Analogue and digital maintenance with smart plastics

Richard Habering | 11. March 2021

The large and small worries of maintenance

The main task of a maintenance technician is to keep things working. There are many different aspects regarding the use of an object:

  • min. + max. duration
  • degree of wear
  • number of cycles
  • new update or version available
  • personnel capacity
  • and much more

At first glance, personnel capacity does not appear to fit in here but cut-backs in personnel are taking place in many areas of industry. However, maintenance is still essential or even has to become better and more reliable. In case you silently agreed to this and are asking yourself: “Exactly, but how?”

Unfortunately, we cannot answer this question for every area of industry. But moving bearing technology or the maintenance of energy supply systems are exactly the topics where igus can say something. We don’t want you to have problems because of a lack of personnel and therefore offer you two ways of keeping control of the situation with the help of our smart plastics.

The analogue maintenance manager with i.Sense

Condition monitoring is a fast and simple method that is used to protect an e-chain or several energy supply systems but unfortunately, it is usually done in an analogue way. This is where igus offers the following solutions:

  • Push/pull force measurement with EC.P
  • Breakage detection of the e-chain by means of EC.B
  • Tensile force monitoring of cables in an e-chain with CF.P
  • Wear measurement of the installed chainflex cables by means of CF.Q

The analogue aspect that these 4 possibilities involve is mainly due to the fact that they are solutions with NC contacts. In this case, maintenance means the avoidance of consequential damage or total loss in the event of an e-chain malfunction. The calculation is very easy, particularly because it is the simplest technology. The four systems named above perform the role of the analogue maintenance manager in an emergency. With the small difference that the systems always press the emergency stop button at any time of the day or night.

The digital maintenance manager with i.Cee

The digital maintenance manager from igus, namely the i.Cee system, takes us into the area of predictive maintenance. This is where a maintenance manager who lacks sufficient personnel can still keep control of the situation. Whereas it used to be the case that condition monitoring only resulted in a reaction when an emergency arose, i.Cee enables a flexible, individual and targeted form of maintenance. This system not only calculates the service life on the basis of actual use but also replaces the analogue maintenance manual. Leafing through the maintenance manual or, if the maintenance manager is well organised, keeping a list of maintenance dates becomes completely unnecessary.All the important information can be kept and accessed locally or in the Cloud and is always based on the current use of the energy supply system. No overdue or premature maintenance where there is not yet any wear.

This is what an individual dashboard can look like.

i.Cee dashboard

Now, you have to choose as to whether you are rather an analogue or digital maintenance manager.

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