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Best practice: IIoT-based condition monitoring of pumps used in PCB manufacturing

April 20, 2023



Modern industrial companies are lucky to run in a time of great opportunities created by smart technologies. Among such technologies you can find Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), cloud computing, AI, and machine learning.

IIoT allow us to collect data from industrial machines and transform it into valuable information for better decision-making and operational efficiency.

Benefits of IIoT for industrial companies

Sensors embedded with the machines collect data and send it to a remote control center for further processing and analysis. This helps visualize all operational processes and equipment condition in real-time. By integrating IIoT, manufacturers can equip their machines with sensors and track different parameters.  For example, vibration, load, temperature, electricity consumption, and so on.  

Based on the analysis results, engineers and managers can detect any production bottlenecks, predict arising problems with the machines, and take the necessary actions to prevent unexpected downtime. The use of IIoT solutions for condition monitoring and predictive maintenance ensures high uptime of critical assets.

Monitoring of rotating equipment

Prylada is an IoT provider offering a single platform to collate data from industrial machines, process and visualize it. In one of the recent projects, Prylada implemented permanent monitoring of vibration in the pumps used in the technological process of PCB manufacturing.

The process of monitoring rotating equipment, such as pumps, motors, turbines, and compressors, is necessary to recognize abnormal vibration. The latter in turn may point to defects, breakdowns, or failures inside the machines.

Vibration monitoring solutions measure vibration level of rotating equipment with special sensors. They record the frequency and amplitude of the vibration signature of the machine. Then the measurements are compared with the standard or prescribed levels to detect potential issues.

When a pump malfunction occurs, the internal parts of the pump start hitting each other, thus causing their destruction and abnormal vibration. A pump breakdown may violate the production technology, when the whole batch of produced PCBs is disposed as defective. The manufacturer has to stop the production line until the pump is repaired, suffering heavy financial losses.

About $120K annually–the amount a PCB manufacturer losses from an unexpected shutdown of a production line. Of course, the amount may vary depending on the production size.

Manufacturing industry research: Intelligent asset monitoring challenges


Condition monitoring of industrial pumps, based on Prylada project

Below, we share a best practice of how to realize condition monitoring, based on the Prylada case study.

The customer was a PCB factory with manual pump condition control. The personnel of the factory visually examined the pumps and assessed their vibration level. Then they recorded the approximate values to a spreadsheet, which was used to compare the current measurements with the previous ones and detect a malfunction (if any).

The Prylada solution intended to cover the whole process of data transfer, from the pumps to a remote control center. It required a gateway that would aggregate vibration data from the sensors and send it to an on-premises server through Ethernet.

Our team suggested the operating principle that should include the following consecutive steps:

  1. First, the Prylada’s Probeberry Gateway collects accurate vibration data from the sensors embedded with the pumps.
  2. Then, the collected data is transported through Ethernet to the Prylada on-premises server, which runs in the customer’s local network.
  3. And finally, the processed vibration data is visualized in an intuitive Prylada dashboard (UI).

The diagram below illustrates this sequence of steps.

The implemented solution covered 5 production lines and simplified condition control of the critical machines.  Data from throughout the factory can be now transferred and processed through advanced digital technologies. Additionally, Prylada opened up new opportunities for the factory digitalization. For example, the manufacturer can seamlessly scale the monitoring system and receive extended data for post-analysis by connecting more sensors.

Wrapping up

At most factories, production lines operate 24/7. Periodic maintenance with a full stop of a line is planned and scheduled months in advance. In case one of the critical machines fails during the process, the whole production line stops running. And for every day of such stop, the manufacturer loses thousands of dollars.

The IIoT-based condition monitoring systems helps manufacturers improve predictive maintenance of their critical machines and avoid financial losses associated with the downtime.

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