International technology company and industry partner ContiTech is experiencing considerable growth potential thanks to increasing connectivity in the industrial sector. “Digitalization is a major opportunity for us to work with our customers to generate added value on a lasting basis. Because we are part of the overall value chain, we can establish the conditions this requires as a supplier and industry partner, and play a key part in shaping the industrial infrastructure. Intelligently connected systems, machinery and equipment pave the way for this. Which is why we’re working tirelessly to make our products and systems smarter and offer end-to-end solutions,” explains Hans-Jürgen Duensing, member of the Continental Executive Board responsible for the ContiTech division. From April 24 to 28, 2017, in Hall 6, Stand F18, ContiTech will be presenting its smart solutions for industrial applications under the strapline “ContiTech.Smart Solutions Beyond Rubber.”
One of the distinguishing features of the fourth industrial revolution is the intelligent connectivity of production and maintenance processes. Key data is now being made available in real time on a global scale. “This is giving rise to a number of new business opportunities. Going forward, predictive maintenance – the anticipatory maintenance and repair of machinery and equipment – will be a key driver of growth and efficiency in a large number of the industries in which we operate,” adds Duensing. The Hannover Messe trade fair will see ContiTech unveil its permanently installable and digitally connected monitoring system for steel cord conveyor belts for the first time.
Predictive maintenance reduces downtimes and maintenance costs
Whether in open-pit or underground mining, for steep inclines or across distances spanning kilometers – conveyor belts are the beating heart of many industrial sectors. In harsh operating conditions, they transport loads weighing several tons not to mention sharp, hot, oily and greasy goods. Smooth running of these belts is crucial for cost efficiency. If the belt system experiences an extended downtime, the entire production chain frequently collapses. This in turn results in considerable sales losses for the operators. To allow conveyor belt systems to run free of faults and cost-effectively in the long term, even when subjected to high loads, the operators are focusing more and more on prevention. Innovative electronic monitoring systems make it possible to identify the exact condition of the conveyor belts at any time.
“More serious damage such as longitudinal slitting or splice faults on the conveyor belt can have serious consequences for system operation, and lead to total failures in a worst-case scenario. The monitoring system Conti MultiProtect helps to detect such damage at an early stage during operation and repair the damage in good time. This helps us to avoid extended downtimes,” explains application engineer Patrick Raffler. The way it works is that rip inserts implanted into the conveyor belt are checked for longitudinal slitting by means of their characteristic magnetic fields. Using RFID (radio-frequency identification) chips, ContiTech has been able to optimize localization of longitudinal slitting on the belt. Conti MultiProtect is also able to monitor the condition of the joints and identify damaged spots within the carcass. The user-friendly system has an intuitive operating design that uses a graphical interface.
“This permanent monitoring gives us a detailed picture of the condition of the conveyor belts at all times without having to interrupt operations. This allows cover repairs to be scheduled preventively in good time, thereby reducing maintenance costs,” says Raffler, outlining the advantages further. ContiTech is using software developed in house. “We’re putting our longstanding expertise to good use in the development of intelligent software solutions. This enables us to assist our customers in the best way we can. The new system permits more-accurate-than-ever monitoring of steel cord conveyor belts,” says Raffler.
Other product highlights at Hannover Messe
ContiTech will also showcase a new development for its ViProtect app designed for iOS and Android systems at this year’s Hannover Messe. The app allows users to analyze vibrations in driver cabs, engines and other industrial devices using a smartphone. Excessive vibrations put too much strain on the components, and this can result in expensive and time-consuming downtimes and repairs. Taking accurate measurements helps to assess the vibration behavior of industrial vehicles and machinery. The app uses this data to find the right solution and suggests options for a suitable bearing system – thereby helping to increase service life and comfort over the long term.