SKF (www.skf.com) has launched a new Wireless Machine Condition Sensor that leverages WirelessHART protocol to deliver dynamic vibration and temperature data for condition monitoring and diagnostics. The product has ATEX Zone 0 certification, which means it is appropriate for use in hazardous environments like those found in petrochemical and oil and gas operations, among others. The product combines both sensor and router node into one compact and battery-operated unit the size of a typical industrial accelerometer.
According to SKF, these sensors communicate with each other and with a wireless gateway, thus creating a mesh network that’s well suited for monitoring rotating machinery across large sites, in hard-to-reach locations or where traditional WiFi communications won’t work. Capabilities include relaying data from one node to another and back to the gateway, and receiving automated commands from SKF-supplied Wireless Sensor Device Manager software.
If a node is unable to receive signals directly from the WirelessHART gateway, it sends and receives them through a nearby node that can pass the data to and from the gateway. The WirelessHART gateway communicates with the Device Manager software and automatically exports collected data into SKF @ptitude Analyst, a diagnostic and analytic software tool that helps plant personnel determine a course of action.
Because SKF’s Wireless Machine Condition Sensors run in a low-power-consumption mode, the manufacturer says their batteries can last for years in the field.
By Gary Mintchell, Executive Director
I traveled for most of the last third of the year talking with industry executives, going to meetings and listening to presentations. One observation stands out: The coming convergence of functions within manufacturing and production.
As this overview of technologies points out, today’s maintenance technicians and operators have access to capabilities that were previously limited to monitoring specialists.
Most organizations rely heavily on a CMMS or ERP (enterprise resource planning) system like SAP® to manage maintenance activities. That means planning and scheduling of repairs, inspections and shutdown activities involved in time-based or condition-based maintenance (regardless of origin) must run through their CMMS/ERP master systems. Since most asset-health indicators (condition monitoring, inspections, real-time sensors) exist in third-party systems, the ultimate success of the maintenance program depends on the integration between them and the CMMS/ERP to help identify and plan PM. That’s where Dingo’s Trakka® software comes in: It allows asset health data to be received and then transformed, via Dingo’s Asset Wellness™ network, directly into condition-based maintenance notifications in the SAP PM (Plant Maintenance) module, through a Web service.
With all maintenance work tracked in the one system, items like PM Compliance can be reported on quickly. However, as many of Dingo’s large customers have discovered, PM Compliance only reports that the PM is completed within some schedule—not if it was effective. Determining PM effectiveness requires follow-up testing and inspection to ensure the defect has been fixed and that the asset has been returned to a healthy state.
While CMMS or ERP systems are excellent at managing task completion, they often lack the flexibility or detail to facilitate this full condition-based maintenance workflow of inspection, troubleshooting, repair, documentation and proof of repair. The Condition-Based Maintenance Workflow offered by Dingo’s Trakka® software (see figure) overcomes those deficiencies: It provides powerful analytical tools to identify abnormal component conditions identified by predictive and preventive maintenance inspections and data, and creates the necessary tasks to rectify these problems. MT
Good News For SAP Users
Dingo’s Trakka® software has been integrated with SAP® Plant Asset Management (PM). Together Trakka and SAP PM now provide users with integrated approach for managing a proactive condition-based maintenance program to optimize Asset Wellness™.
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