SEW-Eurodrive offers a comprehensive range of adaptable engineering solutions to industry for the entire value chain including engineering and selection to start-up and maintenance. Increasingly important, is the proactive maintenance side of its offering, which relies on the ‘prevention is better than cure’ philosophy to improve equipment performance and reliability, thus reducing unscheduled breakdowns and extending equipment life. DriveRadar condition monitoring, a condition-based maintenance platform, is one such solution.

Plant operators are often under pressure to keep production running at the expense of routine and necessary maintenance. The focus tends to be on making money in the immediate term rather than investing in a maintenance programme to ensure better long-term performance and equipment reliability. The company assists clients to take better care of their industrial gearboxes (IGs), gear motors and the company’s electronic and automation range of controllers and variable speed drives (VSDs).

No one can guarantee that a machine won’t fail, but SLAs with the company and, looking further into the future and more so the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), using DriveRadar condition monitoring can assist in predicting when a failure is likely to happen on a unit. “From vibration analysis, we can pick up if a bearing is worn and about to fail, and from oil analysis, we can see if the lubricant is contaminated. By responding quicky to such issues, unexpected and more serious failures can almost always be avoided,” says Eben Pretorius, HOD of Field Service.

DriveRadar. Image credit: SEW-EURODRIVE

DriveRadar. Image credit: SEW-EURODRIVE

DriveRadar is a connected solution for data-based predictive maintenance that automatically collects data from field equipment and uses it to track trends, monitor equipment condition and predict potential failures. The technology prevents unforeseen failures in operation, detects and tracks wear rates and minimises downtime.

The monitoring system is an independent system with all operating data sent to the SEW-Eurodrive Cloud using an LTE/3G sim card or an Ethernet connection. All the information can be viewed on a secure portal, with all operating history and operating events readily available.

“While there are costs associated with our proactive maintenance-based services, these are far less expensive than breakdown repair costs and, by intervening before breakdowns occur, unscheduled downtime and massive production-loss costs can be avoided. By adopting an SLA and/or our DriveRadar services, the company’s teams and DriveRadar allow for monitoring of: Unit operating hours, rotational speeds, vibration levels, oil condition, oil bath temperature, oil quantity, electronics temperature, and ambient temperature readings.

“We have specific training courses to help users maintain industrial and gear motor units and our range of electronic products.”