With the growing adoption of electronics in today's industrial systems, increasing reliability is often hampered by the failings of mechanical components. Reliability is a major issue in today's highly competitive marketplace, the costs associated with unexpected machine failure having potentially drastic effects on a company. Predictive maintenance systems and services are very often unaffordable for SMEs. Therefore there is a need for a low cost means of non-subjective on-line, pre-vibration condition monitoring system for detecting malfunctions in gearboxes, rotating shafts, bearings and similar systems. Currently, only the largest, most critical motors are monitored. Leveraging new, inexpensive RF components and integration techniques, along with advances in microprocessor technology, it is possible to provide an economic solution for wirelessly monitoring motor operating parameters - such as temperature, vibration, current, etc. - for all classes of motors, thus creating enormous potential for energy and cost savings. The proposed LOPTIM technology will surpass the state of the art by utilising the novel combination of stator current analysis, along with the current flow from the inverter to the motor and machinery for continuous pre-vibration monitoring. LOPTIM will combine low powered innovative technology, artificial intelligence and a wireless communication network that will render the device both intelligent and autonomous, allowing continuous centralised monitoring of the plant at a fraction of the cost of current alternatives. The generic technology will find applications in areas where motors, pumps, gearboxes or drive chains need to be monitored on a continuous basis, such as fluids processes in chemical industries, motor generator systems, serial trunk conveyor systems, and general line production in manufacturing industries.
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