New igus icom.plus communication module enabling predictive maintenance

Treotham uses smart plastics solutions from igus to predict
and plan maintenance – intelligent sensors, for example, measure the wear of
energy chains, slewing rings and linear guides. With the new communication
module icom.plus by igus, the customer can now decide in which form they would
like to incorporate the acquired data from the sensors. From an offline version
for restrictive environments up to the connection of the values to the igus
server for automatic spare parts ordering, the user is free to integrate and
read their data.

Under the name isense, igus carries sensors of various
kinds that detect the condition of igus components such as cables or energy
chains. They measure among other things the wear during the operation and alert
the user early enough to plan repair or replacement. By networking with the
icom communication module, the data is transmitted to an intelligent system.
The module can be connected to all igus specific sensors, such as sensors for
the measurement of abrasion, or wear measurement of the pin-bore connection of energy
chains, as well as sensors for the detection of break and push-pull forces and
for cable monitoring.

Once the measured values from a sensor have been
transferred to the icom module, they have to be ‘interpreted’ in order to
generate instructions from the same. So far, this has been possible via the
connection to the igus cloud. Due to the increasing importance of IT security,
however, many companies are increasingly relying on the development of their
own SCADA systems, which is why igus has now advanced its data concentrator
into icom.plus. With the new module, the customer can integrate data in a way
that best suits their equipment.

Flexible
data connection through new 3-in-1 module

The icom.plus is programmed via igus online
configurations with initial service life algorithms. The special feature: the
new communication module can be operated offline upon customer request, after
online installation without update function. In this ‘semi-offline’ case,
during an initial ‘learning phase’, the device requires a temporary, short-term
secured IoT access to the igus server to match the calculation algorithms to
the actual motion and environmental profile of the customer application. In
very restrictive areas, the update can also be performed from the beginning via
a storage medium completely offline. In this way, the user can flexibly design
the connection of the module and their data and establish a balance between
maximising the runtime and IT security. 

The motion profile required for the
calculation of the maintenance recommendation is read directly from the control
system via the bus system of the machine. Similarly, information about the
number of days until the next recommended maintenance and freely definable
warning messages about unusual changes in the sensor data are transferred to
the PLC control. The user information is provided directly via the system
monitor or customer-specific SCADA systems.

Predictive
maintenance by connecting to the igus server

With the online connection of the icom.plus, a
continuous matching of the service life statement with the igus cloud takes
place in order to enable maximum system runtimes with minimal failure risk. The
data in the cloud draws on the 10 billion test cycles of energy chains and
cables performed in the company’s own 2,750-square-metre test laboratory; thanks
to machine learning and AI, igus can provide precise information on the
durability of the solutions used and inform the user about a necessary replacement
beforehand.

For more information, please visit the Treotham
Automation website www.treotham.com.au
or call 1300 65 75 64.

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