Mechanical engineering

Intelligent measurement technology for mechanical engineering

Due to its problem-solving competence, the German mechanical and plant engineering industry enjoys a high reputation worldwide. The servicing of a plant is particularly gaining in importance. According to a VDMA study, digitalisation using servicing platforms, predictive maintenance and the analysis of large amounts of data is currently opening up new business potential.

However, the growing complexity of systems and controls are increasing the requirements for data acquisition and fault diagnostics. Plant and equipment are being increasingly networked and intensively monitored, and large volumes of data require real time analysis, whenever possible, to enable services such as predictive maintenance. The need is growing for intelligent measurement and testing solutions as well as the demand for high-performance complete solutions.

Trends in measurement and testing technology

  • Easy configuration: What is needed are intelligent systems for data acquisition and data monitoring that meet the increasing complexity of plant and equipment, with the ability to be easily and quickly configured with short setup times.

  • A diversity of interfaces: Measurement systems must be flexible enough to be used for different applications and be equipped with all the necessary interfaces. OPC UA also enables the trend towards open standards.

  • PC independence: Measuring systems should be capable of operating independently, without additional hardware and also be mobile. Integrated signal conditioning should be used in place of measurement transducers. Measurement data requires secure storage with date stamping and be accessible even in the event of power failures.

More user support

  • Turnkey complete solutions with hardware, software and engineering services speed up the implementation of even complex measurement and monitoring tasks. Measurement systems then become available faster, are easier to control and are reliable to use.

  • Automation software providing visualisation. ProfiSignal is software for acquiring and evaluating measurement data in machine environments as well as for automating and visualising such data, and automatically generating reports. Its special feature is that it requires no programming or specialist knowledge to operate.

  • Permanent monitoring, such as a mobile system with fault diagnostics for production facilities, can be automated to trigger alarms, e.g. independently of a machine’s control system, in the event of limit violations. An alarm database with event lists for fault messages is thereby also available.

Measuring and testing technology for machine and plant engineering

  • Example of condition monitoring: For monitoring the condition and wear of a crane, Message devices and the ProfiSignal software are used to record and evaluate not only pressures, currents, voltages, temperatures, etc. but also bearing vibrations and movement in rotating shafts. A distinction is made between fault data with pre- and post-trigger and long-term data for condition monitoring. Deviations are detected via integrated limit value and logic channels, alarms and messages can be triggered.

  • Example of batch-based monitoring: A manufacturer of piezo ceramics automatically and individually monitors firing processes for each furnace and batch from temperatures of 100 °C. All data is recorded batch-based to a server. The processes are also visualised on large monitors. For each firing process and furnace, statuses and online trends can be displayed.

  • Example of mobile measurement technology: A manufacturer of stainless steel pipes uses a mobile measuring case for fault diagnostics to enable analysis of any faults that occur. The mobile measuring technology has an integrated sensor supply and a setpoint generator for simulating signals without external accessories and so is always ready for operation. The case is closed during operation and can therefore be used in harsh industrial environments.