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Condition monitoring of concrete pumps.

CIFA concrete pump equipped with SmartMINI for Predictive Maintenance

Zoomlion CIFA Deutschland GmbH in Urbach is a manufacturer of concrete machines such as mixers, mixing plants, concrete pumps or tunnel spraying machines. CIFA concrete pumps stand out from the competition thanks to a completely flexible support system and their Carbotech series (carbon mast and kinematic elements). The headquarters of the Italian parent company is in Senago near Milan.

Like every industry, the concrete business has its own challenges. There is a demand for machines to become bigger and bigger but lighter at the same time. For development, this means that precise knowledge of the load collectives is required. In order to be able to implement weight optimisation, relevant data must be continuously collected and evaluated beforehand. Moreover, concrete machines are very complex machines, while the service network is usually thinly spread.

Optimization through smart data processing

Maintenance by means of teleservice can save costs and time when it comes to ensuring high availability. If a malfunction occurs in a machine equipped with a teleservice system, the service technician can make diagnoses, carry out repairs or instruct the drivers on site accordingly from a distance.

More than a logger

The teleservice system smartMINI from optiMEAS serves the exact requirements of the industry and offers the right solution for both machine development and day-to-day business. Because as an intelligent diagnostic system, the smartMINI not only records data, but also evaluates it. In contrast to conventional remote systems, with the smartMINI the possibility of creating comprehensive analyses via the long-term recording of even large amounts of data (big data).

From teleservice to predictive maintenance

The contact between Martin Worch, Head of Service, Research and Development at CIFA Germany and Burkhard Schranz, Managing Director of the optiMEAS GmbH, came about via a trade fair. ?optiMEAS already had the ready-made solution for our request compared to the competition," says Martin Worch. With the help of the smartMINI a number of data from the concrete machines are recorded: For example, the support geometry, i.e. at which moment the mast is in which orientation, as well as the tilting moment of the mast, pressures in the pump unit, the oil temperature, open or closed limit switches and addressed sensors. The possibilities in teleservice are manifold.

A service logbook, for example, can automatically remind you of upcoming mast inspections, or an oil ageing analysis using sensors can help prevent wear. Temperature, batch and dwell time in the mixer play a role in the ideal concrete texture. With a limited time window of 1.5 hours until thickening, for example, it would be helpful and sensible to take all data into account, including traffic reports, in order to calculate the ideal time for mixing and driving off.

In addition, the Smart products from optiMEAS realise predictive maintenance and servicing in addition to condition monitoring. The intelligent evaluation of the data enables concrete predictions. Knowing in advance when something will break means enormous optimisation in terms of plannability, availability, costs and quality assurance.

The device Behind

Latency-free transmission of fieldbuses via the Internet

In order to be able to access the control of the machine in the field and change parameters literally from the desktop, the optiMEAS applied for a patent as part of a master's thesis: for the latency-free transmission of field buses via the Internet. This allows the data traffic to be visualised directly on the PC by means of a server from the diagnostic device. Access via smartphone or tablet is also possible, up to and including updating the entire control unit software.

Customized applications

Only what the customer releases is observed. The control of a machine can only be accessed when the key switch in the control cabinet is operated. The customer has his data and the functions associated with teleservice in his hands. Characteristic for optiMEAS products is not only the modular hardware but also the flexible app concept. The basic software is accompanied by an app tailored to the specific application. This allows us to react quickly and specifically to customer wishes and thus create robust and easy-to-maintain applications on our systems," says Burkhard Schranz.