Remote monitoring, diagnostic: Faster, cost-effective maintenance
GE Remote Monitoring and Diagnostic (RM+D), new remote motor monitoring and diagnostic solution from GE, can save customers much in software, hardware and maintenance personnel costs, and remove a lot of manual surveillance headaches.
Operations and maintenance managers have a new 24/7 solution to risky manual monitoring of motors and related systems that also will save them money in the future.
GE Remote Monitoring and Diagnostic (RM+D) technology streamlines preventive maintenance tasks by zoning in on actual motor operating conditions around the clock so that potential problems can be nipped in the bud before they cause costly breakdowns and potential harm to users’ equipment and systems.
“Our solution is aimed at maintaining motor assets to help maximize motor reliability and operating profits,” said Tom Gustafson, GE Motors Services Product Line Manager. “Relaying over 20 real-time operating conditions to our 24/7 Monitoring Diagnostics Center, customers can compare data against historical performance and other asset trends. All they need is a PC web browser for a secure connection to GE’s monitoring and diagnostic website. Real time alerts are dispatched to select personnel in the case of notable anomalies.”
Gustafson said GE customers can save tens of thousands of dollars annually by not having to purchase and upgrade their own software, hardware and related maintenance monitoring systems. GE handles that for them.
And because monitoring is being done offsite on an ongoing basis through GE’s RM+D services, additional savings are realized by not having as many maintenance personnel on the floor.
Gustafson explained: “RM&D enables our customers to do maintenance faster, cheaper and with fewer people.” For example, in a typical plant with hundreds of motors – many of them exceeding 500 horsepower – there are not only significant critical assets to be concerned with, but also the question of how much staffing needs to regularly be onsite.
“When you consider someone whose full-time job it is to go around all these motors and inspect them, you’re looking at one to two full-time staffers,” said Gustafson.
GE’s RM+D service not only reduces costs associated with manual monitoring, it also prevents hazards associated with manual inspection, saving time, manpower, risk exposure, and related maintenance costs.
Gustafson suggests that a typical plant using hundreds of motors might be able to significantly save operational costs associated with manual monitoring and have much more accuracy as well. While no one can calculate the cost and harm of a breakdown until after it occurs, “these can involve considerable money in terms of damage and downtime,” added Gustafson.
Faster, more secure than a cable solution
GE’s RM+D can be installed faster and more securely than a “cabled” system. And since system devices are Modbus compatible, installation should require minimal infrastructure adjustments. By using a secure wireless network, transmitted data integrity is not compromised and no additional cable connections are required.
Traditional approaches to motor monitoring require expensive cable installations along with costly software and hardware purchases.By utilizing the unique wireless application and leveraging GE’s Monitoring and Diagnostics Center, GE customers can always be on top of motor maintenance requirements so that the highest levels of protection and reliability can be maintained. GE engineers with remote access to motor condition data can identify potential failures of industrial machines before they occur.
The communication from our system is one-way, therefore it cannot be hacked, which safeguards control of the customer’s motor, says Gustafson.
A holistic approach for critical motor maintenance
GE’s RM+D service – coupled with capabilities of GE’s field engineering and repair service resources – provides a holistic approach for maintaining the health of critical industrial motors.
Using wireless Remote Monitoring Units (RMU) to collect and transmit relevant operating data to GE’s Monitoring & Diagnostic (M+D) Center, proprietary GE software analyzes the condition of the motor’s stator and bearings – the most critical operating components. Specifically, RMU collects data on stator temperature, voltage and current, motor-bearing temperature and motor-bearing vibration.Motor data is warehoused at the M+D Center and posted to a secure website where customers can analyze trends for motor and load conditions and act accordingly. Data points and resources are available to customers via the website and include: motor performance; stator coil temperature; voltage and current data; bearing temperature and vibration data; access to all machine historical data; and alert notifications, such as text messages or emails, sent to specified maintenance personnel.
Services and savings:
- No need to purchase and integrate expensive enterprise-wide software and hardware
- Increased reliability that extends the lifecycle of critical assets
- Minimal disruption to operations due to quick installation
- Shortened motor-rewind cycle times since parts and components can be pre-ordered
- Avoidance of additional failure risks from maintenance mistakes
- Limited footprint installation on any accessible DIN rail
- Compatibility with universal Modbus protocol
- Single-screen view for single- or multi-facility operations.
Customer-provided system requirements for the service include a Multilin 369, 469 or M-60 motor management relay (or equivalent) and access to a secure wireless or cellular network.
Annual Salary Survey
After almost a decade of uncertainty, the confidence of plant floor managers is soaring. Even with a number of challenges and while implementing new technologies, there is a renewed sense of optimism among plant managers about their business and their future.
The respondents to the 2014 Plant Engineering Salary Survey come from throughout the U.S. and serve a variety of industries, but they are uniform in their optimism about manufacturing. This year’s survey found 79% consider manufacturing a secure career. That’s up from 75% in 2013 and significantly higher than the 63% figure when Plant Engineering first started asking that question a decade ago.