Remote machine condition monitoring based on power supply measurements
Published on Aug 1, 2013
The most widely used rotating machines in the industry are three phase alternative current (AC) induction machines. With the advances in variable speed drive (VSD) technology, they have become even more reliable than their direct current (DC) counterpart. However, inevitably these motors soon begin to fail with time due to mechanical, electrical or thermal stress hence the need for condition monitoring (CM). Condition monitoring systems help keep machines running productively by detecting potential equipment failures before it actually fails. Many condition monitoring methods exist on the market including vibration monitoring; acoustic emission monitoring, thermal monitoring, chemical monitoring, current monitoring but most of these methods require additional sensors and expensive data acquisition system on top of a specialise software tool. This all increases the cost of ownership and maintenance. For more efficient monitoring of induction motor drive systems, this research investigates an innovative remote monitoring system using existing data available in AC drives based on AC motor operating process. This research uses standard automation components already present in most automated control systems. A remote data communication platform is developed, allowing access to the control data remotely over a wireless network and internet using PLC and SCADA system. Remote machine condition monitoring is not a new idea but its application to machine monitoring based on power supply parameters indirectly measured by an inverter is new. To evaluate the basic performance of the platform, the monitoring of shaft misalignment, a typical fault in mechanical system is investigated using an in-house gearbox test rig. It has resulted in a model based detection method based on different speed and load settings against the motor current feedback read by the inverter. The results have demonstrated that the platform is reliable and effective. In addition the monitoring method can be employed to detect and diagnose different degrees of misalignment in real time. This dissertation has major contributions to knowledge which includes: Understanding of real life machine condition monitoring problems for this application, including use of wireless sensor, communication over Industrial Ethernet and network security. The use of standard automation components (PLC and SCADA) in machine condition monitoring. MSc Research (Engineering) Thesis x An improved gearbox test rig platform which has the capability of remote control, acquiring and transferring data for monitoring induction machine drive system. The presented work shows that any machine using automated components such as PLC and SCADA and incorporating motor drive systems and other actuators has the potential to use the automated components for control, condition monitoring and reporting but this will require more tests to be done using the proposed platform.