Rozwiązania i Komponenty dla AutomatykiSolutions and Components for Automation

Intelligent drives on the road to the Internet of Things

What does the Internet of Things mean and requirements for electric motors? The manufacturer of drives from the WObit offer presents the answers and solutions.


Inteligentne napędy na drodze do Internetu Rzeczy

Intelligent drives, including input systems, interfaces and controls in addition to engines are a field in which Dunkermotoren has been at the forefront for over 20 years. Is a global leader in integrated BLDC drives. In Poland, these products can be purchased from the distributor - WObit.

Recently, the attention of engine manufacturers has been focused on the subject of the Internet of Things. They wonder what significance and requirements the Internet of Things has for engines? Dunkermotoren actively answers these questions and works on solutions how to integrate intelligent drives in the Internet of Things.

There is no doubt that intelligent drives in industrial automation must control fieldbus systems based on Ethernet, such as ProfiNet, EtherCAT and EtherNet / IP, to control and communicate with other devices.

However, the establishment of an additional parallel communication method, transmitting information from the controller and sending it straight from the fieldbus device to the Internet, possible due to the Internet of Things, is new.

The basis for this communication method depends on the OPC UA, MQTT or AMQP application. The German Black Forest manufacturer is already working on integrating these standards in its intelligent engines to prepare for the basic requirements of the Internet of Things.

In addition to the type of communication, it is also important to consider how the engine has access to the Internet. In the designed solutions, IT security and a simple network are the most important requirement. The company sees a solution in the use of IoT gates. Recently, IoT gates have been growing rapidly. By choosing the right model, its hardware layer already offers reasonable IT security. The gate structure is similar to IPC and support for various communication standards makes them a flexible platform.

As an alternative to IoT gates, engine-integrated IoT gate interfaces are provided, especially software gates. These software gateways can be installed as a client application on existing gateways at maintenance workers or plant operators.

Thanks to this innovation, it is possible to meet the needs of many maintenance workers and operators, who will finally be able to use one connection between the device and the Internet. The goal of the German manufacturer is to offer the right gate solution for every application

Under these conditions, Dunkermotoren can already implement the "Proof of concept *", in which the BLDC BG 45x15 CI motor in connection with the IoT gateway can be connected to the Internet and controlled. To take into account all the possibilities of existing technologies, BG 45x15 CI uses the CANopen interface to communicate with the IoT gateway.

By using the application in the IoT gateway, which can be operated via an online dashboard, the engine can be parameterized; several commands can be sent and the engine status can be followed in real time.

In addition, it is possible to activate the measurement in real time, which records the nominal current and rotational speed by means of a time stamp. The recorded data is stored in the gate and can be used for further analysis.

The IoT gateway is connected to the Internet via Wi-Fi and can be addressed independently of the device via tablets, computers or smartphones. Thanks to this network space, simultaneous communication with the engine is possible. In addition to these functions, the ability to send messages to the "Proof of Concept" has been added. This messaging function sends an alert via the Internet if the current BG 45x15 CI consumption exceeds the specified threshold.

This alert is sent automatically to all devices that have subscribed to BG 45X15 CI status messages, for example to the smartphone of the maintenance technician responsible for the machine data. Thanks to the use of "Proof of Concept", it is possible to find the latest solutions in the "condition monitoring", "preventive maintenance" or "remote support" sectors, even for already available devices.

Questions remain, what is the concrete progress of smart drives and the Internet of Things, and what can this lead to? Dunkermotoren wants to answer them using a "device cloud", i.e. a cloud in which all local drives can log in. The maintenance employee can recognize and diagnose all active engines via this cloud.

This opens up the possibility of a free, scalable and location-independent remote support platform. Using the "device cloud" you can also centrally manage the firmware and various software components, as well as send them to selected engines.

In addition, the "cloud of devices" can be seen as the basis for further digitization, such as the "digital twin" of engines, which offers additional services such as "predictive maintenance" for users of the German manufacturer's products. The basic idea of ​​this vision is the idea that each manufacturer focuses on its key competences in the future and offers not only data, but already completed analyzes for excellent applications.

Let's look at the following example: Dunkermotoren analyzes the "digital twins" of its engines using artificial intelligence and provides current information to its customers. Thanks to this, maintenance companies can offer their customers services such as "dynamic service plans" or "spare parts on time". This helps to focus on preventing unplanned failures in manufacturing plants.

There is great potential in connecting engines to the Internet of Things. As proven in the "Proof of Concept", the Dunkermotoren company is ready for further development in this direction, which will, depending on customer feedback, be actively continued.

If you want to know more details about intelligent drives, please contact WObit specialists.


* Proof of concept - a test version of the IT system, whose implementation or upgrade is just planned, but requires thorough testing in terms of customer needs, expectations and all processes to be covered by the new solution.


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