igus has developed a sensor for its smart plastics software that calculates the remaining service life of energy chains, cables, linear guides and plain bearings during operation.
The i.cee:local sensor from igus optimizes the life of the system, detects faults, allows them to be fixed at an early stage and allows for maintenance to be planned in advance. With its multi-connectivity, i.Cee:local can be integrated via the internet or without IoT connectivity via the local network, depending on customer requirements.
igus, the Germany-based manufacturer of motion plastics, has been among the global leaders in offering predictive maintenance components. The company runs its North American operations out of East Providence, R.I.
Smart plastics sensors monitor abrasion, measure the pull/push force and provide information about an imminent overload. The i.Cee:local solutions allow maintenance managers to receive information about the condition of the system.
Bundling the data
The intelligent sensor bundles the data of all smart plastics systems used and prepares it for the maintenance engineer.
i.Cee:local has two functions. One, it is the home of the open source i.Cee software, the brain of smart plastics. For the first installation, the software is first parameterized and optimally adapted to the specific application with the help of the service life algorithms from igus.
"The service life forecast, which we determine on the basis of millions of test data in our in-house 3,800 square meter laboratory, is compared and adjusted during operation with the values actually determined, so that a real-time service life statement can be made about the durability of the machine and system,’’ said Richard Habering, Head of the smart plastics Business Unit at igus GmbH.
With i.Cee:local, maintenance can be planned in advance, malfunctions can be detected in time and plant downtime can be avoided. The costs of an early retrofit can be reduced through the maximum use of igus components, and spare parts can also be ordered automatically at an early stage. The use of i.Cee:local is suitable for all igus smart plastics products, from plain bearings up to chains.
Multi-connectivity for easy overview
The second important specification of i.Cee:local is its multi-connectivity. The possibility of seamless integration into the designated network environments allows the implementation of various Industry 4.0 use cases. The data of the i.Cee:local sensor can be accessed either via a display on the system, via a cloud solution or an IoT dashboard, as JSON/MQTT protocol, on the intranet, via the REST API interface or directly via SMS or email.
"No matter whether online or offline, depending on the customer's requirements, the data can be accessed quickly and easily by the maintenance staff, thanks to the i.Cee:local sensor," Habering said.