Archive | Maintenance


11:33 pm
May 3, 2016
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Schneider Electric Rolls Breakthrough Premset MV Switchgear into U.S. Market

Screen Shot 2016-05-03 at 3.38.37 PMSchneider Electric (Andover, MA) has announced the U.S. availability of Premset, the company’s breakthrough lineup of shielded, solid insulation, medium voltage (MV) switchgear solutions for power-distribution management.

According to the company, as the first global product of its kind, the earth-shielded Premset system offers unprecedented safety, i.e., reduced internal arcing risk, along with increased efficiencies and ease of use. The main circuit components are insulated by a layer of solid material covered by an external conductive coating with ground potential. There’s no electric field in the ambient air, because live conductors and the ground are confined within the switchgear enclosure.

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Built with embedded smart technology for critical applications such as those found in data centers, industrial operations, and healthcare facilities, Premset offers, among other things, the following features and capabilities:

  • Shielded Solid Insulation System (SSIS) and screening of all live parts, ensuring exceptional levels of safety and reliability.
  • Simple, flexible, modular design with standardized dimensions, a reduced footprint, and front-accessible power connections that’s easy to install, upgrade, and maintain.
  • Advanced protection, control, and monitoring technology fully integrated for higher reliability and energy efficiency.
  • Automated redundancy (Auto Source Transfer) with pre-engineered, easily applied solutions.
  • Load management with integrated, smart metering.
  • VIP self-powered protection and communication relay for higher MV network availability.

Product Support
In addition to standard electrical, mechanical, and visual equipment inspections, to ensure equipment and components are functioning properly, Schneider Electric offers optional start-up and commissioning services for all Presmet purchases, including:

  • Confirmation that the system is installed properly and operating as specified.
  • Collection and evaluation of initial operational data to check insulation, current path, functionality, and sequencing to minimize future downtime and expenditures.
  • Verification of correct operation of interfaces between new and existing equipment.

Beyond the standard 18-month equipment warranty, Schneider Electric Services also provides a one-year extended warranty for all commissioned Premset devices at no additional cost.

For more information on Premset switchgear, including technical specifications, CLICK HERE.



6:16 pm
May 3, 2016
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Predicting Maintenance at Hannover MESSE

One of the specialty areas set up at the Hannover MESSE show (April 25 to 29, Hannover, Germany) was called predictive maintenance. It was a rather mixed bag of equipment/brand-specific offerings and predictive maintenance “tools” for general use. Here’s what some of the exhibitors had to offer.–Gary L. Parr, editorial director

They weren’t in the actual predictive-maintenance area, but Azima DLI, Woburn, MA, was exhibiting their Trio C10 Series ruggedized 10-in. tablets. The tablets are vibration data collectors and diagnostic instruments. The CX10 is a diagnostic data collector/expert analyzer and the CA10 is a vibration data collector/field analyzer. They are loaded with the company’s ExpertAlert diagnostic software.

Festo, the pneumatics and automation company based in Hauppauge, NY, demonstrated a predictive software component for their systems that takes advantage of Internet of Things technology to monitor all aspects of the automation system.

Hydac Filter Systems, Bethlehem, PA, demonstrated a turnkey fluids condition monitoring unit that can be used in retrofit and new hydraulic applications. The unit uses an optical particle counter and a multi-parameter sensor that measures temperature, water content, conductivity, and dielectric constant.

Asseco Solutions AG, Karlsruhe, Germany, offered their Smart Connected Solutions software, which is a subscription-based service that helps companies map all of their service and maintenance processes. The software manages data from individual sensors to deployment planning and on-site maintenance and documentation. SCS can be linked, using standard interfaces, to a wide range of ERP solutions, in addition to supporting processes such as invoicing. (An English version of the site doesn’t appear to exist.)

Bruel & Kjaer Vibro, Darmstat, Germany, demonstrated their turnkey vibration monitoring system. The system can be used on any rotating machinery, consists of all necessary hardware and software, and is scalable from a single machine to an entire plant. They also offer installation service training.

Aventics Corp., Lexington, KY, was showing their sensors and software system for monitoring pneumatics. The Industry 4.0-ready system monitors all aspects of a pneumatic system, including shock absorbers, positioning, and speed. Software tracks and analyses data, providing reports of declining performance.


6:32 pm
May 2, 2016
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Lubrication Scientifics’ Efficient MDL Dual Line System Delivers in Industry’s Toughest Applications, Harshest Environments

Screen Shot 2016-05-02 at 1.24.11 PM
The MDL (Modular Dual Line) lubrication-delivery system from Lubrication Scientifics LLC  (Irvine, CA) is designed for the types of heavy duty grease and oil applications found in steel production, pulp and paper mills, cement manufacturing plants, mining, metal processing, sugar-cane refining, and other tough operations.

According to the manufacturer, dual line lubrication systems are well suited for such operations because they are capable of servicing hundreds of lubrication points over long distances, in harsh environments, and at low temperatures. Dual line systems are also simple to design, have adjustable lubrication outputs, and can be easily expanded.

How the MDL Works
Lubrication Scientifics’ MDL product line has been specifically engineered to provide the functional advantages of traditional designs without the high cost of system maintenance.

The company notes that traditional dual line lubrication-delivery systems utilize one-piece metering devices that contain between two and eight pistons/spools. When installed, those devices are connected, with pipe or tubing, to both the supply lines (2 to 4 connections) and to the bearing output lines (1 to 8 connections). Should a single piston fail to cycle, the entire metering device must be replaced, even if all remaining pistons are properly cycling. In addition to the cost of the replacement valve, each of the pipe or tube connections must be removed from the failed valve and attached to the new one. Depending on valve size and location, a typical dual-line metering-device replacement could take hours.

The MDL’s design overcomes such challenges with a modular sub-plate that can have an unlimited number of bearing-point outlets.  Because the piston section (valve) is separated from the manifold connections, the manufacturer says if a piston fails, it can be removed and replaced with a new section in less than two minutes. No supply or bearing-point connections need be removed to return the system to full function.

These products are available in both plated carbon steel and 316 stainless steel for high corrosion applications. All plated carbon steel MDL products come standard with stainless steel hardware, including adjustment housings.

For more information on Lubrication Scientifics’ MDL offering, CLICK HERE.



4:37 pm
May 2, 2016
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Enhanced NI InsightCM Condition-Monitoring Solution Tackles Big and Growing IIoT-Related Data Challenges

Screen Shot 2016-05-02 at 8.20.45 AMAccording to Austin, TX-based National Instruments (NI) the recently released enhanced version of its online, fleet-wide, end-to-end NI InsightCM Enterprise condition-monitoring software addresses growing Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT)-related challenges in todays asset-management arena. Among the most pressing is the Big Analog Data problem that’s being fueled by the variety of sensors, speed of required measurements, and vast number of commissioned equipment systems throughout plants and facilities.

The company notes that its NI InsightCM, DIAdem, and CompactRIO platforms featuring distributed sensor measurement, edge processing, analytics, and open communication and data management effectively handle Big Analog Data concerns by delivering timely information rather than large volumes of unfiltered data to subject matter experts.

The enhanced version of InsightCM Enterprise is well suited for a wide range of applications in oil and gas, power generation, mining, rail, and industrial manufacturing. NI points to a number of key benefits associated with this IIoT-technology solution, including the fact that it allows organizations to provide better coverage over more assets with existing personnel. Moreover, because the software is built on an open-technology platform, it can better adjust to how end-users operate their businesses rather than adjusting to a vendor.

Other features/capabilities include:

  • Multiple measurement tools in one. Combine physical vibration and temperature measurements with MCSA electrical measurements in the same enterprise software.
  • Complete accessibility. Get full access to your data and connect with third-party enterprise software packages, such as CMMSs, SCADA, database historians, and prognostics tools.
  • Scalability. Start with the most critical, problematic assets and then scale over time to hundreds of ancillary assets with NI InsightCM Server.
  • Flexibility. Use the new NI InsightCM Software Development Kit to add connectivity to third-party hardware, custom analytics, or support for any of the 100+ sensor modules available for the CompactRIO hardware platform.

For more information on NI InsightCM Enterprise, CLICK HERE.


12:44 am
April 30, 2016
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ITT i-ALERT2 Condition-Monitor App Now Available for All Mobile Devices, Including IOS, Android, and Tablets

Screen Shot 2016-04-29 at 5.44.02 PMITT’s PRO Services (Seneca Falls, NY) has announced that its i-ALERT2 Bluetooth Equipment Health Monitor is now optimized for iPad and Android devices. Originally released for iOS iPhone, the app will now make use of the larger iPad screen size for a better tablet experience and be available for free for Samsung Galaxy S5, S6, and S7, and LG Google Nexus 5x, 6, and 6p devices.

Smaller than a credit card, the i-ALERT2 condition monitor, tracks vibration, temperature, and run-time hours 24/7. According to the manufacturer, the device is the first of its type to combine the latest in Bluetooth low-energy and sensor technologies in a single industrial package.

Screen Shot 2016-04-29 at 5.39.07 PMRated for use in environments with explosive gases, dust, and fibers, the i-ALERT2 features a wireless range of up to 100 ft. (30 m). Syncing to the mobile app, which, in turn, can scan multiple devices at once, it enables quick, safe, accurate inspection of equipment by allowing users to view real-time and historical data, diagnostic information, and machine records, even in hazardous environments.

For more information on ITT’s i-ALERT2, CLICK HERE.

CLICK HERE for videos of the i-ALERT2’s mobile app capabilities.


9:05 pm
April 27, 2016
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Condition Monitoring Services Inc. Partners with SMEC to Deliver Complete Asset Management Package

Screen Shot 2016-04-27 at 3.45.59 PMCondition Monitoring Services Inc. (Nipomo, CA) has partnered with the Australia’s SMEC consulting group to provide predictive maintenance support for existing and future customers.

Headquartered in Melbourne, SMEC serves a global clientele from more than 75 offices across North and South America, Africa, the Middle East, Asia and Australia. Its customer base reflects a broad range of industry sectors, including: Transport; Hydropower and Energy; Water and Environment; Urban and Social Development; Resources; and Industrial and Manufacturing.

Screen Shot 2016-04-27 at 3.46.24 PMServices offered by CMS include vibration data collection and analysis, infrared inspections, ultrasound surveys, oil sampling and analysis, in-place machine balancing and alignment, motor current analysis, continuous online monitoring systems (including installation), and several PdM training courses to support in-house monitoring programs.

Combining SMEC’s capabilities, which include a dedicated Asset Management function, with CMS’s service offerings, the two companies can deliver a complete package for improving operations performance and asset dependability at end user sites anywhere in the world




8:59 pm
April 27, 2016
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Google Glass Lives!

UBiMAX's Gerhard Pluppins models his wearable eyeware unit.

UBiMAX’s Gerhard Pluppins models his wearable eyeware unit.

In January 2015, Google announced that they were going to cease offering the Google Glass product to consumers. As far as the popular press and casual observers, like me, were concerned, at best it would be some time before we would see the technology on “store shelves” again. At the time, I was convinced that the technology was too important to simply die, but the negative geek factor that surrounded the product meant that the consumer version was/is going to have to come back in a very different form.

Today, at Hannover MESSE, I learned that Google Glass didn’t die in January 2015. In fact, in the industrial world, the technology is thriving quite nicely, thank you.

I acquired this knowledge when I visited the UBiMAX GmbH booth and met with GErhard Pluppins and CEO Dr. Hendrik Witt. UBiMAX is located in Bremen, Germany and can be found at I stopped at the booth only because Gerhard, wearing a smart eyeware unit (that’s what they’re called now), said hi as I was walking by. I immediately stopped because the question that popped into my head was, What are those things doing at a show of this magnitude? They should be on a shelf collecting dust.

Turns out that UBiMAX, which is one of ten Google Glass certified partners, has been cooking along quite vigorously, developing smart eyeware software for a variety of business applications and, according to them, the implementation has a good head of steam. Dr. Witt says they expect to see the market explode in 2017.

UbiMAX offers three “solutions” at this juncture.

XPick is a “pick-by-vision” order-picking solution that supports manual order picking; incoming, outgoing, and sorting of goods; and inventory management.

XMake is a “make-by-vision” solution for manufacturing, assembly-line support, and quality assurance.

The third solution is the one that stood out for me. XInspect is an inspect-by-vision solution that targets all types of service and maintenance processes in just about any industry. Gerhard Pluppins and I talked at some length about the many possibilities this technology offers to reliability and maintenance professionals. The strength is that it’s two-way technology. If you’re dealing with a problem in a plant, you can receive information over the network, such as repair procedures, equipment performance history, and and parts information. In other words, you can see in your eyepiece just about any information that is available in the network pertaining to that asset.

But the best part is that you can also transmit new information back to the network. That can be in the form of an audio file, photos, and, I would speculate, limited text information. Also integrated into the software are Internet of Things tie-ins that can take this technology to a higher level in terms of data handling and transmission.

I got to wear Gerhard’s smart eyeware unit. I was surprised at how unit’s apparent durability. They always look so flimsy to me. I also expected it to feel clunky on my head, particularly over my eyeglass. Not so, and I had no trouble at all adjusting the heads-up display so I could see it clearly.

He had what looked like a pump diagram displaying in the eyepiece. I was absolutely stunned at the clarity, apparent size of the image, and how easy it was to implement the on-screen information. I expected to have to strain to see any detail, but it was right there, large enough to be of use and clear as a bell. At no time did I feel that the display was obstructing my vision and could be a safety problem.

I’ll probably never have a need for one of these things but will now be keeping a close eye 😉 on this technology because I think it can be a difference maker for reliability and maintenance professionals.–Gary L. Parr, editorial director


8:09 pm
April 27, 2016
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GE’s Rugged GuardEon Global Circuit Breaker Platform with PdM Capabilities Enters Industrial Digital Arena in a Big Way

Screen Shot 2016-04-27 at 3.01.43 PMGE’s Industrial Solutions business (Plainville, CT) launched its new GuardEon molded-case circuit breaker (MCCB) this week. According to the company, the smart, reliable, secure GuardEon global breaker platform is designed specifically to meet the tough, real-world challenges of the digital industrial era.

Notable Features and Capabilities

  • Flexible, global platform. GuardEon offers a single, global platform to serve customers across industries and geographies — no matter the application. To meet changing electrical needs, this breaker family consists of four frame sizes with common components, interchangeable accessories, and flexible options for field customization. GuardEon, along with GE’s EntelliGuard air circuit breakers, ArcWatch technology, and trip-unit toolkit software, reflects a key building block of a modern, integrated low-voltage distribution system.
  • Robust, user-friendly design. During the product’s two-year development, GE worked with more than 100 customers across 17 countries as part of an ongoing iterative design process. Many of GuardEon’s simple, yet smart enhancements are a direct result of that end-user feedback, including the product’s rotating faceplate, ergonomic rotary handle, and its streamlined design with fewer internal parts than GE’s previous MCCBs. Through the GE Store, the GuardEon development team was able to draw from the company’s experience in the oil and gas, mining, marine, data-center, and other industrial segments to make informed design decisions and improve user functionality.
  • Predictive maintenance (PdM) tools: GuardEon’s brain, the PremEon trip unit, is offered in a standard version, PremEon S, or advanced PremEon G version. Customers that specify PremEon G will be able to monitor the breaker’s mechanical and electrical health. GuardEon collects and analyzes performance data to help users diagnose problems before they occur and make better-informed decisions about maintenance. The product also allows for remote monitoring and testing from outside the arc flash zone.
  • Advanced safety protection: GuardEon is ArcWatch-enabled to help protect people and equipment. ArcWatch provides a system solution for simultaneous uptime and protection across connected equipment. This is particularly important for mission-critical industries where customers need a “no-compromises” approach to reliability and safety.

For more information, CLICK HERE.