Sensor-based real-time simulation for component-specific analysis and evaluation within the framework of synchronized condition-forecast-oriented maintenance

The aim of the SESI research project was to enable manufacturing companies and industrial service providers to improve the reliability of plants by forecasting maintenance requirements and times, to increase availability and to minimize direct and indirect maintenance costs by means of demand-oriented maintenance and thus to increase their competitiveness.

To this end, the approach for the integration of condition monitoring and real-time simulation for component condition prognosis in maintenance should be further developed in the sense of a "self-learning system" and a concept for the use of information in day-to-day business should be created that explicitly addresses the needs of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The first goal of the research project was the development of a self-learning system with the intelligent condition analyser (iCA) at its core. This iCA enables the monitoring and evaluation of the condition measurement values of a plant. Based on the measured data, a real-time simulation at component level is also carried out.

Within the scope of this simulation, the loads on all displayed components are calculated on the basis of actually recorded condition data. The result is a condition evaluation and remaining service life estimation at component level. Furthermore, the iCA learns on the basis of feedback to relate failures to past events and to strongly limit the failure-relevant components in future events. The second objective of the research project was the development of a planning and control concept for maintenance.

The basis for the synchronisation of all necessary resources - such as the maintenance staff, the production facilities, the material and tool management as well as external service providers - was the "clocking" approach. This was adapted to the specific conditions of maintenance and further developed. The third objective was the integration of the two objectives described above in order to simultaneously ensure the effective, needs-based initiation of maintenance measures and their efficient implementation.