integration into the existing software environment and the intranet
Large number of protocols such as OPC-UA or MQTT
Integration into the customer's production visualisation software
Operating states of different igus® components at a click of the mouse and at a glance
Ordering of replacement parts via connected ERP system
Connection to control software via customer's infrastructure (Ethernet, Profinet, CC-Link etc.)
Shutdown of the machine or acoustic or visual warnings
Use the best method to plan servicing work and only do the work that is really necessary
Efficient work prioritising after the sensor warning, and thanks to integration into the ERP, appropriate replacement parts from stock.
Predictive and plannable servicing work due to early information on required maintenance or replacement
Data from the igus® laboratory are processed on a server with the anonymised customer data and also with open data of other customer applications in order to produce a data model
Service life forecasts from the protected customer area are regularly compared with the data model
Benefits from millions of test data in the igus® database and learns something new every day
This factory in Steyr is the biggest and most important engine factory of a car manufacturer. On average, an engine comes off the assembly line every 14 seconds - in peak periods, more than 6,000 engines are produced every working day. This output can only be achieved with a high degree of automation with reliable components. This is why companies rely on smart plastics from igus® in order to avoid unforeseen failures and machine shutdowns.
Anyone who is able to make reliable and useful predictions around maintenance work is one step ahead of the competition. In the age of digitalisation, more than big data is required for such predictions. In order to be able to use the sensor data to derive the correct recommendations for work to be accurately scheduled, long term empirical values from the igus® test database are used. The service life of all igus® products can be calculated online and quickly delivered. To this end, igus® operates the largest test labs in its industry. The heart of igus® innovation beats there.
In addition to the maintenance recommendation time in days, all measured sensor values can be displayed with history on a detailed page. In this way, exceptional operating conditions or creeping mechanical changes can be detected early on and corresponding measures initiated at an early stage.
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