Condition Monitoring For Rollers

Jon Lawson

The term “smart products” has become part of our everyday vocabulary, as we acquire ever-increasing numbers of devices that communicate with each other and allow us to control them or access information we need at any time.

The industrial world is also becoming increasingly interconnected through the industrial internet of things (IIoT) enabling sensors, instruments and other intelligent devices used within a manufacturing environment to gather, exchange, evaluate and store data. This connectivity, and the data produced, can be used in a multitude of ways to improve productivity and process efficiency.

Condition Monitoring For IIoT

Güdel has now introduced condition monitoring for a set of IIoT-based products and tools, enabling customers to perform condition-based maintenance on its smart products.

The company manufactures high-precision machine components that are used within sophisticated automation solutions. Its comprehensive range of products includes linear guide-ways, racks, pinions and drives right through to linear axes and gantry robots.

Güdel components and modules are used within many diverse industry segments, such as: automotive, tyre, rail, logistics, pharmaceutical, renewable energy, wood and aerospace. Regardless of the industry sector, high levels of efficiency and productivity are essential, and a key element in attaining these objectives is the ability to reduce downtime.

Understanding The Condition Of Rollers

Although only a small part of the linear tracks, robots, gantry systems and linear axes manufactured by the company, rollers play a significant part in the operation and reliability of these systems. Understanding the condition of the rollers is important if ongoing and trouble-free operation is to be achieved, and the new condition monitoring package provides users with the data they need to predict potential component failure before it becomes a critical issue.

Detecting Vibration

The condition monitoring technology is based upon the detection of vibration using accelerometers, a proven method to monitor the condition of ball bearings. The critical parts of a rolling bearing are those surfaces that run on each other. These are the rolling element surface, the running surface of the inner ring and the running surface of the outer ring.

Should the running surfaces be damaged locally, a shock pulse occurs when the damaged area rolls over. This characteristic can be picked up by an accelerometer and the greater the damage, the stronger the shock pulse. In addition, as the speed of the roller is known, it is possible to determine whether the inner ring, outer ring or rolling element is defective.

Data Collection

The data collected from the sensors is stored on a local condition-monitoring computer, supplied as part of the package. No network connection is required and the Güdel Condition Manager software, installed on this local computer, allows users to manage the system. Options are available if required, should users wish to connect the system to a local network or the wider web and enable email alerts, etc. if the system detects a significant change in the pulses being picked up by the sensors.

The functionality of the system includes: email alerts if threshold values are exceeded, visualisation of historical trend data from all of the evaluation units, automatic storage of trend data in a local database, alarm history, and documentation of maintenance work carried out.

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