GLOBAL July 2019
 
New icom.plus module offers predictive maintenance with flexible data integration for igus plastics
 
Under the name of isense, igus carries intelligent sensors to measure the wear of energy chains, slewing rings and linear guides among others, so as to alert the users early to plan for replacement.
With the new communication module icom.plus, igus customers from the food and beverage manufacturing sector can now opt in which form they would like to incorporate the acquired data from the sensors. Presently, data has been interpreted successfully via connection to the igus cloud. However, with the increasing importance of IT security, many companies are relying on the development of their own SCADA systems, which is the reason why igus has now advanced its data concentrator into icom.plus. With this new module, igus customers can now integrate the data in the way that best suits their equipment.

Flexible data connection through the new 3-in-1 module
The icom.plus is programmed via igus online configurations with initial service life algorithms. The special feature: the new communication module can be operated offline upon customer request, after online installation without update function. In this "semi-offline" case, during an initial "learning phase", the device requires a temporary, short-term secured IoT access to the igus server to match the calculation algorithms to the actual motion and environmental profile of the customer application.
In very restrictive areas, the update can also be performed from the beginning via a storage medium completely offline. In this way, the user can flexibly design the connection of the module and their data and establish a balance between maximising the runtime and IT security. The motion profile required for the calculation of the maintenance recommendation is read directly from the control system via the bus system of the machine. In the same way, the information about the number of days until the next recommended maintenance and freely definable warning messages about unusual changes in the sensor data are transferred to the PLC control. The user information is provided directly via the system monitor or via customer-specific SCADA systems.

Predictive maintenance by connecting to the igus server
With the online connection of the icom.plus, a continuous matching of the service life statement with the igus cloud takes place in order to enable maximum system runtimes with minimal failure risk.
The data in the cloud draws on the 10 billion test cycles of energy chains and cables performed in the company's own 2,750 sq.metre test laboratory, and thanks to machine learning and AI, igus can provide precise information on the durability of the solutions used and inform the user about a necessary replacement beforehand.
 
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