Continuous monitoring of the entire drive train

Whether the focus is on production, handling or ­processing facilities, drive systems play a key role in industrial production processes. This makes it even more important to detect impending damage and take the appropriate action in good time. This is where the Siemens Drive Train Condition Monitoring service comes in (Fig.). The new services range from mobile inspection of individual components, such as motors and gearboxes, to continuous online monitoring of the entire drive train. These services help to reduce the risk of outages, optimize service intervals and increase machine availability.

Drive Train Condition Monitoring services from Siemens extend preventive maintenance to cover the entire drive train. Three service levels are available for motors and gearboxes: “Basic”, “Advanced” and “Premium”. Under the Basic package for motors, Siemens experts measure the vibrations manually at agreed intervals. This often enables potential damage to be detected months in advance so that countermeasures can be taken in good time.

The Advanced package provides continuous monitoring by remote access with the aid of the “Motor Condition Monitoring Box”. This measures not only bearing vibrations and temperatures but also the temperatures of the motor windings. As soon as one of the agreed warning thresholds is reached, the Box reports this automatically to a Siemens Expert Center. The Center carries out a detailed, in-depth analysis from which it derives recommended actions.

One of the advantages of the Motor Condition Monitoring Box is that it has internal, vibration-free electronics. This enables it to be mounted directly on the motor, which minimizes wiring requirements and saves space, as an external control cabinet is not required. The temperature isolation of the electronics protects them from damage, even if the temperature of the motor rises to 80 degrees Celsius. The Motor Condition Monitoring Box also has IP65 degree of protection to make it water and dustproof. The Box is available as a standard order option for the new Simotics FD motor series from Hannover Messe 2014 on.

The Premium package can be adapted and scaled to match the user’s requirements. Several different motors can be monitored simultaneously, covering vibration and temperature measurement as well as all the measured variables of a drive train, such as torque. Users receive not only an in-depth fault analysis when required but also regular condition reports advising them of the necessary maintenance measures.

Similar to the motor condition monitoring, Siemens also offers “Gearbox Condition Monitoring” with equally efficient hardware, software and services for reliable monitoring of gearboxes. “Drive Train Condition Monitoring”, which Siemens is highlighting at the Hannover Messe 2014, combines monitoring of both motor and gearbox. This gives customers a comprehensive condition monitoring system for the entire drive train, with all the associated services from a single source.

Pilot project: motor condition monitoring in the Zolling power plant

The Zolling bituminous coal power plant is one of the first customers to use motor condition monitoring. Each year it supplies an average of 1.7 million people with power. Two medium-voltage motors, each with a rating of 1600 kW, drive the giant pumps which circulate the coolant through the power plant. To minimize the risk of failure, the operator, GDF SUEZ Energie Deutschland AG, decided to equip each of these motors with a Motor Condition Monitoring Box. The Motor Condition Monitoring Advanced package monitors not only the bearing vibrations and temperatures but also the temperatures of the motor windings. When a warning threshold is reached, the Box automatically reports this to a Siemens Expert Center, where appropriate service measures are initiated. The aim is to increase the cost-effectiveness of the maintenance measures by optimizing the service intervals.


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