Predictive maintenance of mobile machinery is not the future – it is the present. Condition monitoring of various systems and components and subsequent big data analysis allow the prediction of problems and maintenance before it becomes necessary. In this way, machines are able to autocorrect and avoid breakdowns.
The global market is constantly requiring more and more connectivity, in every aspect – between the components that make up mobile machinery to that between companies, end-users and clients. The shift towards systems for smart and predictive maintenance in ag machinery and related sectors is a clear sign that the European and other technological markets are embracing this trend. As an international platform for innovations and visions, Systems & Components at Agritechnica 2017 will highlight the latest in smart and predictive maintenance and give visitors the opportunity to check out the most recent developments.
Connected components are the basis of predictive maintenance systems in intelligent machines where systems communicate with each other. Predictive maintenance and quality management of machines are both possible through remote cloud monitoring where operators are able to manage their machines remotely while monitoring performance and usage. Predictive maintenance and service solutions allow end-users to remotely monitor machines, predict failures and proactively maintain assets.
The same smart and predictive maintenance systems used in industrial and stationary applications are also utilized in mobile applications as seen through Bonfiglioli, one of the global leaders in gearboxes, gearmotors and drive systems, who is on the cutting-edge of this market with its presence in the wind industry, for example. Predictive maintenance is even more important in offshore stationary applications due to the high repair costs.
Manuel Cortesi, Regional Sales Manager for Bonfiglioi Mobile & Wind Solutions stated, “If a component of an offshore wind turbine breaks, it is so expensive to fix that the entire turbine must work for 25 years just to make up the cost of the maintenance intervention. For this reason, predicting the breakdown of a component is very important so that the machine is fixed in time, the machine never stops working and money isn’t wasted.”
Addressing needs of end-users and operators
Italian manufacturer Forigo Roter Italia has developed the TPSens, a predictive maintenance Bluetooth system that is able to monitor oil temperature, actual working time as well as machine location. The sensor is a wireless module able to be set on various machines with all data being stored in the internal memory of the component as well as sent to a cloud system. The operator sets the exact parameters and as the system regulates all functions, alarms and messages are sent regarding the performance and predicted maintenance of the machine. The cloud data is subsequently analyzed to find patterns and predict problems before they happen – the foundations of smart and predictive maintenance.
As Alberto Forigo from the Technical Department of Forigo Roter Italia points out, “’Connectivity’ is a dialogue, an exchange of data to reduce the amount of knowledge required between operator and machine. Through this ‘connectivity’, we are able to create machines that are constantly more intelligent and reduce costs in all situations.”
“The idea to create TPSens came when we entered the Californian market. The vast amount of land that is cultivated requires very large machines that constantly work at their limit. From there we thought of creating an alarm, a system to notify the operator since many times the operator is not the direct owner and does not know the various machine characteristics and modifications. We therefore created a monitoring system for the machine overheating which is the main cause of problems and damage to machines,” stated Forigo, explaining the development of TPSens.
To lighten the workload of end-users and facilitate the use of machines, ADR Systems has developed an innovative product, the TEKNOAX, able to be mounted on axles which then provides all relevant data. Using Near Field Communication (NFC), this data is then downloadable on smart phones and tablets through an application developed by ADR. This app provides the product code, the production work order and a link to the related after-sales section even when the data plate is no longer legible due to wear and tear. In this way, farmers are able to access all data in one location.
“Stay with us, stay connected” is the main theme of Systems & Components 2017 and is reflected in smart and predictive maintenance as connectivity plays an integral part of all related and connected systems.
Agritechnica 2017 will be held from November 12-18 at Hanover’s Exhibition Grounds. Agritechnica 2015, the world’s leading tradeshow for agricultural machinery, saw more than 452,000 visitors and 2,892 exhibitors from around the world. More than 100,000 professional visitors and 700 exhibitors attended Systems & Components in 2015.
Alberto Forigo, Technical Department of Forigo Roter Italia