Minimise plant and machine downtime

Schaeffler’s new Condition Monitoring (CM) solution, OPTIME, offers a unique set of benefits over alternative CM systems. In simple terms, users can Plug > Play > Predict. The installation is straightforward and does not require any specialist expertise. The machine diagnostics are displayed instantly, showing the maintenance engineers where they are needed.

It offers automated data analysis at an expert level. With low installation outlay and rapid initial operation. OPTIME allows the implementation of CM for a high number of machines, whose condition previously could not be monitored cost effectively.

In recognition of its unique, innovative approach to condition monitoring, OPTIME recently received the ‘Industry 4.0 Innovation Award 2020’. An annual award from VDE Verlag in collaboration with the German Electrical and Electronic Manufacturers’ Association (ZVEI) as well as the Standardization Council Industry 4.0.

Machine operators, process plants and entire manufacturing sites can now benefit from the use of OPTIME, as well as professional CM service providers and power transmission specialists who wish to expand their portfolio.

A key benefit of OPTIME is that maintenance managers can install the system themselves and monitor their machines at expert level without assistance. Easily scalable, OPTIME consists of a mesh network of wireless, battery-powered vibration sensors, a gateway with SIM card, data analysis in the cloud and an app for mobile and desktop devices to visualise the condition of all assets.

The data captured by the sensors is analysed using specially developed algorithms that draw on Schaeffler’s technical expertise.  Their extensive library of physical models developed and refined over many decades and the company’s vast experience in condition monitoring of rolling bearings.

OPTIME provides an early warning of rolling bearing damage to machine components such as motors, fans and pumps, several weeks’ in advance. It also provides an early warning of imbalances, misalignments, cavitation in pumps, gearbox damage and lubrication issues.

The app presents trends in graph form and visualises the severity of incidents using traffic light colours and alarm states. Maintenance teams receive specific recommendations on the steps required, so they can easily plan their maintenance work, manpower needs and spare parts procurement.

Minimum outlay, maximum benefit

OPTIME can be installed and initial operation carried out without any prior CM expertise. Several hundred measurement points can easily be set up in a single day. The vibration sensors are screwed directly on to the asset or by using a mounting plate secured using adhesive., They are activated by the accompanying app, which connects to them via near-field communication (NFC).

All installed sensors communicate autonomously with each other and the gateway, thereby forming a dedicated mesh network. The sensors transmit machine KPI data as well as raw vibration and temperature data via the gateway to the Schaeffler IoT Hub. The hub analyses the data, and the results are displayed in the app., Alternatively, analysis results can be made available for integration into the customer’s own IT environment via a REST API.

Register for the white paper

Monitoring for the early detection of damage and defects does not necessarily make good economic sense for every machine or system. Schaeffler has written a white paper entitled “Is machine monitoring worthwhile?” The paper serves as a guide and is intended to support end users in their decision making by providing them with tips, calculation examples, checklists and examples from practical experience.

To register for your copy of the white paper, visit:

Automatic lubricator range extended

Schaeffler has expanded its CONCEPT range. In addition to the existing lubricators – the CONCEPT2 with two lubricant supply line outlets and the CONCEPT8 with eight lubricant supply line outlets – the range was completed by the CONCEPT1 and CONCEPT4 lubricators. The CONCEPT1 is designed for automatic relubrication of one lubrication point. The CONCEPT4 can independently supply up to four lubrication points.

Thanks to its ease of installation and application, the CONCEPT1 is powered via electrochemical reaction by a gas-producing dry cell, meaning that an external power supply is not needed. The CONCEPT1 is suitable for use in a wide range of applications, including electric motors, pumps, and belt conveyors.

The CONCEPT4 is suitable for minimum-quantity lubrication, dispensing just 0.15 cm3 per actuation impulse. Regulated solely via an external control unit, it is aimed exclusively at customers with an existing PLC infrastructure. The CONCEPT4 lubricator has four outlets for lubricant supply lines ensuring that lubricant reaches hard-to-access points that require long supply lines.

Engineering Update

Engineering Update

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