February 2018

Sheet Metal Working Machinery Use Case: Predictive Maintenance

Context

This use case studied the analysis of sensor data from a brake press in order to facilitate its maintenance. Brake forming is the process of deforming a sheet of metal along an axis by pressing it between clamps. A single sheet metal may be subject to a sequence of bends resulting in complex metal parts such as electrical lighting posts and metal cabinets.

These machines require very accurate control so as to ensure the required bending precision that is in the order of tens of microns. They have stringent safety requirements that also impose certain restriction on its operation. In addition to this, the production efficiency is also a very important factor in its operation.

Objectives

In order to ensure production quality under these stringent requirements, it is important to make sure that all of the machines’ components are in perfect working order. The goal of this use case in the MANTIS project is to use a set of sensors to detect failures and then inform the maintenance staff of these events. In this work we used a top of the line Greenbender model to implement and test a system that could accomplish these goals.

The Team

A multi-disciplinary team participated in the research and development of this use case. The use case owner is the machine tool manufacturer ADIRA that sells machines worldwide. ADIRA’s main goal is to improve the maintenance services they provide to their customers.

The researchers team consist of:

Research and development in the area of communications was jointly done by ISEP and UNINOVA. This included the IoT architecture, sensors, communication’s hardware and infrastructure deployment. Data processing and analytics was performed by INESC and ISEP. INESC focused on root cause analysis (RCA), remaining useful life (RUL) forecasting and anomaly detection. ISEP worked on knowledge based techniques for failure detection by developing and testing a decision support system. In addition to this ISEP also developed a Human Machine Interface (HMI) application that provides access to IoT infrastructure and several MANTIS services, which includes the notification of failures.

JSI and XLAB also provided valuable input and feedback concerning the initial research and design tasks of the communications infrastructure (real time data transmission) and the HMI (usability).

Results

The MANTIS project has provided INESC with the opportunity to research, test and apply machine learning techniques in a real-world setting. Tasks included the detailed study of the machine tools’ processes and components, eliciting requirements and information from the domain experts and evaluating several machine learning algorithms. Due to the many challenges that were faced in identifying, collecting and using sensor data, only anomaly detection is currently being deployed in this use case.

A set of 11 conditions are being continually monitored for anomalies. For each anomaly two thresholds are being used to identify respectively small and large deviations from the expected behavior. Whenever such a deviation is detected, an alert is dispatched to the HMI where the users are notified. These monitoring conditions should allow ADIRA to detect failures in the hydraulic system, numeric controller and several electric components. In addition to this, oil temperature and machine vibrations are also being monitored.

The MANTIS system, which includes INESC’s analytics module, has been deployed as a set of services in the Cloud. Initial tests show good false positive rates. We are now in the process of performing on-line evaluations of the detection rates. We are confident that these results will serve as an important firsts step for ADIRA to enhance its products by using more sophisticated and effective data analytics methods.

MANTIS: Conventional Energy Production Use-Case

The Finnish use-case under the MANTIS project concentrates on proactive maintenance solutions in the field of conventional energy production. The industry is moving towards smaller distributed plants with less on-site staff and thus, the ability to deploy conventional CBM strategies has declined. However, availability is still a major factor in power generation efficiency and plant feasibility. Therefore, new kind of energy production asset maintenance solutions applicable also for less critical components are required.

Five industrial and academic partners, namely Fortum, Lapland University of Applied Sciences (LUAS), Nome, VTT and Wapice, form the Finnish consortium in the MANTIS project. The Finnish use-case of conventional energy production is centered on a flue gas blower in Fortum’s Järvenpää power plant. Power plants have a large array of rotating machinery, whose reliability greatly affect on the overall reliability of the plant. As such, the blower offers a valid testing environment for collaborative maintenance solutions developed by the Finnish partners. The blower has been instrumented with vibration sensors, virtual sensors and local data collectors provided by Nome, Wapice and VTT. The measurement data is stored in the MIMOSA data model based MANTIS database via REST interface developed by LUAS. The collected data can be distributed to individual systems across organizational boundaries for analysis purposes. The partners of the conventional energy production use-case have integrated their own analytic tools, such as Fortum’s TOPi, Nome’s NMAS and Wapice’s IoT-Ticket, to the MANTIS database, as illustrated in figure 1, and tested the system architecture successfully in practice.

Pilot structure of the conventional energy production use-case
Pilot structure of the conventional energy production use-case

The MANTIS project has offered a great opportunity for the conventional energy production use-case partners to develop their own HMIs that can be integrated to different fields of proactive maintenance. The development work continues in the third and last phase of the MANTIS project, as some advanced visualization approaches, including virtual reality and augmented reality applications, are piloted and integrated to the HMIs. The piloted cloud architecture from Fortum’s Järvenpää power plant will also be tested in larger scale in another entire power plant. The data collection will be extended to cover a wider range of equipment and process variables to enable plant-wide monitoring of assets and proactive maintenance strategies. In addition, the partners are developing their analytic tools further to  provide solutions capable of diagnostics and prognostics required in advanced maintenance.