Servizio Comunitario di Informazione in materia di Ricerca e Sviluppo - CORDIS

Maintenance management and performance monitoring system for (mobile) lifting equipment

The multi equipment datalink system (MEDAL) is a system through which parameters can be extracted from the electrical control system of any equipment object and communicated to one or more computerized databases, which monitor the performance and condition of the object and initiate corrective action when needed. MEDAL collects and stores the parameter values whenever the equipment object is in operation and at least until confirmation on proper receipt of the data by the recipient databases has been confirmed. It guarantees a reliable and automated flow of data to computerized databases derived from any number of different equipment objects. Communication protocols have been defined, which can match specific communication protocols of hardware manufacturers or software suppliers. Installation on mobile equipment is facilitated by connection to the 12 or 24 V electrical system of the object and/or direct connection to microprocessors including programmable logic controllers (PLC). The principal result of the project is the methodology for tele-monitoring machine functions and condition, which permits optimization of lifecycle costs and revenues. The methodology comprises:
screening of historic data on maintenance and operational costs and analysing the environment in which the machine performs its functions;
selecting parameters for monitoring machine performance and condition;
developing calculation models for computerized forecasting of maintenance activities and optimizing operational planning;
selecting the most economical method for telecommunication.

The system was applied to steelrope replacement forecasting (STERF). The steel rope wear trails on the testing rig demonstrated that predicting wear on the basis of registration of actual load cycles is more reliable then calendar based visual inspection. Evidently this applies particularly for rope types which wear internally, external visual inspection being difficult.

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