The IMC Group launches Contor

Condition-based monitoring (CBM) is playing an increasingly important role in supporting preventative maintenance programmes. It is clear why when the modest investment required to implement a CBM solution is compared against the potentially huge costs associated with repairing or replacing machinery that has been damaged.

Designed and manufactured in the UK, the IMC Group has revolutionised condition based monitoring with the new wireless Contor system. With no need for external consultants Contor can be used for in-house predictive maintenance analysis to enhance internal preventative maintenance (PM) objectives.

First customers report that Contor units are very intuitive and simple to use, and capable of accurately measuring and displaying shock impact and vibration data for critical equipment condition monitoring whilst in operation.

One recent application is where Contor has introduced vibration and shock monitoring technology to a series of CNC milling machines used to produce aluminium parts for the aerospace industry. The unexpected failure of the machines had left the owners of the facility facing significant costs and loss of customer confidence. Central to the effective running of a machine are its spindles and bearings, which are subjected to massive forces during operation. Yet heavy demands on manufacturing and engineering teams, manual checking procedures are not always a high priority and when they are missed hidden problems can arise. Additionally, not all potential problems are even detectable by a worker, whereas monitoring technology can pick up the smallest inconsistencies.

Contor uses tri-axial Piezo accelerometer technology to record precise spindle vibration, assisting the operator to manage preventative maintenance. The real-time condition based monitoring information provided by the IMC Contor unit prevents damaging outcomes with instant alarm notifications of excessive impact to the spindle, providing customers with vital data that reduces maintenance costs and production downtime. IMC Contor uses sophisticated communication via ZigBee RF to a central Contor interface where data is stored within an SOL database. Data from the central IMC Contor interface can then be interrogated via the comprehensive software, overcoming a traditional problem of CBM systems where huge volumes of data are produced, which take significant time and expertise to analyse. The system developed by The IMC Group incorporates user-friendly software that automatically identifies potentially dangerous data trends and delivers an alert.

Contor technology can output to MODBUS to work alongside customers’ existing systems, such as SEIKI, adding an additional layer of performance optimisation.

Customers benefit from significantly reduced machine downtime and loss of production. Excessive vibration can be a symptom of problems and predictive maintenance for the bearings is enabled by monitoring the RMS vibration of the system. Spindle damage is significantly reduced thus increasing spindle life. Milling machine performance is optimised, unnecessary maintenance is eliminated and costs are reduced.

Key Benefits

  • Easy-to-use data collection and display
  • Accurately implement predictive maintenance regimes e.g. bearings by monitoring the RMS vibration
  • Significantly reduce machine downtime and loss of production
  • Increase machine life
  • Provide accurate data for warranty claims
  • Significantly reduce maintenance costs by reducing the number of unnecessary scheduled preventive maintenance operations
  • Optimise machine performance e.g. milling machines
  • Eliminate cost of consultancy
  • Strengthen customer confidence

For more information contact The IMC Group or click here.

Adapted from press release by Joe Green

Published on 29/01/2015

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