Maintenance is an important management issue both because it represents a significant cost in itself (up to 20% of production fixed costs) and because plant breakdowns impact on production through reduced output and disrupted planning. Moving to a more formalised and controlled production environment inevitably demands more predictable plant performance.
Metrics like Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) provide a standard method for comparing different industries, plants, lines, or even shifts, and put a sharp focus on the availability of each piece of machinery. Unscheduled breakdowns can have a major impact on total downtime, and can also increase maintenance costs as a result of emergency remedial actions.
Many companies have invested heavily in the development of extensive planned maintenance schedules linked to automated IT systems, but often find it difficult to keep up with the work plans, both because of shortages of skilled staff and the need to keep to production schedules. Predictive maintenance is fast becoming the preferred technique for critical assets in many situations, not only because it brings significant cost benefit advantages but also because it improves the level of control that engineers can exert over the future availability of their assets.
The Artesis predictive maintenance system aims to provide all the benefits of traditional condition monitoring systems at a fraction of the complication and cost. Artesis MCM (motor condition monitor) uses an intelligent, model-based approach to provide complete monitoring and diagnostic capabilities for most electric motor driven equipment.
Each MCM unit covers a complete motor and the equipment driven by it, and is typically installed in the motor control cabinet. Since connections are required only to the motor supply cables, installation costs are low with no need to access the driven equipment for any sensor installation. Once installed, the system trains itself to recognise normal performance, following which it continuously monitors the equipment for possible faults. When such a fault is detected, the system provides a diagnosis of one of a wide range of mechanical and electrical problems, and indicates severity so that the user can make decisions on the most appropriate intervention.
Because the Artesis system is simple to install and requires little user intervention in operation, it combines low start-up costs with the significant benefits of predictive maintenance. Since it doesn’t require any sensor installation on the equipment itself, Artesis MCM is a particularly good solution for inaccessible equipment like tower fans, and is applicable to most types of pumps, compressors, and materials handing systems. Artesis PCM (Plant Condition Monitor) extends this cover to auxiliary generators and alternators.