AutASS - Autonomous drive technology through sensor fusion for smart, simulation-based monitoring & control of production plants
You can tell a dog's health by his snout. Grab it and you have an instant diagnosis. If it is damp and cold, there is usually no reason to worry, so they say. It is not as easy to determine the state of health of a machine. If symptoms of 'illness' are already apparent, e.g. discharge of fluid, it is usually too late. Automated examinations can be conducted today, but these are very unreliable, troublesome, costly and almost unaffordable for small and medium-sized enterprises in particular. This is why the main method is to ensure prompt service in the event of damage. There are no ways to identify possible imminent problems in advance.
This is where the AutASS project comes in: It will develop a permanent 'health check' for machinery. The aim is to embed sensory functions in electric drive systems, such as electromotors. This will create smart and autonomous diagnostic capabilities (self-diagnosis) in individual components of the drive system and the process to enable a so-called mechatronic control system. The system will be able to reliably determine the 'state of health' of electric drives (overload, wear, lifespan forecast, etc.) at an early stage. Subsequent processes can also be assessed by evaluating measured signals through the flexible and modular amalgamation of sensor functions for 'health'. All sensor units will have a wireless connection with a smart electronics system. Its algorithms for signal analysis will ensure autonomous operation. These smart electronics will then be linked to a diagnostic centre, which conducts investigations (trend analyses, threshold definitions, damage forecasts, etc.) and monitors, controls and presents the results.
As part of the project, demonstrators will be devised to illustrate the practical feasibility of sensor-assisted drive systems and evaluate functional models in the user environment. In a practical application, the requisite knowledge will be gained through simulations, measurements and experimental tests of the whole system as well as by means of loss modelling and simulation.
This is expected to raise the efficiency of the whole plant through the increased introduction of state-dependent maintenance cycles and the attendant decline in downtimes. In addition, it will increase process stability due to improved reliability.
Syndicate coordinator: Hanning Elektro-Werke GmbH & Co. KG
Syndicate partners: Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits, Ostwestfalen-Lippe University of Applied Sciences, Interroll Trommelmotoren GmbH, RWTH Aachen University, Paderborn University