Condition Monitoring is increasingly gaining importance due to steadily growing demands on machine availability and consideration of total costs (TCO). Industry 4.0 opens new application possibilities by stronger integration of sensors in machines and plants.
“Predictive maintenance is an important component of Industry 4.0“, states Dr. Marcus Fischer, technical director of ARGO-HYTOS GmbH, Kraichtal-Menzingen. “Since 2008 we have developed customized solutions for condition monitoring of fluid power systems. By using our measurement systems, our customers are able to implement predictive maintenance concepts and to reduce the operational costs of machines effectively.“ This solution is supported by the fact that maintenance intervals can be defined depending on the machine or system, in order to reduce downtime. Dr. Fischer: “The additionally necessary use of hardware quickly pays for itself during the operation time of the system.“
Panama Canal: Application of sensors in canal lockage systems
“In terms of technology and application knowledge, German companies such as ARGO-HYTOS set standards “, says Roman Cecil Krähling, Condition Monitoring & Electronics manager. “Here, experience and investment in new technology are paying off”. So, the new sensors developed by ARGO-HYTOS and the intelligent algorithms would allow customers to safely monitor the oil aging and wear of components. This allows them to detect problems at an early stage before they cause damage or a standstill. Krähling: “Our sensors have proved their worth in a variety of applications, from remote monitoring of a harvester through the oil condition monitoring in container terminals, to the complete hydraulic system in the canal lockage of the Panama Canal. Customers benefit not only from a significant expansion of oil change intervals but also from a better planning and measurability of service measures.“
But to maximize the benefits for the customer, a simpler integration of measurement technology and standardized data processing is necessary. “As part of the Industry 4.0 initiative, we are working closely with the VDMA to create the necessary basics to this end”, emphasizes Dr. Fischer. “The aim is to provide the customer the optimal solution, without having to overcome costly barriers of communication infra-structure“. Predictive maintenance is also supported by the fact that in connection with the monitoring of entire plant parks, new business models may be created, both for plant operators as well as for service providers.