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CORDIS

Intelligent Bearing

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - iBearing (Intelligent Bearing)

Reporting period: 2017-05-01 to 2018-04-30

The objective of the iBearing project is the development, manufacturing, testing, and validation of a sensor to assist monitoring bearings structural degradation over their lifetime. The main application envisioned for iBearing is condition monitoring of aircraft engine starter-generators. The project aimed at proposing methodologies for bearing failure prediction at least 100 hours in advance, with a statistical significance of 0.997 (i.e. three sigma). To achieve a successful result, the project needed to address the following challenges: (i) development of real-time in-situ solutions for bearings health monitoring; (ii) utilization of proven methodologies and technologies currently used in bearing monitoring, but also assessment of new options for harsh environments (e.g. high temperature and vibration).
The iBearing project is split in three phases: (i) proof-of concept validation; (ii) prototype for harsh environment; and (iii) product certification. The current project aims for proof-of-concept validation and, if possible, developing technologies for harsh environment. During this project, the consortium developed, manufactured, and tested a mock-up using off-the-shelf products and components to validate a proof-of-concept. Some units (e.g. sensors) are suitable for harsh environment conditions, but most components fall in the industrial/military grade. The first phase combined effort from three partners: Active Space Technologies coordinated the project and activities related to electronics; Schaeffler selected bearings and carried out tests; Cranfield University developed strategies based in time- and frequency-domain advanced algorithms, e.g. using condition indicators, suitable to evaluate bearings performance over time. Some tasks related to bearing specification have been assigned to Barden (Schaeffler Group). Active Space also worked in enabling technologies for harsh environment, e.g. temperature above 125ºC. The project was coordinated with Thales.
1 Explanation of the work carried per WP
1.1 Specification Freeze (WP1)
This work package has been carried out between March and June 2016. The set of requirements has been provided by Thales.
1.2 State of the Art and Methodology Choice (WP2)
Sensors are detection methodologies were assessed and selected.
1.3 Methodology Freeze (WP3)
A mock-up was designed, manufactured, and tested. Dozens of tests have been planned and carried out to assess the mock-up robustness.
1.4 Data Processor Prototype Design (WP4)
During this work package, Cranfield University developed condition indicators suitable for data analysis and identification of patterns in measurements that would suggest early degradation of bearings; Schaeffler prepared a test rig for experiments; Active space tested and validated the mock-up to ensure high-quality data acquisition.
1.5 Data Processor Prototype Manufacturing (WP5)
This WP needed restructuring. The digital module of the prototype was postponed because of technology maturity issues (e.g. digital components available for 200ºC are scarce). Moreover, some good progress could be made with the analogue module of the prototype, and the consortium decided to push those developments further to expand technology maturity of some components to harsh environment. The initial objective was a prototype for 150ºC, but Active Space decided to push the temperature envelope up to 200ºC.
The mock-up was delivered by Active Space in May 2017 and experiments in the test rig started in June 2017 at Schaeffler. The test campaign extended to the end of the project. During this period, Cranfield University worked in data analysis (tests generated more than 1 TB).
1.6 Verification tests (WP6)
This task has been somewhat overlapped with WP5. During this activity, Cranfield work in algorithm development and validation, Schaeffler carried out tests at different speeds and loading, and Active Space developed and tested the analogue module of the prototype up to 200ºC.
1.7 Summary of major tasks by partner
1.7.1 Cranfield University
• Critical review of the literature;
• State of the art and outreach deliverables (D11-D12);
• Data analysis of test rig experiments;
• Development of prognosis and diagnosis algorithms;
• Dissemination activities.
1.7.2 Schaeffler
• Test rig development;
• Design, manufacturing of adapter for sensors and test rig;
• Test planning and execution (seven tests).
1.7.3 Active Space Technologies
• Project coordination;
• Technical reports (e.g. D2-D4, D8-D10);
• Mock-up design, manufacturing, test, and validation;
• Development, manufacturing, assembly, and test of the prototype (analogue module suitable for harsh environment - up to 200ºC);
• Dissemination activities.
1.7.4 Common tasks
• Sensor selection;
• Test rig critical parameterization (e.g. loading, rotation speed);
• High-level data analysis and interpretation.
2. Achievement of project objectives
According to the final review of iBearing at Thales, Chatou, Paris, the main results of the project can be summarized as follows:
• Performance of the mock-up was almost flawless;
• The analogue module was able to withstand 200ºC during tests;
• Sensors were adequate for proof-of-concept validation;
• Partners and the topic leader concluded that iBearing was able to reach proof-of-concept validation of the mock-up; concerning the project, partners have stated that technology readiness level was pushed from 1 to 3.
The next important steps to enable critical technologies should be developing the digital module of the prototype and improving the algorithm level of significance. A critical task is also running reliable tests at higher speeds (e.g. 30 000 RPM). Some achievements have been shown at Le Bourget and in a publication of the international conference on high value products and through-life engineering. Progress has been regularly reported online and in the technical reports of the project.
The iBearing endeavour involves both scientific and technical achievements. From a scientific perspective, the consortium, mainly Cranfield University, was involved in dissemination activities as well as in training young engineers and technologists. Active Space Technologies attended the Le Bourget air show, where iBearing was highlighted in their stand. The iBearing project aims at providing a contribution to meet several goals of the Clean Sky programme. First, the project is aligned with a recent trend in aviation that involves fly-by-wire technologies. Second, the goal of the project is employing cutting-edge technologies combined with innovative methodologies to keep the European aeronautics sector in a leading position. Third, in-situ automatic monitoring of bearings health condition is also a significant step forward to reduce maintenance costs and improve safety standards in aviation. Finally, to reduce the CO2 fingerprint, aircraft starter-generators must increase power efficiency; the objective is making systems to rotate faster rather than increasing their size and mass. To reach this goal is fundamental expanding bearings mean life; hence, monitoring structural degradation of bearings over time is crucial. Finally, the objective is developing technology for harsh environment conditions. Current developments of iBearing suggest some of these goals are plausibly achievable in the near future; developments might be extended to other sectors, e.g. automotive and energy, where safety is also critical.
Mockup and associated software developed for proof-of-concept validation
Knowledge consolidation before and after state of the art study
Distribution of set of sensors in the sleeve