Basic industry machines will start to speak
“Machines will inform us when maintenance is needed, or if something is going to break, before it happens,” says Niclas Björsell, reader in electronics at the University of Gävle.
In a research report financed by Vinnova, researchers from the University of Gävle, headed by Niclas Björsell, together with SSAB in Borlänge and Svenska Fönster in Edsbyn, develop models for smart maintenance.
Earlier, maintenance in factories have been routinely set at certain times, “Stop weeks,” or maintenance has been carried out when something has broken down already.
Now, researchers will study machines continuously, measure their in and out data, and create a virtual model of the machine which is later to be studied and compared online to the real machine.
“Data from this study will help us discover if the real machine fails in operating appropriately, before someone else does.”
All measurements results will be gathered in an information bank containing information about how the machine performs when it is, for example, starting to break down.
“We will gain decision support, a tool which tells us that is probably time to exchange a certain component.”
It is about sustainability
“It is about sustainability,” Niclas says. “We do not have to carry out maintenance unnecessarily and we will be informed when we need to do something to prevent break downs.”
“In this way, we do not throw anything away; we can keep the machine longer and do not need to use up resources to replace it with a new machine.”
To digitalise an old Volvo Amazon
All companies today are storing a lot of measurement results, but no one knows exactly what to use this data for.
“But now, we will use this data, because it is important to the companies we are working with.”
“This new technology works well in new productions. All good examples concern new constructions, like, for instance, a completely new mine in Garpensberg. But how do you digitalise an old Volvo Amazone?” This question was posed by SSAB on their visit to the University of Gävle.
“This is exactly what we are doing right now,” Niclas Björsell says, “we go into an existing industrial plant and digitalise it.”
Niclas Björsell is a reader in electronics with a background in both automation and telecommunications.
His research combines telecommunications and control technologies, which lie behind automation.
“I supervise doctoral students both within robotics and telecommunications.”
In the crystal bowl
“What we are doing right now, making the machines speak to one another, that is Industry 4.0,” Niclas Björsell states.
For more information, please contact:
Niclas Björsell, reader in electronics and researcher at the University of Gävle
Phone: 026-64 87 95, 076-855 57 88
Text: Douglas Öhrbom
Porträttfoto: Ove Wall