Industry 4.0 has led to new ways of working, changing how machines are monitored and maintained.

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced companies to rethink how they work, with office staff working remotely and engineers offering online support. It’s highlighted how remote access can keep a company in business and, in some circumstances, can be more productive and cost-effective.

Historically, when a fault occurred on a machine, companies would have to wait for an engineer to drive to the site. This is both time inefficient and potentially expensive as machinery downtime causes production delays.

At Georg UK we have been highlighting to our customers the benefits of implementing an Industry 4.0 Control System to machines to utilise detailed maintenance and fault detection systems as part of their overall planning strategy.

A machine fitted with a remote dial-in box with an internet connection allows an engineer to remotely connect to the machine’s computer control system via the programmable logic controller (PLC) to make any program changes to the machine. The PLC also allows customers to view various machine statistics remotely and to receive messages if a fault occurs.

A web page, accessed via a PC or mobile phone, is configured specifically for the machine with a quick view page for important data, which is linked securely through a customer’s account. The system also incorporates six “Key Performance Indicators” which the user can access when they log in.

Historic and real-time data is logged within the system for later recall, allowing for easier tracking over time of downtime/production on the machine. The data can also be displayed in graphical format.

New machines are fitted with vibration sensors (which can also be retrofitted) to motors and critical bearing structures which lets the system detect bearing failures before they happen, with Georg UK engineers working with customers and planning ahead for spares and replacement parts.

Should a problem occur on the machine, an automatically generated alarm can be configured to email both the customer’s maintenance department and Georg UK engineers, resulting in quicker response times. Often, we’ve contacted the customer before the operator has chance to pass the information up the chain!

The Control System also allows for maintenance warning messages to be sent to engineers supporting the planning of routine maintenance, such as greasing after 1000 hours. The customer can either plan to undertake the maintenance in-house, or arrange through Georg UK engineers. In the long term, this reduces the overall downtime and increases the productivity of the machine.

To find out more about Georg UK control systems and how they can benefit your business, call on 01902 715110.

Automation Update