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ABB has introduced ABB Machsense-P, a condition-monitoring service for large induction motors that can detect potential motor failure well in advance.

The service can spot trouble with bearings, rotor winding defects, imbalances, internal misalignments and voltage abnormalities, providing an early warning to plant engineers, thereby saving costly downtime.

ABB Machsense-P provides accurate diagnosis; reports quickly with a summary delivered on-site; includes integrated analysis for current, voltage and vibration; rates defects clearly by severity; recommends specific repairs; considers machine design in judging defect severity; reduces unplanned downtime; and issues early warnings, allowing time for planning maintenance.

ABB’s intelligent software analyses vibrations and other data collected from the motor with high accuracy, the company claimed.

Cajetan Pinto, RandD manager for ABB motors and generators, service, said: ‘ABB’s analysis system uses algorithms that pick out specific signals.

‘If you are concerned about bearings, our system can isolate the signals coming from the bearings,’ Pinto added.

More than 60 per cent of failures in squirrel-cage motors occur in the bearings.

‘When bearings develop faults, they can lead to catastrophic failure,’ Pinto said.

The technician attaches sensors to the motor being tested at the customer’s site.

Certain sensors, using accelerometers, convert vibrations into electrical signals.

Others measure electrical data.

The signals are picked up by a data collector, which is in turn connected to a laptop.

In one day, a technician can usually test between four and six motors.

The customer immediately receives an on-site summary of the motor’s performance, which is presented as a colour-coded report rating four key areas: anti-friction bearings; cage rotor; installation and power supply.

Later, following analysis by experts, the customer receives a more detailed report for those motors highlighted in an initial site summary as being of concern.

The Machsense-P service is available in one of two ways.

A ‘standard’ service comes as part of a regular six-month maintenance plan, while ‘advanced’ service refers to a one-time intervention to troubleshoot a specific problem.

Next year, ABB plans to expand the service from large induction motors to synchronous motors and wind generators.

ABB Automation Tech – Drives and Motors

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