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What the Internet of Things means in reality

09 February 2018

Many users wish for prompt information on the state of wear and energy efficiency of pneumatic systems at a glance to be able to respond to potential leaks or machine downtimes early on. The Smart Pneumatics Monitor (SPM) from Aventics detects the system operating state, analyses data, and provides this processed information to users for status-oriented maintenance.

“As actuators of many components, pneumatic valves have a great influence on system availability, machine safety, energy efficiency, and even raw material consumption,” explains Dieter Michalkowski, responsible for the Smart Pneumatics Monitor at Aventics. “There are excellent economic reasons to ensure that these valves are operating optimally and users are taking full advantage of their wide range of functions,” the expert continues.

Intelligence pays off

Smart valves provide the ideal foundation, enabling users to predict when individual components will reach critical limits. This allows timely introduction of measures. Aventics backs its predictive maintenance strategy with the Smart Pneumatics Monitor.

To monitor the wear of a shock absorber, for example, the SPM breaks down the end switch signals to evaluate the cushioning sequence. Algorithms analyse this data internally and send the information either to defined people or to parent systems via the OPC UA interface. Moreover, the sensor data collected also enables optimisation of the pneumatic systems' energy efficiency.

The information generated with the SPM from permanent monitoring processes is also critical in helping prevent system downtime, minimising and even eliminating sudden, expensive system failures. Furthermore, this information also makes it easier to plan system downtimes for maintenance.

Everything at a glance

All modules of components to be monitored are combined and linked in a graphic interface using drag-and-drop. This is the only task users are responsible for, as they know which sensor should be connected to which input. Beyond the comprehensive program modules available in the Smart Pneumatics Monitor, users with programming skills can generate their own specific modules as needed.

This allows users to choose between different display and communication variants. Equipped with an integrated web server, the Smart Pneumatics Monitor enables users to connect to the box by means of an Internet browser and display data in the internal browser. It also features an OPC UA server that supplies relevant data on demand. Many additional interfaces can also be offered, such as MQTT, simple e-mail or SMS delivery, or interfaces to common database and cloud services.

At the Hannover Messe 2018, Aventics will showcase its networked Smart Pneumatics Monitor in hall 23 at booth C39 – the SPM will visualise the flow values for four function models at the booth. The international industrial trade fair will take place from April 23 to 27, 2018, in Hanover under the banner “Integrated Industry – Connect & Collaborate”.

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